Diseases of Despair on ‘The Week in Health Law’ Podcast

By Nicolas Terry and Leo Beletsky 

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In April, 2018 the Northeastern University School of Law held a conference titled “Diseases of Despair: The Role of Policy and Law.” TWIHL was asked to be the event’s podcast partner and we roped in Leo Beletsky, our friend and one of the conference organizers, to act as co-host for two special TWIHL episodes. Professor Beletsky, holds a joint appointment with the Northeastern University School of Law and Bouvé College of Health Sciences. His research examines the use of law to improve health, with a focus on drug policy, reducing the spread of infectious disease, and the role of the criminal justice system in shaping public health outcomes. Continue reading

Andrew Torrance on ‘The Week in Health Law’ Podcast

By Nicolas Terry and Frank Pasquale

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This week we welcome Kansas University law professor Andrew W. Torrance, who teaches and conducts research in patent law, intellectual property, innovation, and so much more! Andrew is Earl B. Shurtz Research Professor at the University of Kansas School of Law, and a winner of a 2015 University Scholarly Achievement Award at the University of Kansas.

Andrew leads us through a couple of fascinating topics on the bleeding edge of law & technology. First, he discusses the use of a page ranking-like model to value patents. Second, he introduces us to some governance and related models applied in the synthetic biology community to avoid the tragedy of the commons and supplement or replace traditional IP protection. Our conversation covers both how cutting edge technology of network analysis can help us better understand law, and how law can better govern cutting edge technology like synthetic biology.

The Week in Health Law Podcast from Frank Pasquale and Nicolas Terry is a commuting-length discussion about some of the more thorny issues in Health Law & Policy. Subscribe at Apple Podcasts, listen at Stitcher Radio Tunein, or Podbean, or search for The Week in Health Law in your favorite podcast app. Show notes and more are at TWIHL.com. If you have comments, an idea for a show or a topic to discuss you can find us on Twitter @nicolasterry @FrankPasquale @WeekInHealthLaw.

Jamila Michener on ‘The Week in Health Law’ Podcast

By Nicolas Terry and Frank Pasquale

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A warm welcome to political scientist Jamila Michener, Assistant Professor in the Department of Government at Cornell University. Her research focuses on poverty and racial inequality in American politics. She is the author of a compelling new book, Fragmented Democracy: Medicaid, Federalism and Unequal Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2018). We discuss Medicaid’s policy and politics from her original perspective—how and why federalism (not to mention Section 1115 waivers) allows for unequal treatment of Medicaid recipients across out nation, and some of the damage to democratic institutions that result. An illuminating perspecive on both Medicaid policy and federalism, Fragmented Democracy is a great source of insights for lawyers, policymakers, and activists.

The Week in Health Law Podcast from Frank Pasquale and Nicolas Terry is a commuting-length discussion about some of the more thorny issues in Health Law & Policy. Subscribe at Apple Podcasts, listen at Stitcher Radio Tunein, or Podbean, or search for The Week in Health Law in your favorite podcast app. Show notes and more are at TWIHL.com. If you have comments, an idea for a show or a topic to discuss you can find us on Twitter @nicolasterry @FrankPasquale @WeekInHealthLaw.

Philip Rocco on ‘The Week in Health Law’ Podcast

By Nicolas Terry and Frank Pasquale

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A welcome to first-time Pod guest Philip Rocco. Philip is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Marquette University. His research examines the consequences of institutional fragmentation for the development of public policy, with a focus on the politics of health reform in the United States.

We cover a lot of territory inspired by Phil’s recent publications on Medicaid managed care data, all-payer claims databases, and public comments received during the Medicaid waiver process. Those interested in the politics and sociology of knowledge are in for a special treat as Rocco deftly applies findings in the social studies of science to cutting edge health law & policy debates.

A brief lightning round touches on ACA stabilization, more data about Indiana’s 1115 waiver, and the stinkbug-in-chief. The White House Council of Economic Advisors has also trumpeted gains in the key health care performance indicator of the Trump era: health insurer profitability, soon to be boosted by AHPs, MEWAs, and VA privatization.

