Segments in this Video

Medicine as Business (02:43)


The current medical system is not designed to meet the healthcare needs of the nation. It is designed to protect the interests of insurance and pharmaceutical companies.

Emergency Room Visits (03:27)

People with chronic conditions use emergency rooms instead of seeing their primary care physicians. Viewers observe several people telling ER personnel about their physical problems.

Decline in Medical Care (02:31)

Author Maggie Mahar describes the process of gathering information for her book. Nearly everyone she interviewed complained about the declining quality of medical care. Viewers learn about the index used in rating healthcare systems.

Medical System Problems (01:25)

Dr. Donald Berwick argues that nearly all healthcare professionals are passionate, helpful people stuck in a system that doesn't work. Medical school grads are burdened with enormous debts.

Fee Schedules (01:58)

America's medical system is directed primarily at "doing something," such as tests, procedures, surgery, and more. What is valued less is the time doctors spend talking with their patients.

Primary Care Doctors (02:45)

Primary care doctors, generalists, and family doctors are not valued as much and not paid as well as specialists. The number of primary care doctors continues to fall.

Bioethics (01:54)

Bio-ethicist Dr. Larry Churchill teaches his medical students to face the most difficult ethical questions about delivering medical care in a profit-driven system.

Pressures on Doctors (03:18)

Is medicine nothing more than an industrial product? Doctors are pressured to spend no more than 15 minutes with each patient, no matter how complex the diagnosis. Doctors wrestle with insurance companies.

Productivity vs. Patient Care (03:12)

Doctors and hospitals increase profits by "doing more" rather than by achieving certain results. Productivity is valued by patients as well. They want their doctor "to do" something so that they believe the visit was productive.

Technology and Medicine (02:57)

The idea that technologies can be turned into cures intrigues technology-driven Americans. Instead of American health perspectives focusing on public health and how to make it better, people get caught up in technological interventions for health problems.

Supply-Driven Health Care (06:32)

Out of the $2 trillion spent on health care, 1/3 is wasted on overpriced drugs, devices, and more. Insurance companies pressured the health care system in the 1990s to give fewer procedures, but HMO procedures were determined on costs and not health benefits.

Who Determines Medical Care? (04:30)

A physician notes that "informed consent" is too often "informed persuasion." His personal experience with his daughter's leukemia treatments reveals the medical community's shortsightedness about patients and families making choices about procedures and long-term treatment.

Medical Competition (04:37)

Doctors are trained to think about what is best for their patients' care. They are not trained well in the process of empowering their patients to share in decision making. Viewers learn about the intense competition among hospitals.

Care or Cure? (04:51)

A woman recounts the events following her husband's burn accident. The hospital, she believes, did not care that he was screaming in agony all night long. Maggie Mahar notes that the emphasis on "care" has shifted to "cure".

Business of Medicine (04:00)

A massive health complex headquartered in Nashville started with three hospital groups that spawned hundreds of hospitals and other healthcare related businesses. After Medicare was passed, the medical-industrial complex really took off.

Business Management of Healthcare (01:41)

When it was clear just how much money could be made in the medical sector, corporations moved in to manage the physicians. Now, CEOs of hospitals are more likely to have an MBA and no medical degree.

Society vs. Economy (02:31)

The long battle for healthcare reform has gone on for over half a century. Medicine should not be all about money, one physician asserts. We live in a society and not just an economy. America's healthcare system was not designed to meet health care needs.

Hospital-Generated Injuries (02:41)

A wife continues the nightmare story of her husband's hospitalization. Many people's health conditions worsen after hospital admission. It is estimated that each year 15 million injuries to patients occur in American hospitals.

Medical Crises (03:41)

A man who was admitted to a burn unit continues to worsen in the hospital. One medical crisis after another plagues the man. His wife said her husband's care was a revolving door of doctors who did not communicate with one another.

A Father's Loss (05:19)

A physician follows doctors' orders over the years to help his daughter diagnosed with leukemia. He was lied to and misled many times by other physicians. His daughter died at age 12.

Doctor/Patient Relationship (04:55)

A doctor explains that he loves his work because he is part of a "beehive" where everyone is helping someone else. He loves working with patients on a personal level and. keeps patients informed about their conditions.

Family Frustrations (03:45)

A physician reflects on his daughter's illness and wishes he had known more about his options. A burn victim suffered many other injuries and procedures in the hospital. His wife reflects on the daily frustrations of dealing with hospital staff while her husband suffered.

Unsustainable Healthcare System (02:18)

Because health care is a growth industry, costs will continue to rise until middle class people will be unable to afford healthcare. There could be a day when only the elite have access to healthcare.

Is America's Healthcare System the Best? (03:06)

Some naive politicians believe America has the greatest system in the world. Health care is 16% of America's GDP. At its foundation, health is about two people working toward the same goal--better health.

Credits: Money-Driven Medicine (00:60)

Credits: Money-Driven Medicine

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

Money-Driven Medicine

3-Year Streaming Price: $199.95



The U.S. spends twice as much per person on health care as the average industrialized nation, yet its outcomes are often worse. The reason? The U.S. is the only developed country that has turned medicine into a largely unregulated, for-profit enterprise. Inspired by Maggie Mahar’s acclaimed book, Money-Driven Medicine: The Real Reason Health Care Costs So Much, this program offers a behind-the-scenes look at America’s $2.6 trillion health care system, how it went wrong, and what it will take to fix it. With commentary from frustrated doctors and outraged patients, the video alerts Americans that universal coverage is just the first step in a long and arduous battle for comprehensive reform. (82 minutes)

Length: 82 minutes

Item#: BVL49799

Copyright date: ©2009

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

“One of the strongest documentaries I have seen in years…”  —Bill Moyers 


“This outstanding film helps us all understand why [health care] reform is essential.”  —Dr. Elliott S. Fisher, Director of The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice


“A great film…does a superb job laying out the policy challenges for the next decade if we are to provide all Americans a medical home and effective, high quality care while containing costs.”  —Dr. Jay Siwek, Georgetown University Medical Center 


“In the midst of all the hollering comes a calm, quiet new documentary that offers another diagnosis of what’s ailing the American healthcare system. What makes Money-Driven Medicine so compelling is how the film listens to patients, and even more, to doctors.”  —Terry Moran, Nightline

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video and Dealer customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.