09/19/2014

Dissecting the Politics and Money Behind Health Care

17:16 minutes

In The Cost of Cutting: A Surgeon Reveals the Truth Behind a Multibillion-Dollar Industry, private practice surgeon Paul Ruggieri delves into the shadowy ways that money influences healthcare. In one chapter, he writes of a primary care physician who threatens to cut off surgery referrals if Ruggieri doesn’t perform the operation in the referring physician’s hospital. In another, he writes of hospitals sterilizing single-use disposable surgical equipment to save money while passing charges for new equipment onto patients. Throughout the book, Ruggieri argues for more transparency in the healthcare business, and encourages patients to be more involved in the management of their health, both clinically and financially. (Plus, read an excerpt from The Cost of Cutting.)

Segment Guests

Paul Ruggieri

Paul Ruggieri is the author of The Cost of Cutting: A Surgeon Reveals the Truth Behind a Multibillion-Dollar Industry (Berkley Trade, 2014) and a surgeon in private practice in Fall River, Massachusetts.

Heard on the Air

Read an excerpt from The Cost of Cutting.

Meet the Producer

About Christopher Intagliata

Christopher Intagliata is Science Friday’s senior producer. He once served as a prop in an optical illusion and speaks passable Ira Flatowese.

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The Business of Surgery: Has Love Been Lost?

An excerpt from "The Cost of Cutting."

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