The Week in Health Law Podcast from Frank Pasquale and Nicolas Terry is a commuting-length discussion about some of the more thorny issues in Health Law & Policy. Subscribe at Apple Podcasts, listen at Stitcher Radio Tunein, or Podbean, or search for The Week in Health Law in your favorite podcast app. Show notes and more are at TWIHL.com. If you have comments, an idea for a show or a topic to discuss you can find us on Twitter @nicolasterry @FrankPasquale @WeekInHealthLaw.

Rachel Sachs on ‘The Week in Health Law’ Podcast

By Nicolas Terry and Frank Pasquale

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​This week’s episode features a welcome return from Rachel Sachs, Associate Professor of Law at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. Rachel’s primary research interests lie at the intersection of patent law and health law, with a particular focus on problems of innovation and access and the ways in which law exacerbates or ameliorates these problems. She is a prolific scholar who has a knack for identifying cutting-edge research. We focus on her most recent publication, Delinking Reimbursement. We discuss various aspects of the drug price phenomenon, attempting to find some explanations for our current predicament, while exploring some possible solutions.

The Week in Health Law Podcast from Frank Pasquale and Nicolas Terry is a commuting-length discussion about some of the more thorny issues in Health Law & Policy. Subscribe at Apple Podcasts, listen at Stitcher Radio Tunein, or Podbean, or search for The Week in Health Law in your favorite podcast app. Show notes and more are at TWIHL.com. If you have comments, an idea for a show or a topic to discuss you can find us on Twitter @nicolasterry @FrankPasquale @WeekInHealthLaw.

Jeanne Lenzer on ‘The Week in Health Law’ Podcast

By Nicolas Terry and Frank Pasquale

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​We are joined by award-winning medical investigative reporter Jeanne Lenzer. We discuss her book, The Danger Within Us: America’s Untested, Unregulated Medical Device Industry and One Man’s Battle to Survive It. Lenzer puts forward strong arguments that the medical device industry is under-regulated, and that whistleblowers are insufficiently protected. Woven through her analysis is the story of one patient’s dangers and difficult journey involving an implanted device together. Related stories about physicians and researchers help leaven the medico-legal loaf with the human impact of this massive industry.

The Week in Health Law Podcast from Frank Pasquale and Nicolas Terry is a commuting-length discussion about some of the more thorny issues in Health Law & Policy. Subscribe at Apple Podcasts, listen at Stitcher Radio Tunein, or Podbean, or search for The Week in Health Law in your favorite podcast app. Show notes and more are at TWIHL.com. If you have comments, an idea for a show or a topic to discuss you can find us on Twitter @nicolasterry @FrankPasquale @WeekInHealthLaw.

Heather Howard on ‘The Week in Health Law’ Podcast

By Nicolas Terry and Frank Pasquale

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We welcome back one of the pod’s most popular guests. Heather Howard is a member of the faculty at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Previously, she served as New Jersey’s Commissioner of Health and Senior Services from 2008-2010. With her help we unpack the latest flurry of Section 1115 waiver approvals and Medicaid refractive surveillance apparatus. Some seem ripe for considerable skepticism, threatening the healthcare of many. Others, current or proposed, give some cause for cautious optimism.

In our lightning round, we discuss the latest judicial challenge to the ACA, a non-severability argument reprising themes of the key NFIB v. Sebelius dissent. We also discuss states’ asserting increasing ability to ignore aspects of the ACA, and the grim prospect of lifetime limits on Medicaid beneficiaries.

The Week in Health Law Podcast from Frank Pasquale and Nicolas Terry is a commuting-length discussion about some of the more thorny issues in Health Law & Policy. Subscribe at Apple Podcasts, listen at Stitcher Radio Tunein, or Podbean, or search for The Week in Health Law in your favorite podcast app. Show notes and more are at TWIHL.com. If you have comments, an idea for a show or a topic to discuss you can find us on Twitter @nicolasterry @FrankPasquale @WeekInHealthLaw.

