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Money & Medicine

An investigation of the dangers the nation faces from runaway health care spending as well as the dangers patients face from over-diagnosis and over-treatment.

A printer-friendly version of this page 83 minutes
Directed by Roger Weisberg
Produced by Public Policy Productions
Editor: Pascal Akesson
Cinematography: Sandra Chandler
Sound: Alan Barker
Composer: Richard Fiocca, Fred Karns
Design and Animation: Bill Bergeron-Mirsky
Production Manager: Suzanne Beffa

"Should be required viewing for every patient, physician, and politician." Amitabh Chandra, Professor of Public Policy, Harvard University
As rising health care costs threaten to bankrupt the country, MONEY & MEDICINE tackles the medical, ethical, and financial challenges of containing runaway health care spending. In addition to illuminating the so-called waste and overtreatment that pervade our medical system, this timely documentary explores promising ways to reduce health care expenditures and improve the overall quality of medical care.

MONEY & MEDICINE was filmed at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles and Intermountain Medical Center in Utah. While UCLA ranks among the nation's top academic medical centers, it spends considerably more than the national average on patient care. In contrast, Intermountain spends about a third less than the national average and is a model for low cost/high quality medical care. The dramatic doctor/patient stories filmed at these two hospitals illuminate the powerful forces driving soaring health care costs as well as proven strategies that effectively reign in excessive medical spending.

With remarkable candor, MONEY & MEDICINE captures the painful end-of-life treatment choices made by patients and their families, ranging from very aggressive interventions in the ICU to palliative care at home. The film also investigates the controversy surrounding diagnostic testing and screening as well as the shocking treatment variations among patients receiving a variety of elective procedures.

As the focus of health care reform shifts from the access crisis to the cost crisis, MONEY & MEDICINE makes a timely contribution to the debate over cost containment and deficit reduction that is heating up as we approach the 2012 presidential election.

Grade Level: 10 - 12, College, Adults
US Release Date: 2012     Copyright Date: 2012
DVD ISBN: 1-93777-213-6

"Money and Medicine is a powerfully insightful view of the challenges that result from a medical system that profits from disease care. We can't move forward until we recognize these current economic barriers. This film offers a mirror for a medical system that is in need of self-reflection towards recognizing dysfunctional habits. It offers opportunities for change towards a new path that has health as its primary intent."
Dr. David Rakel, Founder and Director, Integrative Medicine Program, Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, University of Wisconsin

"A fascinating documentary. By contrasting two very different health care systems--UCLA and Intermountain in Utah--Roger Weisberg brilliantly illustrates the dedication of health care practitioners, ethical dilemmas facing patients and doctors, and the fundamental fiscal and clinical challenges facing our U.S. health care system."
Dr. Jonathan Skinner, Professor of Economics, Professor of Family and Community Medicine, Dartmouth College

"Money and Medicine should be required viewing for every patient, physician, and politician. It thoughtfully describes what ails American healthcare and highlights the tremendous opportunities to make it well, and to do more with less. I will use it in my own health policy and health economics classes."
Amitabh Chandra, Professor of Public Policy, Harvard University

"An excellent and thoughtful treatment of this important subject. Money and Medicine deserves the widest possible exposure because it explains clearly why our health system is so expensive and inefficient, and shows what needs to be done about it. I hope this engrossing film enjoys the popular success it should have. It could very likely help to create public support for the reforms we need."
Dr. Arnold S. Relman, Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Social Medicine, Harvard University, Author, A Second Opinion: Rescuing America's Health Care

"Honest, hard-hitting discussion of a topic critical for all Americans. These are highly qualified experts with on-the-ground experience and a comprehensive view of what needs to be done to save healthcare."
John Griffith, Professor Emeritus, Department of Health Management and Policy, University of Michigan, Author, The Well-Managed Health Care Organization

"A hard hitting, thoughtful documentary...It addresses challenging ethical, financial, professional, and human issues with appropriate nuance and stark frankness...Poignantly illustrated are major differences in medical economics comparing approaches of two major health systems to identical issues. This documentary belongs in every medical school curriculum and should be viewed by health professionals who are concerned about runaway costs across the US."
Dr. Victor Sierpina, Professor of Integrative Medicine, Professor of Family Medicine, University of Texas

"Using heart-wrenching personal dramas, Weisberg insightfully puts a human face on unnecessary procedures that may do more harm than good. An eye-opening account of an unrestrained system feeding on itself, Money and Medicine not only enlightens, but also gives hope that it is not too late for us to afford the quality medical care we deserve."
Sandy Wolf, Cinequest Film Festival

"How long should a life be prolonged by medical technology? A powerful and timely documentary, Money and Medicine takes on this difficult subject."
San Luis Obispo International Film Festival

"Excellent description of some of the big issues in modern medicine. Money and Medicine hits the mark."
Dr. Lewis R. Goldfrank, Director, Emergency Medicine, Bellevue Hospital Center and NYU Medical Center

"Money and Medicine is smashing. Every American needs to watch this."
Tom Emerick, Chief Strategy Officer, Laurus Strategies

"Terrific! [The filmmakers have] taken a subject that can be so complicated and explained it so effectively...[The film] doesn't just illuminate the problem but demonstrates that there is an alternative...A very persuasive aid for people working for health care reform. Bravo!"
Julie Salamon, Author, Hospital

"Incredibly important and impressive!...Very effective in telling the story of the healthcare predicament we are in."
Rabbi Richard Jacobs, President, Union for Reform Judaism

DVD $295
DVD $95
Reduced rates for activist and grassroots groups. Please inquire.

The Film's Website

Awards and Festivals
Platinum Remi Award, WorldFest Houston
Best Documentary Director, Los Angeles Film, TV & Webisode Festival
The Film Society of Lincoln Center's Art of the Real Festival
CineQuest Film Festival
San Luis Obispo Film Festival
Palm Beach International Film Festival
Arizona Film Festival
Breckenridge Festival of Film

American Studies
Business Practices
Hospital Management
Political Science

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... more Reviews

"Nicely balanced...Should help to provoke the sort of healthy public discussion that we need."
Dr. Neil Wenger, Chair, Ethics Committee, UCLA Medical Center

"Superb...It was obviously fair, as well as sympathetic about the huge challenges that are out there...Will really get lots of people thinking."
Dr. Jerome Hoffman, Professor Emeritus, Emergency Medicine, UCLA Medical Center

"As health care costs continue to soar, these crucial questions and related problems concerning the phenomenon of overtreatment need to be faced head-on. Perhaps Money and Medicine's most important lesson lies in its emphasis on the importance of peer review and the group pooling of information among medical professionals...Highly recommended."
The Midwest Book Review


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