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Marketplace Money on the Road: Health Care in Philadelphia

Marketplace Staff Nov 19, 2010

Health care. It sounds so simple.

But anyone who has been through the system knows how frustrating and confusing it can be. Many consumers can barely navigate the landscape as we know it now, much less understand what reform will mean to them. And our pocketbooks and well-being are at stake. Health care accounts for one-sixth of the U.S. economy. That boils down to about $8,000 a person. And whether you’re covered at work or you buy your own policy, the cost is climbing every year. In many cases, the benefits are also shrinking.

As health care reform kicks in, it will reshape coverage and costs even more, and raise a whole new set of issues for consumers to understand. Should you join an insurance exchange? What about seeing a nurse practitioner? Do you really need that test? And are you going to make those choices or is someone going to make them for you? How do you navigate the confusing landscape? Marketplace Money brings you a consumer’s guide: what you need to know to make the best choices about your health care.

To tell this story, Marketplace Money is headed to Philadelphia. Philly is the birthplace of health care industry in this country — it’s home to the country’s first hospital, the first teaching hospital, and the first behavioral hospital.

Health insurance was invented in Philadelphia, as was Tylenol (and that’s just the beginning of the list). Philadelphia is also at the intersection of health and business, and the incubator for many innovative, joint-disciplinary programs.

Philadelphia is also the home of the public radio station WHYY, which has deep expertise on the topic of health and science with its reporters Kerry Grens, Taunya English, Maiken Scott and web producer Todd Vachon. Their Philly office is also the home of Marketplace’s primary health care reporter Gregory Warner and intern Mara Zepeda.

Our program will be broadcast from the studios of WHYY on Friday, Nov. 19th (noon EST), and available soon after on our website or through our iTunes podcast.

Live that evening, WHYY will host a panel discussion for the public on the topic of the informed patient. Marketplace Money host Tess Vigeland will moderate, panelists will include WHYY’s Taunya English, Marketplace health care reporter Gregory Warner, professor Kevin Volpp from the Center for Health Incentives at Wharton and David Nash, MD, MBA, dean of the Jefferson School of Population Health.

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