Diane Hoffman on ‘The Week in Health Law’ Podcast

By Nicolas Terry and Frank Pasquale

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This week our guest is the Director of the Law and Health Care Program and Jacob A. France Professor of Health Care Law at the University of Maryland, Diane Hoffman. Diane has directed a groundbreaking, interdisciplinary team of researchers exploring the regulation of the human microbiome market, probiotics, and microbiota transplants. She was lead author on the 2017 Science article “Improving Regulation of Microbiota Transplants,” and recently published work in Gut Microbes, JLME, and the AJLM.

Diane has written influential articles in many subfields of health law, but today we focus on her work on the biome. The science is fascinating but the regulatory system is complex. Diane’s leadership in ELSI working groups researching these areas makes her the go-to source for ideas on the various options regulatory options (including by the FDA and FTC) and their potential impact on the growth of this new and rapidly evolving science.

The Week in Health Law Podcast from Frank Pasquale and Nicolas Terry is a commuting-length discussion about some of the more thorny issues in Health Law & Policy. Subscribe at Apple Podcasts, listen at Stitcher Radio Tunein, or Podbean, or search for The Week in Health Law in your favorite podcast app. Show notes and more are at TWIHL.com. If you have comments, an idea for a show or a topic to discuss you can find us on Twitter @nicolasterry @FrankPasquale @WeekInHealthLaw.

Nicole Huberfeld on ‘The Week in Health Law’ Podcast

By Nicolas Terry and Frank Pasquale

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Pod favorite and BU public health and law professor Nicole Huberfeld makes a welcome return. We discuss Medicaid work requirements, lockouts, and health literacy testing, and reflect on the new CMS-imagined Medicaid space. As CMS blows past its traditional guardrails, we ask, what are the limits for post-ACA Medicaid, a tightly controlled welfare benefit rather than universality-enabling health insurance? Are Medicaid work requirements a kind of human subject experimentation, or something even worse?

We review administrative law as we discuss Nicole’s superb commentary on CMS’s authority to accelerate workhouse 2.0. We end our discussion by weighing the possible legal challenges to the recent Section 1115 waiver plans. Also, we try to stay cheerful!

The Week in Health Law Podcast from Frank Pasquale and Nicolas Terry is a commuting-length discussion about some of the more thorny issues in Health Law & Policy. Subscribe at Apple Podcasts, listen at Stitcher Radio Tunein, or Podbean, or search for The Week in Health Law in your favorite podcast app. Show notes and more are at TWIHL.com. If you have comments, an idea for a show or a topic to discuss you can find us on Twitter @nicolasterry @FrankPasquale @WeekInHealthLaw.

Jake Sherkow on ‘The Week in Health Law’ Podcast

By Nicolas Terry and Frank Pasquale

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We welcome Jacob Sherkow, a law professor at the Innovation Center for Law and Technology, at New York Law School, with affiliations at Columbia University and the University of Copenhagen’s Center for Advanced Studies in Biomedical Innovation Law. Jacob teaches a variety of courses related to intellectual property. His research focuses on how scientific developments, especially in the biosciences, affect patent law and litigation.

Jacob is a prolific scholar, the author of over two dozen articles on these and related topics in both traditional law reviews and scientific journals. (The latest include “Cancer’s IP,” a vital policy intervention.) A scholar capable of both “big picture” and very fine-grained analysis, he is a great guide for bridging the worlds of health care law & policy, and intellectual property. Our conversation begins with an excellent CRISPR primer before traversing some fascinating questions about gene-editing patent litigation around the world, licensing issues, and the broader array of regulatory issues generated by such emerging technologies.

The Week in Health Law Podcast from Frank Pasquale and Nicolas Terry is a commuting-length discussion about some of the more thorny issues in Health Law & Policy. Subscribe at Apple Podcasts, listen at Stitcher Radio Tunein, or Podbean, or search for The Week in Health Law in your favorite podcast app. Show notes and more are at TWIHL.com. If you have comments, an idea for a show or a topic to discuss you can find us on Twitter @nicolasterry @FrankPasquale @WeekInHealthLaw.

