Patient Bob Berquist with Gregory Wagner, a doctor in the emergency department. Berquist, who volunteers at Fauquier Hospital, was admitted for low blood sugar when another nurse noticed he seemed dizzy.
It turns out we may not know nearly as much about all the money spent on health care in the U.S. as we thought we did.
But there's a new group that wants to, well, remedy that.
The problem, Martin Gaynor, chairman of the Health Care Cost Institute, told Shots, is that "two-thirds of the population has private [health] insurance, but most of the information comes from Medicare."
In 2008, Kimberly Fague was diagnosed with organ failure. Plagued by nausea, she lost a third of her body weight. She suffered from confusion and constant fatigue. Her liver and surrounding organs swelled to the point that she developed a hernia.
To get a feeling for what being sick in America is really like, and to help us understand the findings of our poll with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, NPR did a call-out on Facebook. We asked people to share their experiences of the health care system, and within 24 hours, we were flooded with close to 1,000 responses.
In the lull between the Supreme Court arguments over the federal health overhaul law and the decision expected in June, we thought we'd ask Americans who actually use the health system quite a bit how they view the quality of care and its cost.
Most surveys don't break it down this way.
When the results came back, we found that people who have a serious medical condition or who've been in the hospital in the past year tended to have more concerns about costs and quality than people who aren't sick. No big surprise there.