PBS Special “Money & Medicine” Explores the Dangers of Overdiagnosis and Overtreatment

Money & MedicineThis evening, PBS will air a special investigative report on the dangers of our current medical system. Money & Medicine takes us inside two world-renowned hospitals — UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles and Intermountain Medical Center in Utah — and shares first-hand stories of unnecessary medical spending, as well as effective methods for improving the overall quality of care and reducing costs.

Money & Medicine captures the variations of care from birth to death and paints a powerful picture of our country’s medical crisis. The film also depicts effective strategies currently practiced at UCLA and Intermountain that reduce wasteful medical spending and improve health care quality. These strategies include improving coordination of care, implementing shared decision making and practicing evidence-based medicine.

Dr. Michael Barry, president of the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation, is featured in the documentary discussing the controversy surrounding prostate cancer screening. “It really is a problem that we don’t have good comparative-effectiveness studies to show us that particularly in the more expensive treatments, things like robotic radical prostatectomy and proton beam therapy, despite being so much more expensive, are any better and they could even be worse in terms of cancer control or side effects,” says Michael.

Recent studies have shown that a third of all health care spending in the U.S. is unnecessary and by reducing the rates of overdiagnosis and overtreatment, we could save over 800 billion dollars a year. The U.S. pays more for medical care than any other country in the world — an astonishing 17.3% of our gross domestic product (GDP). Money & Medicine illustrates why the more-is-better approach is not just failing to provide the quality care that patients actually need and want, but will eventually lead the U.S. to bankruptcy.

“Money & Medicine” is now available for the public to watch on the program’s website.

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