How Do We Know What Really Works in Healthcare?
Season 5, Episode 2
In part one (“How Do We Know What Really Works in Healthcare?”), Freakonomics co-author Steve Levitt discussed the randomized control trial, or RCT, which he calls “the very best way to learn about the world around us.” Then Amy Finkelstein, a professor of economics at MIT, talks about using RCTs to explore healthcare delivery — and the “accidental” RCT she discovered when Oregon expanded Medicaid. We also hear from Jeffrey Brenner, an M.D. and executive director of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers. He has teamed up with Finkelstein to run an RCT on a program designed to help the poorest, sickest patients. In part two (“How Many Doctors Does it Take to Start a Healthcare Revolution?”), the M.D./economist Anupam Jena discusses research that defies our most basic understanding of medicine. Don’t miss next week’s episode, when we continue our conversations with Jena and Brenner.