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New podcast seeks to explain health care system’s many mysteries

Oct. 23, 2019, 3:50 PM


by Jake Lowary

Everyone wants to fix the massive and complex U.S. health care system. But the truth is there is no silver bullet that will seamlessly reform the industry that consumes one-fifth the world’s largest economy.

Sayeh Nikpay, PhD, MPH

And to fix something, you must first understand it. That’s where Sayeh Nikpay, PhD, MPH, associate professor in Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Department of Health Policy comes in.

Nikpay is co-hosting a new podcast that launched Oct. 16 called “Tradeoffs” with co-host and executive producer Dan Gorenstein, former national health correspondent for American Public Media’s Marketplace program, and Anupam Jena, MD, PhD, Ruth Newhouse associate professor of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School.

“Right now we’re in the perfect moment to offer people a way to better understand the health care system and what makes it work,” Nikpay said. “We’re meeting people where they are and delivering them a sensible, evidence-based discussion about something that affects everyone in very personal ways.”

The first season of the podcast will take listeners to every corner of the industry, from the halls of Congress to a small clinic in Oakland, California.

The years of research and experience Nikpay, Jena and Gorenstein bring to the table will help listeners connect and make sense of the health care industry and take an honest look at what works and what doesn’t.

Tradeoffs’ first podcast is an in-depth look at a paper released by the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, that uses microsimulation modeling to analyze the cost and coverage implications of leading Democratic health reform proposals.

Episodes air every other Wednesday, alternating between 30-minute narrative pieces and 15-minute interviews with experts. Bonus episodes will be released in times of breaking health policy news, such as the passage of major legislation or the publication of a game-changing study.

The Tradeoff podcasts are produced in the Annenberg School’s Media Lab at the University of Pennsylvania and are supported by the University of Pennsylvania, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the California Health Care Foundation.

The podcast is accessible through the Acast Podcast Network, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and Stitcher or through the Tradeoffs website.

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