Carl Ameringer on ‘The Week in Health Law’ Podcast

By Nicolas Terry and Frank Pasquale

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This week features a first time visit from Carl Ameringer, professor of health policy and politics at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. A lawyer with a PhD in political science, he is an expert on issues surrounding our national debate on health care reform. We discuss his latest book “US Health Policy and Health Care Delivery: Doctors, Reformers, and Entrepreneurs,” published by Cambridge University Press. Our conversation connects the past and future of American health care, from 19th century development to the ACOs of the ACA. We close with some reflections on path-dependence: is American exceptionalism a permanent impediment to health sector rationalization, or does it provide some models for improvement? Muddling through history, policy, and law has rarely been more edifying, and we hope you enjoy the conversation as much as we did.

The Week in Health Law Podcast from Frank Pasquale and Nicolas Terry is a commuting-length discussion about some of the more thorny issues in Health Law & Policy. Subscribe at Apple Podcasts, listen at Stitcher Radio Tunein, or Podbean, or search for The Week in Health Law in your favorite podcast app. Show notes and more are at TWIHL.com. If you have comments, an idea for a show or a topic to discuss you can find us on Twitter @nicolasterry @FrankPasquale @WeekInHealthLaw.

Carl Coleman on ‘The Week in Health Law’ Podcast

By Nicolas Terry and Frank Pasquale

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Seton Hall Law Professor Carl Coleman leads our deep dive into human subjects research, the revised common rule, and the future of data and biospecimen use. We discuss the reasons for the continued delays of the revised common rule, and debate some of its merits. We also add some comparative perspective as we explore researchers’ objections to aspects of both the original and revised rules. Carl has previously written on “rationalizing risk assessment” in research, and brings a wealth of experience to the discussion.

Carl has served as Bioethics and Law Adviser at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland, where he was one of the primary authors of the report, Ethical Considerations in Developing a Public Health Response to Pandemic Influenza. He has contributed to WHO reports on capacity building for research ethics committees, ethical issues in tuberculosis prevention, care, and control, research ethics in epidemic response efforts, standards and operational guidance for research ethics committees, and key issues in global health ethics. From 2010-2013, Carl was a member of the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections (SACHRP), which is charged with providing expert advice to the Office for Human Research Protections of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Week in Health Law Podcast from Frank Pasquale and Nicolas Terry is a commuting-length discussion about some of the more thorny issues in Health Law & Policy. Subscribe at Apple Podcasts, listen at Stitcher Radio Tunein, or Podbean, or search for The Week in Health Law in your favorite podcast app. Show notes and more are at TWIHL.com. If you have comments, an idea for a show or a topic to discuss you can find us on Twitter @nicolasterry @FrankPasquale @WeekInHealthLaw.

Dystopian Memes on ‘The Week in Health Law’ Podcast

By Nicolas Terry and Frank Pasquale

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It’s a stormy healthcare landscape out there, so this show is all lightning round. We cover several areas:

Litigation: Nic provides the Ariadne’s thread through a labyrinthine pharma-tort judgment out of California. The metal on metal hip litigation has resulted in a big judgment, but medical device regulation is still fundamentally broken. Disgruntled Centene enrollees are suing the ACA insurer of last resort for ultra-narrow networks (and Washington state is not happy, either). Washington may lead the way for future narrow network regulation or consent decrees. We followed up on the duodenoscope superbug litigation saga, focusing on duties to translate foreign language emails in discovery.

Regulation: We discussed a crisis in long-term care, following up on last week’s discussion with Paul Osterman. Medicare is not making it any easier for many who qualify for help. We reviewed the new priorities of HHS’s Conscience Rights, er, Civil Rights Division (and potential responses to conscience claims). The rise of Medicaid work requirements is a hot topic, as Kentucky Governor Bevin imposed them last week. Continue reading

Zack Buck on ‘The Week in Health Law’ Podcast

By Nicolas Terry and Frank Pasquale

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We welcome back our good friend Zack Buck, Professor of Law and Wilkinson Junior Research Professor at the University of Tennessee College of Law. He teaches bioethics and public health, torts, health care finance and organization, health care regulation and quality, and fraud and abuse. He is producing cutting edge  research on the relationship between reimbursement systems and  healthcare price and cost issues.

