Money-Driven Medicine—N.Y. Premiere of Film, June 11

At last, Money-Driven Medicine is finished.  This  90-minute documentary was produced by Alex Gibney, best known for his 2005 film, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room  and his 2007 Academy Award Winning documentary, Taxi to the Dark Side.

The film was directed by Andy Fredericks, and is based on my book, Money-Driven Medicine: The Real Reason Health Care Costs So Much (Harper Collins).

The Century Foundation and the New York Society for Ethical Culture are co-hosting the New York premiere on June11,  7p.m.  at the New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 West 64th Street at Central Park West. Doors open at 6:30.  Admission is free.  If you’re planning to attend, please RSVP  Loretta Ahlrich, ahlrich@tcf.org  or (212) 452-7722 so that we can have a rough idea of how many people will be coming.

Alex Gibney will be there to talk about the film, and following the screening, I’ll take questions from the audience about healthcare and healthcare reform.   

About the Film

Money-Driven Medicine explores how a profit-driven health care system squanders billions of health care dollars, while exposing millions of patients to unnecessary or redundant tests, unproven, sometimes unwanted procedures, and over-priced drugs and devices that, too often, are no better than the less expensive products they have replaced. As I have said on this blog, this isn’t just a waste of money. It’s ‘hazardous waste’—waste that is hazardous to our health.

In remarkably candid interviews both doctors and patients tell the riveting, sometimes funny, and often wrenching stories of a system where medicine has become a business. “We are paid to do things to patients,” says one doctor. “We are not paid to talk to them.”

Patients,and physicians star in the film. They include Dr. Don Berwick, author of Escape Fire and founder of the Institute for Health Care Improvement , and Dr. Jim Weinstein, Director of Dartmouth’s  Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.  ( Dr. Jack Wennberg,  the founder of what I often refer to as “the Dartmouth Research” passed the torch to Weinstein  in 2007.)

Lisa Lindell, a HealthBeat reader, patient advocate and author of  108 Days, also appears in the documentary, talking about her husband’s experience in a Texas hospital after he was seriously burned in a freak industrial accident. .  

How Physicians Inspired Money-Driven Medicine

I narrate the film, and in the course of the narration, recall how the story began:

“When I started writing the book, I began phoning doctors, explaining the project, and asking for interviews. To my great surprise the majority  of them returned my calls.  In most cases, I didn’t know them. I expected responses from perhaps 20 percent. Instead, four out of five called back.

“‘We want someone to know what is going on,’ explained one prominent physician in Manhattan. ‘But please don’t use my name. You have to promise me that. In this business, the politics are so rough—it would be the end of my career.’”

They were right. Everyone needs to know.

17 thoughts on “Money-Driven Medicine—N.Y. Premiere of Film, June 11

  1. Congratulations!
    Is the film going to be made available in various ways? For example will people (or libraries) be able to purchase a DVD?
    Will civic organizations be able to show it locally and will there be supporting material to go along with the film?

  2. That is so great to hear Maggie. I preach your gospel to all my coworkers. Being able to direct them to a documentary of the same will really help.

  3. Would like to see it. Will you link it on your site or you tube. Many more can see it this way.

  4. Reiterating the comments above, the book was terrific and I would love to link/spread the good word to medical students / physicians at UCLA.

  5. Everyone– thank you.
    The film’s producer has not yet signed a final deal with a distributor.
    The distributor will be arranging screenings, making DVDs available for sale, and negotiating a deal with television.
    In the coming months, the film company (and the distributor) wants to have as may screenings as possible all over the country to create “buzz” for the film, before releasing it nationwide on TV.
    I hope to be involved in arranging screenings this spring, summer and fall.
    So if you would like to host a screening, please send your name and address to me at maggiemahar@yahoo.com
    Just describe who your audience would be. (It doesn’t have to be huge– I’m told it could be a dozen friends viewing the film in your home (you would probably need a wide-screen TV.)
    It could be a medical school, a healthcare conference or a university. I’ll pass the information along, and see if we can send you a DVD.
    We definitely would like to see civic organizations host screenings.
    In term of supporting materials . . DVDs may be packaged for sale with the book.
    If it’s possible, I might try to arrange to have reprints of a couple of articles that I’ve written for Darmtouth Medicine about Jack Wennberg, Jim Weinstein and the Dartmouth research at screenings.
    DVDs definitely will be available for sale–to individuals and to institutions. I’ll have the details when the
    distributor finalizes the deal.
    If you know anyone involved in health care policy, please tell them about the film.
    In the meantime, please tell friends in the New York area about the June 11th screening!
    Best Maggie

  6. Self-Insured, self-administered, fighting the good fight. Would like to show this to new plan member orientations monthly; also to various professional associations. Maybe we could project it on the wall of some hospitals? Please post details when available.

  7. Hi Maggie
    I would be delighted to help you out, hosting a showing in my living room (I live in Natick, MA outside Boston) and at New England College where I am Adjunct Professor of Management

  8. This is no doubt a very interesting and contemporary topic to base a documentary film on. There are various perspectives and outcomes of the present profit-driven health care system.

  9. I hosted Maggie’s appearance on the University of Minnesota campus recently for a screening of the film and for a discussion afterward.
    It’s an important film, well done, with perspectives that will inform viewers and upset them emotionally. I know it did that to me.
    I hope many many people have the chance to see it.
    Regards,
    Gary Schwitzer
    Associate Professor
    Univ. of Minnesota
    School of Journalism

  10. This film sounds wonderful! How are we going to be able to show it in our communities?

  11. Hello Maggie, Keep up the good work! I just heard your program this morning on NPR where you were a guest. As a foreigner,I have never understood the fact that a lot of people boast…We American’s have choice! You summed it very aptly that the choice one might have interms of functionality vs. price in other purchases like a laptop somehow cannot be applied to healthcare when you have a life/death situation and one can’t go shoping. Is there anyway I could get involved in your cause as a management professional. – Soon to be a US Citizen?

  12. Hi.
    Just heard about your book and documentary on the news. You’ve hit the nail on the head. Funny thing though, the same thing that’s wrong with Health Care is what’s wrong with Washington, DC, and why they can’t get anything right. Could you maybe write another book called “Money-Driven Democracy”?
    Thanks….

  13. I heard a radio summary of this film on the radio today. Is this going to be shown on TV (like Bill Moyers)? Is it available online or at public libraries? Knowing the major (corporate) media, they probably won’t show it, and I am afraid that it may not be accessible to people who SHOULD see it!