The Weekly Briefing, Episode 14: Don't Believe The Hype

What is Theranos, and did the $10 billion startup company even do anything wrong? Rivka Friedman, Rob Lazerow, and Dan Diamond argue over whether we should really care about the scandal that's riveted the health care industry. They also break down an eye-catching new study on high deductibles, and share their favorite new research from the week.

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Below, we've listed links to some of the stories and resources discussed on this week's show. And please email to submit questions for an upcoming episode. Also, scroll to the bottom to help us pick a new logo!

The fight over Theranos (Starts at 3:15.)

Elizabeth Holmes has become famous for founding a lab-testing company called Theranos, which says it's invented a new way to do rapid, cost-effective lab tests that only require a pinprick of blood. The company is worth $10 billion, and is considered a Silicon Valley success story.

The Wall Street Journal's John Carreyrou investigated and concluded that the company has struggled to deliver on its marketing claims, let alone deliver accurate tests. (And FDA has forced the company to at least temporarily halt on performing most of its signature tests.) 

Other Theranos users have surfaced anecdotal concerns about the company's lab test results. 

Theranos has repeatedly rebutted the Journal's claims.

Rethinking high-deductible health insurance (Starts at 21:25.)

Vox's Sarah Kliff said that a new study is forcing economists to rethink high-deductible health insurance.

The original paper by Zarek C. Brot-Goldberg, Amitabh Chandra, Benjamin R. Handel, and Jonathan T. Kolstad is here.

Electives (Starts at 34:35.)

Rob Lazerow, Practice Manager


Rob shared a story from The Atlantic on a new proposal from Northwestern researchers on who should pay hospitals for care when patients can't.

Rivka Friedman, Practice Manager


Rivka discussed a new study from HealthGrades on the wide divergence in quality between different hospitals.

Dan Diamond, Executive Editor


Dan talked about the incredible career of Michael Crichton, who trained at Harvard Medical School before quitting medicine to become a writer.

The Weekly Briefing is produced by Bronson Arcuri this week.

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Next in the Daily Briefing

The Weekly Briefing, Episode 5: Is Obamacare Working? (And How Would We Know?)

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