Our conversation includes some compelling “lightning” stories, including wellness plans, Maryland’s potential state mandate, the Health Affairs retirement of the great Tim Jost, and Medicaid work requirements. Then Zack demonstrated his true mettle, answering questions about MACRA/MIPS, value bundle reimbursement models, and state law attempts to reel in drug costs.

On that last topic: past show guests Aaron Kesselheim and Ameet Sarpatwari will be speaking at Maryland Law on March 8th, along with other health policy superstars; more details to come!

The Week in Health Law Podcast from Frank Pasquale and Nicolas Terry is a commuting-length discussion about some of the more thorny issues in Health Law & Policy. Subscribe at Apple Podcasts, listen at Stitcher Radio Tunein, or Podbean, or search for The Week in Health Law in your favorite podcast app. Show notes and more are at TWIHL.com. If you have comments, an idea for a show or a topic to discuss you can find us on Twitter @nicolasterry @FrankPasquale @WeekInHealthLaw.

Paul Osterman on ‘The Week in Health Law’ Podcast

By Nicolas Terry and Frank Pasquale

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This week’s pod features labor economist Paul Osterman, Professor of Human Resources and Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management. His research concerns changes in work organization within companies, career patterns and processes within firms, economic development, urban poverty, and public policy surrounding skills training and employment programs.

His most recent book is “Who Will Care For Us: Long Term Care and the Long Term Workforce,” which is the basis for our discussion. Paul digs deep, exposing a byzantine non-system of care for the elderly and disabled. (This week’s episode complements our earlier engagements with eldercare in the work of political scientist Laura Katz Olson (Episode 98) and law professor Allison Hoffman (Episode 73).

He offers a nuanced and multifaceted program for improving the lives of both the disabled in need of care, and the workers who provide that care. He argues that the expansion of the role of direct care workers, including more and better training for them, “will save the system money, both by obtaining better health outcomes—thereby reducing visits to emergency rooms, hospitals, and nursing homes—and by shifting some tasks to lower-paid occupations.” Our discussion covers the demographics of care workers, scope of practice issues, the role of Medicare and Medicaid, possible technological innovations, and quality regulation.

The Week in Health Law Podcast from Frank Pasquale and Nicolas Terry is a commuting-length discussion about some of the more thorny issues in Health Law & Policy. Subscribe at Apple Podcasts, listen at Stitcher Radio Tunein, or Podbean, or search for The Week in Health Law in your favorite podcast app. Show notes and more are at TWIHL.com. If you have comments, an idea for a show or a topic to discuss you can find us on Twitter @nicolasterry @FrankPasquale @WeekInHealthLaw.

Andrea Matwyshyn on ‘The Week in Health Law’ Podcast

By Nicolas Terry and Frank Pasquale

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A special holiday, near-double episode of TWIHL, featuring a return visit from Andrea Matwyshyn, Professor of Law at Northeastern University, co-director of NEU law school’s Center for Law, Innovation, and Creativity (CLIC), and a US-UK Fulbright Commission Cyber Security Scholar (2016-2017). In addition to her appointment on the law faculty, she is a professor of computer science (by courtesy).

The episode focused on AI, regulation of cutting edge medical devices, and security. We mentioned, in passing, explainable AI, European regulation to require it in certain settings, the general problems raised by AI in health care, and recent developments regarding both mental health apps and devices. Andrea developed her idea of the “Internet of Bodies,” making a compelling case that the law of software liability needs to evolve to address the high stakes of software failure in critical medical devices. We concluded with some year-end reflections on the annus horribilis we shall gladly bid adieu in 10 days. In the meantime, happy holidays to all our listeners!

The Week in Health Law Podcast from Frank Pasquale and Nicolas Terry is a commuting-length discussion about some of the more thorny issues in Health Law & Policy. Subscribe at Apple Podcasts, listen at Stitcher Radio Tunein, or Podbean, or search for The Week in Health Law in your favorite podcast app. Show notes and more are at TWIHL.com. If you have comments, an idea for a show or a topic to discuss you can find us on Twitter @nicolasterry @FrankPasquale @WeekInHealthLaw.

