Competing Diagnoses Podcast
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Welcome to Competing Diagnoses!

Does the ongoing debate over health care reform leave you perplexed? Are you wondering what the future holds for health care in Rhode Island, or what the recent policy changes mean for you?

Our podcast is a collaboration between faculty and students in the Health Policy and Management department at Providence College. Each episode provides listeners with a fresh take on current health policy issues here in Rhode Island. Each episode features critical conversations about health politics and policy informed by published research and interviews with policymakers, providers, payers, and scholars.  Although we won’t take sides, each episode will take a nonpartisan and evidence-based approach to educate listeners about health policy issues that affect all Rhode Islanders. We’ll offer listeners competing diagnoses of the health policy challenges we face and how to address them from a diverse set of viewpoints.

Thanks for listening!

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Episode 1: To Merge or Not to Merge | May 3, 2021 | 14 min

Our first episode of Competing Diagnoses introduces listeners to the proposed merger between Rhode Island’s two largest hospital systems – Lifespan and Care New England. This merger will create a $3.5 billion health care system that will become the dominant player in the state’s health care marketplace. In the coming weeks, we’ll unpack the issues raised by this proposal, which is one of the most significant developments in the Rhode Island health care system in decades.

Episode 2: Competition in Health Care Markets | May 17, 2021 | 18 min

Will a merger between Rhode Island’s two largest hospital systems increase access to care and improve quality? Raise prices? Or both? To shed some light on this debate, we welcome James Bailey, an assistant professor of economics at Providence College, to introduce listeners to how health economists think about hospital mergers.

Episode 3: What Will Washington Do? | July 30, 2021 | 12 min

Hospital officials here in Rhode Island remain optimistic that the proposed merger between Lifespan and Care New England will receive a prompt review. This episode explores recent actions by the Biden administration – and the Federal Trade Commission’s actions in recent years. A careful consideration of federal actions suggest that the new academic health care system in Rhode Island will face intense scrutiny and a probable legal challenge. Thus, a quick resolution to the proposed merger between Lifespan and Care New England seems unlikely.

The Competing Diagnoses team: Robert Hackey, PhD, Talia Quinn ’22, Lily Sanphy ’22, and Julia Scheuring ’21.

The theme song for our podcast – ‘Waves’ – is an original composition by Craig Scheuring.