The FLATLINING Podcast brings you great healthcare analysis and discussion each week from industry experts who know their way around politics, economics, and a doctors office. Subscribe for more great content and check out the articles at


March 22, 2023 31 min

This week on the FLATLINING Podcast, Matthew and Ron discuss the new weight loss drug by Novo Nordisk ($NVO ) called Wegovy and how it and similar drugs could change America’s public health. Plus, they talk about why insurance companies aren’t covering it and how and when that could change.

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This week on the FLATLINING Podcast, Matthew and Ron briefly discuss the closures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. What do the closures say about the rest of the economy?

Then they talk about the deal reached in North Carolina to expand Medicaid and reform the Certificate of Need laws. How soon can a group open an ambulatory surgery center (ASC) or operate and MRI machine? Will this help bring down costs for patients?


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In this episode of the FLATLINING Podcast, Matthew and Ron discuss two news items. First, they talk about new data that shows more physicians died during the COVID-19 pandemic than previously expected, fueling the already-created physician shortage. What happens if there aren’t enough physicians?

Then, they discuss a new bill in the state of Indiana that claims to help regulate some of the state’s largest hospital systems. Ron ex...

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This week, Matthew and Ron continue their discussion on the different ideas for reforming healthcare. In this episode, they focus on some of Senator Bernie Sanders’ priorities as the new chair of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee in the United States Senate and different proposals to save Medicare from becoming insolvent.

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February 22, 2023 33 min

On the FLATLINING Podcast this week, Matthew and Ron begin a short series explaining the different proposals floating around in this Congress to “fix” or reform healthcare. In this episode, they discuss some of the contents of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s Commitment to America and why some states are attempting to pass a public option.

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This week, Judge Jeremy Kernodle ruled against the Department of Health and Human Services (again) in a lawsuit surrounding the No Surprises Act. The Texas Medical Association and others were plaintiffs in the case and had previously taken the Biden Administration to court over HHS’ creation of the Interim Final Rule. Last year, Judge Kernodle ruled that HHS had not followed proper procedure and effectively tried to re-write the ...

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On this FLATLINING Podcast Short, Matthew takes a look back at an episode Ron did in 2020 about then-candidate Joe Biden’s healthcare platform. He focused his healthcare policy on a few things: lowering the Medicare age, adding a public option, drug reform, and surprise billing.

Matthew takes a look at how well President Biden has stuck to those campaign platforms ahead of the State of the Union and at the halfway point of Presid...

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Last week, the US hit the debt ceiling and now Democrats and Republicans are pointing fingers and arguing about what might happen next. The debt ceiling affects the US government’s ability to pay its bills; one of those big bills is Medicare. So, what happens next? Should providers expect to get paid for Medicare services? What about Medicare Advantage reimbursement? Matthew and Ron break it down for you.

Plus: A look back at a...

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This week on the FLATLINING Podcast, Ron and Matthew discuss the 2023 Medicare fee schedule. Congress, in the omnibus spending bill last year, averted a 4.5% cut by giving providers a 2.4% increase thus bringing the total cut to 2.1%. (-4.5+2.4=2.1). Ron explains how the math is done and what Medicare looks like for 2024.

In UnitedHealth Group’s 2022 finan...

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This week on the FLATLINING Podcast, Ron and Matthew spend the whole show breaking down the saga of Dale Folwell and the North Carolina State Health Plan. Since 2019, State Treasurer Folwell has sought to see and set the provider reimbursement rates for the self-funded health plan for state employees. The plan uses the BlueCross and BlueShield of North Carolina network. Last week, Treasurer Folwell announced the state health pla...

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This week on the FLATLINING Podcast, Matthew and Ron take on the money-related topics of medical debt and orphan drugs. Who does medical debt hurt more: patients or providers? Is Medicare for All or single payor healthcare the solution to medical debt?

Drug companies make billions on orphan drugs, meant for a small number of people with very serious illnesses. Is this ethical? What was the purpose of the Orphan Drug Act? How ca...

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December 28, 2022 47 min

As we wrap up our best of 2022 programs, we want to thank you again for listening to the FLATLINING Podcast this year. Please remember to like and share it so that more people can find it and we can grow this podcast into something spectacular! If you’re listening on Apple Podcasts, be sure to give us five stars!

Our second most listened to segment of 2022 was our first episode where Ron and I discussed healthcare economics. Econ...

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December 21, 2022 38 min

This week on the FLATLINING Podcast, we begin our retrospective on the most listened-to segments from the year. This episode features our bonus episode on Dr. Joseph Mercola and our discussion on healthcare being a “fact-free zone.”

Thank you for your listenership throughout this first year of the FLATLINING Podcast. We are very excited for what Year Two will bring and we’ll have more details after the first of the year.

Be sure t...

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This week on the podcast, Ron and Matthew take an in-depth look at the proposed cuts to Medicare reimbursement in 2023. How will it affect physician practices? How will it affect patients? Can it be avoided? Is this the end of Medicare as we know it? All of that on this special episode of the FLATLINING Podcast.

Let us know what you think in the comments below, email us at, or tweet Matthew or Ron.


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December 7, 2022 56 min

On this edition of the FLATLINING Podcast, Matthew and Ron discuss three analysis pieces about the future of healthcare. They take a look at whether the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) needs to be reformed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, if America is on a slippery slope towards socialized medicine, and whether the direct primary care model works.

Let us know what you think in the comments below, email us at ...

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November 30, 2022 53 min

This week on the FLATLINING Podcast, Matthew and Ron discuss some healthcare money news. The State of New York now has a law that prohibits home liens and wage garnishing to recoup medical debt. What does that mean for providers and hospitals? And some conservatives are frustrated about $55 million being spent to reduce smoking. Ron thinks this is actually a good investment and will explain why.

Matthew and Ron also take a look ...

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Former Cigna ($CI ) executive Wendell Potter and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL09) wrote in NEWSWEEK that Medicare Advantage plans scam seniors. Ron and Matthew discuss this and you may be surprised by the answer. Plus, what does a divided government mean for healthcare policy? Is there any bipartisan thing that can get done? Also, you won’t want to miss the discussion on the 340B program and how hospitals rake in profits.

Let us kno...

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In this bonus episode, Matthew and Ron discuss the internet-famous Dr. Joseph Mercola and a recent article of his in the Epoch Times. In this article, he claims the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration are covering up data about the COVID-19 vaccines. He’s cried wolf before about things as crazy as bed springs, so is there any veracity to his claims now?

Let us know what you think in the ...

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This week, Matthew and Ron talk share their analysis on the 2022 midterms and what it means for healthcare. Will Medicare reimbursement be cut in 2023? Then they discuss’s ($AMZN ) new Amazon Clinic; it is their answer to telehealth. Plus, the Cleveland Clinic is going to start charging for MyChart messages.

Let us know what you think in the comments below, email us at, or tweet Matthew or Ron...

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November 9, 2022 47 min

This week’s episode focuses on cybersecurity, healthcare business headlines, and hot takes on daylight savings time. Are hospitals doing everything they can to protect our personal health information? Should HIPPA be reformed? What does Walgreens Boots Alliance’s purchase of VillageMD mean for quality, access, and affordability? And are there health effects from Christmas music and daylight savings time?

Let us know what you thi...

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