#CareTalk Podcast – Drug Testing: The New Back To School Ritual


– So David, it’s back to school. What ‘chu got in your bag? – Well John, I’ve gotta
be ready for my test. I’ve got my pencils for my math test, and I got my specimen
cups for my drug tests. Want one? – No. (upbeat music) – Welcome to CareTalk, your monthly home for ensisive debate about healthcare, business, and policy. I’m David Williams, president of Health Business Group. – And I’m John Driscoll, the CEO of CareCentrix. – So John, another calm
month in Trump land, except for firing people like the national security advisor. Is he gonna start firing
people in healthcare next? – Well, I think there’s
always a lot of turbulence in Trump land, but there’s
actually been remarkable calm on the management side. You know, with his health care advisors. And actually, he’s had
a lot of good instincts, but it doesn’t appear that
we’re making much progress. And as you’ve heard recently, he’s going to have, or unveil soon, a phenomenal health plan. What do you think? – John, I just can’t wait for that. Although, I heard that Kellyanne Conway essentially admitted
that it was just a lie, that she said that this
great plan is coming. He doesn’t have any great plan. Republicans have had 10 years
to come up with something that’s actually the replace
part of repeal and replace. They haven’t done it. Trump’s still focused on taking
away healthcare from people, denying healthcare to
immigrants at the border, closing down Planned Parenthood. No phenomenal plan of any kind is coming. – But, don’t you think
it’s sort of interesting, I agree with that, that a lot of the things
that he’s talking about are things that actually
are democrat ideas? Getting tougher on drug pricing, being more transparent, thinking about moving
more care to the home, home dialysis, allowing Medicare advantage plans to be more creative around
solving social problems. What’s interesting is where
you’re seeing progress is around things that were
historically democratic agenda items. But I’m with you. I’m a little bit skeptical
that we’re gonna get any plan. But if we were to make real
progress on drug pricing, I think that that could be
a real bipartisan success. – So John, as crazy as Trump seems, I think it’s actually a smarter move to have work on specific things, that promise something like
– Did you just say – Medicare for all. – he’s smart? – (clears throat) I didn’t say anything. (groans)
I’m sure it’s not on video. Now John, you’re a little bit testy. And so, I’m sure you’re in favor of drug testing for school kids. You know, there’s 38 percent
– What? 38 percent of school
districts test kids for drugs. – What’s wrong with a feedback loop that can actually reduce
the number of kids who get hooked on drugs? How can you be in favor of a system where parents don’t know, counselors don’t know, and kids can’t get help? Are you against kids, David? – Ha Ha, that must be me, John. I’ll tell you what, you know, there’s all this idea that well, kid’s don’t know how to read, they don’t know math, so let’s test them more. And this is the same sort of thing. Kids are on drugs,
– No. – let’s test them. You know school’s suppose
– No. – to be about education, John. What happened to that? You know who’s actually smarter about this than the schools, is actually the NFL. Instead of just punishing people– – Which they do every Sunday. – Yeah, fine. But instead of punishing people for using drugs,
– We enjoy. Yes?
– and sending them off, where they can use more drugs, – They fire them, right?
– They bring them back in and they let them play, and they let them be supervised. Kids who are kicked out of school, they’re gonna hang out
and do more drugs, John. Stupid idea, drug testing.
– Where, where, where the reality is that schools that test, middle schools that test
have 25 percent lower rate of kids, pre-teens, and teens getting hooked on drugs. I don’t see how you, this NFL defense against helping kids. It’s a public health issue. You’re takin’ the wrong side on this one. – All right, John. – But so, but speaking of things you’ve taken multiple sides on, what do you think of medical tourism? I wanna exclude your personal experience, and just talk about whether you think medical tourism is a good idea, and whether it’s a growth idea. – I love tourism, John. I love to go and you know, see all the palaces and things like that. – Hospitals.
– And while I’m at it why don’t I have them tearing my heart out at the same time, with a surgery? I think medical tourism is a thing that people love to talk about. Journalists are always writing about it. This guy went to India, and he got his hip replaced
for 90 percent less, and he came back. Well guess what, out of two million people that supposedly leave the
U.S. for medical tourism every year, most are going for a nose job, some cosmetic kind of a thing, or they’re going back
to their home country, where they actually have coverage or where it’s affordable. It’s a bunch of hyped up nonsense, John. Most medical tourism, the number one destination is
still the good old US of A, because we have the best and the brightest, and the expensiviest. – Right, well we but don’t you think it
would be a good thing to have an international market around high-quality healthcare? There are some phenomenal things going on in simplifying, automating, and making more predictable
eye surgery in India. You see some phenomenal
science in medicine in northern Europe. Whether it’s the developed,
developing world, there’s some great science. But there’s certainly, in Europe, they are doing great
work at half the price with better outcomes. What’s wrong with creating
a market for healthcare, internationally? – (sighs) I don’t want a market, John. If I have a problem, I
just wanna get it fixed. I don’t wanna be part of some kind of a market system.
