The special airs Tuesday, September 25 at 7:00 p.m. on KUED
Intermountain Medical Center is featured in a new PBS documentary, Money and Medicine, produced by Roger Weisberg that puts a human face on the excessive health care spending that is doing little or nothing to improve medical outcomes for millions of patients.
In addition to illuminating the so-called waste and overtreatment that pervade our medical system,Money and Medicine will examine a few promising programs including Intermountain Healthcare that are proving it is possible to counteract the forces that drive unnecessary spending - that it is possible to reduce heath care costs, increase patient satisfaction, and improve overall quality of medical care.
Although the landmark health care bill that President Obama recently signed into law extends medical coverage to over 30 million Americans, the promise of providing quality health care to all Americans cannot be fulfilled until the country confronts the equally important challenge of controlling medical spending, says Money and Medicine producer Roger Weisberg. Unless something is done to "bend the cost curve," rampant cost increases could easily eviscerate the substantial gains made with this historic legislation.
Money and Medicineexplores the health care cost crisis, which undoubtedly will become the central focus of the next major health policy debate.
The patient stories at the heart of Money and Medicineare divided into three sections: diagnostic testing, acute care, and end-of-life treatment. Throughout each section, the special examines the growing body of evidence suggesting that a significant percentage of health spending may be causing more harm than benefit.
It also explores the various forces that drive health care cost escalation: technology and innovation; patient demands and expectations; an aging population; the threat of medical malpractice suits; and an insurance system that rewards providers for the quantity of procedures they perform while insulating patients from the costs of their medical decisions.
Finally, the patient stories shed light on some promising cost containment strategies like improving the coordination of patient care, facilitating informed patient decisions making, and practicing "evidenced based medicine." While eliminating wasteful medical spending without compromising the quality of care is much more easily said than done, Money and Medicine helps to advance the public debate surrounding this enormously difficult medical, ethical, economic, and political challenge.
Among those being interviewed is Utah physician Dr. Brent James, the Chief Quality Office at Intermountain Healthcare, who was featured on the cover of The New York Times Magazine in 2009 for his innovative ideas to changing healthcare.
Immediately following the national PBS documentary, KUED will air its own live studio production, Money and Medicine: Utah Perspectives at 8:00 p.m The half-hour special, hosted by former KTVX News anchor Barb Smith, includes Dr. Brent James, Chief Quality Officer at Intermountain Healthcare, who is featured in the PBS documentary as a cost containment expert. Also on the program is Rich McKeown who served under Governor Michael O. Leavitt at the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. Segments of an interview with Money and Medicine Producer Roger Weisberg conducted by KUED’s Ken Verdoia will be included as well.
Viewers are invited to submit questions to the guests via email by clicking here.