Wendy Mariner on ‘The Week in Health Law’ Podcast

By Nicolas Terry and Frank Pasquale

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This week features a welcome return to the pod by Boston University health law professor Wendy Mariner. The three of us present an expanded “lighting round.” We discuss the almost-gone individual mandate, Murray-Alexander, deficit hawks targeting Medicare, the ramifications of the CVS-Aetna merger, the CMS Guidance on the contraceptive services opt-out, and a new health security settlement out of California.

Frank also mentions Centene as a potential kingpin of further health care consolidation, and his testimony before Congress on Nov. 30. TWIHL may well be the only podcast on earth to have both co-hosts before the House Energy & Commerce Committee the same year. So be sure to subscribe! And Frank welcomes AALS attendees to a panel on health law in San Diego on January 4. “From Obamacare to Trumpcare: The Future of American Healthcare” will be 10:30am – 12:00pm at the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina, Pacific Ballroom 22, North Tower/Level 1.

The Week in Health Law Podcast from Frank Pasquale and Nicolas Terry is a commuting-length discussion about some of the more thorny issues in Health Law & Policy. Subscribe at Apple Podcasts, listen at Stitcher Radio Tunein, or Podbean, or search for The Week in Health Law in your favorite podcast app. Show notes and more are at TWIHL.com. If you have comments, an idea for a show or a topic to discuss you can find us on Twitter @nicolasterry @FrankPasquale @WeekInHealthLaw.

Leo Beletsky on ‘The Week in Health Law’ Podcast

By Nicolas Terry and Frank Pasquale

Subscribe to TWIHL here!

This week features another return visit from Leo Beletsky, our friend and Northeastern University School of Law professor. Leo is a fearless critic of misguided approaches to the opioid crisis. His take is far more nuanced, using a public health frame to understand the crisis and employing evidence-based analysis to determine appropriate responses. Our wide-ranging conversation included analysis of attempts to combat crisis though law enforcement and interdiction, the inapplicability of the “vector” epidemic frame to opioids, and primary, secondary, and tertiary public health interventions.

We briefly mentioned Frank’s talk in Berlin at the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (the think tank of Germany’s Social Democratic Party) discussing the interaction of black hat search engine optimization and addiction rehab referral.

Our lightning round discussed the latest legislative attacks on the ACA (this time through a potential individual mandate repeal), as well as some additional health policy issues.

The Week in Health Law Podcast from Frank Pasquale and Nicolas Terry is a commuting-length discussion about some of the more thorny issues in Health Law & Policy. Subscribe at Apple Podcasts, listen at Stitcher Radio Tunein, or Podbean, or search for The Week in Health Law in your favorite podcast app. Show notes and more are at TWIHL.com. If you have comments, an idea for a show or a topic to discuss you can find us on Twitter @nicolasterry @FrankPasquale @WeekInHealthLaw.

Vinay Prasad on ‘The Week in Health Law’ Podcast

By Nicolas Terry and Frank Pasquale

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Renowned hematologist-oncologist, researcher, and writer Vinay Prasad joins us to discuss his views on modern clinical and research practice. A prolific scholar, Prasad has been upending conventional wisdom for years. We discuss the effectiveness (or not) of cancer screening, a more realistic take on the cancer moonshot, and continual conflicts of interest issues in medicine. Be sure to follow Vinay on Twitter @VinayPrasad82.

Our lightning round focused on work requirements for Medicaid (and 1115 waivers in general), scoring the individual mandate, the alchemy of precious metal tiers in an age of Trump, and why the shopping metaphor is so misguided in health care.

The Week in Health Law Podcast from Frank Pasquale and Nicolas Terry is a commuting-length discussion about some of the more thorny issues in Health Law & Policy. Subscribe at Apple Podcasts, listen at Stitcher Radio Tunein, or Podbean, or search for The Week in Health Law in your favorite podcast app. Show notes and more are at TWIHL.com. If you have comments, an idea for a show or a topic to discuss you can find us on Twitter @nicolasterry @FrankPasquale @WeekInHealthLaw.