Planet Money


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The economy, explained, with stories and surprises. Imagine you could call up a friend and say, "Meet me at the bar and tell me what's going on with the economy." Now imagine that's actually a fun evening. That's what we're going for at <em>Planet Money</em>. People seem to like it.


#80 Planet Money: Your Doctor Is Like A Mechanic

August 15th, 2009

Episode 173 of 902 episodes

Imagine two identical hospitals, side by side. One charges patients a little, and the other piles on the bills. Where do patients get better care? Researchers say that, overall, there's no connection between the intensity, quality or cost of treatment and how well patients fare. That's one of the biggest challenges in fixing health care — patients, doctors and insurance companies aren't all playing with the same information. As patients visiting a doctor, most of us are like drivers taking a car to the mechanic. If we had the know-how, we'd fix it ourselves, but we don't and so we have to rely on someone else's judgment. With appearances by Deborah Kimbell of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Chana Joffe-Walt's mom, a sunglasses vendor in Manhattan, and mechanic Ari Cohen.