– You can’t afford. Many Americans
– Certainly I can go to Europe can’t afford, I don’t know. – All right, so John,
the do have domestic, and it’s not medical tourism. It’s more about centers
of excellence, right? – Mm hm.
– That makes sense. If you’re gonna be somewhere that doesn’t have the best surgeon, go somewhere else where either
they have a better surgeon, or where they’ll say, “You know what, you don’t
actually need surgery.” So, that’s not medical tourism. Centers of excellence, I’m with you for that.
– You’re getting way too complicated.
– It’s not as exciting. Sorry John, I’ll keep it
simple for you next time. – So David, what do you think about all these opioid manufacturers, and distributors, and
everyone getting sued? – John, if you look at the numbers, it’s just eye-popping. You know, in Oklahoma, which isn’t such a big state, Johnson & Johnson had
an award against them for something like $500
or $600 million dollars, which seems like nuts, if you multiply that
across all the states. On the other hand, 70 thousand people died of drug overdoses in the most recent year. Which has doubled from 10 years ago, which has doubled from
10 years before that, and it’s true, I think the damages are incalculable. I don’t think we can sue our way out of this problem, however. – But, I think there’s, aren’t there really two
different cases here? I think there’s a prudent insensible case, to prosecute those manufacturers, distributors, marketers, who promoted it as a
non-addictive quantity, when it is creating this monstrous plague on the U.S. society. And then, there are those
where they just happen to be involved somehow in this system, and there’s sort of a
chase for deep pockets. I think we ought to absolutely
prosecute those folks who mislead doctors and patients, and we should be spending
as much money as we can to break the back of this
growing healthcare crisis. So, there’s just, I think we’re trying to blame everyone who
touched the distribution, to me it seems kind of crazy. – Yeah, I mean, I think
criminal prosecution is probably a good idea,
at least for some folks. But John, here’s a suggestion for you, why don’t you go stand under that tree for the lightning round? – I’m ready. (beaming sound) – Obesity John, a serious issue. But is it really a
national security issue? – Of course it is. We’re getting to the point
where we’re too fat to fight. One out of every three
recruits is rejected because they can’t even meet
the minimum requirements of size, and of those serving, it’s one out of five are hitting obese. That’s crazy, and it’s dangerous. We need a strong lean fighting machine. – John, the crazy thing
is in World War Two, they rejected a lot of recruits ’cause they were too scrawny. I think it’s mainly a dining hall issue. They just gotta cut down the plate size. (beaming sound) John, the nursing shortage, is it real? Are you worried about it? – This nursing shortage thing comes up as a regular conversation,
every few years. No, we have, we can
recruit nurses from abroad. We can expand the schools, locally. As the boomers age, we’re gonna have, the real issue is I do think we’re gonna have regional dislocations. We’ll have almost 52
thousand too few nurses to serve California, and 40 thousand too
many nurses in Florida. That’s just a planning
and management issue. This is not a problem. What say you? – So John, I think it’s actually been kind of a false narrative that’s been put forward by
the nursing school deans that wanna recruit more
nurses to nursing school, and jack up the tuition. – And we love nurses.
– We do love of course we love nurses, John. But I’ll tell you what,
with the immigration if you crack down on immigrants, they’re not gonna be nurses, but what is gonna happen is
they’ll be replaced with robots. (beaming sound) – So David, are you gonna get your care at the UVA Healthcare System? – John, I’m thinkin’ about it because I saw that they kinda
cleared out the deadwood, so to speak, they sued
36 thousand patients for over $100 million dollars, and it’s sort of keeping people away. So, I figure I’ll waltz in there and I’ll have the place to myself. – The Kaiser Health News
really nailed it on this one. There are a lot of
hospitals around the country that are taking advantage of
their ability to sue people, but I think that the UVA
Healthcare system is remarkable. They sued for over $100 million, they sue for as much as a million dollars, and they will chase you
for as little as $1391. I mean it is really crazy. They’ve even sued their own
employees, for back debts. – Nice.
– This is a non-profit. It’s part of a university, it’s appalling. And I hope that this system
gets its act together because they actually do provide a lot of great medical support, there’s a lot of great
people trained there, this is unacceptable behavior. (beaming sound) So David, what’s your
back to school resolution? – John, I’m gonna keep it clean, and I’m gonna recycle
by using these things as pencil holders. – I’m getting him a new backpack. (beaming sound) – Well, that’s it for
another edition of CareTalk. I’m David Williams, president
of Health Business Group. – And I’m John Driscoll,
the CEO of CareCentrix. Thanks for watching.

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