How did our health care system get to be as broken as it is today? Alex Gibney, maker of Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, has released Money-Driven Medicine based on the book by Maggie Mahar of Health Beat. In 90 minutes it features interviews from health care insiders like Donald Berwick of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, doctors, and patients who reason that our health care system is not only expensive, but our outcomes are often worse than other developed nations. This film offers a thoughtful perspective to the health care reform debate that couldn’t be timelier.

Patient safety activist Lisa Lindell, author of 108 Days, appears in the documentary and shares her traumatic experience witnessing numerous medical errors while her husband was treated for burn injuries in a Texas hospital.

“Having our story featured in Money Driven Medicine is a landmark milestone for patient safety advocates across the country,” said Lindell. “We have all struggled for years to have our voices heard. I’m grateful for the opportunity to help educate others about our dangerous healthcare system by sharing our tragic story, a story shared by countless thousands of other patients and their families. I hope in my lifetime an experience like ours can never happen again in an American hospital.”

The Safe Patient Project thinks this is exactly the kind of film that needs to be seen by the public and health care reform advocates. Giving a background on how political decisions dating back to the 1970’s moved us farther away from evidence-based, quality care and towards costly, aggressive care that may harm patients, the film makes a strong case on why we need health care reform now.

Furthermore, the film provides solid proof that quality care is not rationing care, despite what opponents are claiming. In reality, health care reform legislation would incentivize hospitals to give you the right treatment the first time, so you don’t have to return and pay more to get well.

Money-Driven Medicine will run on the PBS show Bill Moyer’s Journal on Friday, August 28. (Check your local listings for time.)

Individuals will be able to rent the film online through Newsreel for home use anytime after August 28 for $2.99. According to the film’s website, there is no DVD available for home use at this time. Click here if you are an institution looking to purchase the film.