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Escape Fire: Fight to Rescue American Healthcare

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Product Details

  • Actors: Don Berwick, Dean Ornish, Andrew Weil, Shanon Brownlee, Wendell Potter
  • Directors: Matthew Heineman, Susan Froemke
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • DVD Release Date: February 26, 2013
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (383 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00AJLHU80
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,599 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The award-winning Sundance hit documentary ESCAPE FIRE: THE FIGHT TO RESCUE AMERICAN HEALTHCARE tackles one of the most pressing issues of our time: how can we save our badly broken healthcare system? Co-directed by Matthew Heineman and Academy Award® nominee Susan Froemke (Lalee's Kin: The Legacy of Cotton), this thought-provoking documentary exposes a U.S. healthcare system designed to profit from disease not health, reward quantity over quality, and promote high-tech over high-touch. ESCAPE FIRE interweaves dramatic personal stories with the efforts of leaders battling to transform healthcare at the highest levels of medicine, industry, government, and even the U.S. military. BONUS FEATURES: Audio commentary with the directors, a "making of" featurette, deleted and extended scenes from the film, updates on some of the main stories, and clips from the Sundance World Premiere.


A must-see! 'An Inconvenient Truth' for the healthcare debate. --Anthony Kaufman, The Village Voice

Turns an unwieldy, Medusa-headed topic into a convincingly humane argument for change...This hardhitting film leaves us finally more hopeful than despairing. --Jeannette Catsoulis, NY Times Critic's Pick

Cogent, convincing, determinedly non-ideological, ESCAPE FIRE tells us that everything we think we know about that incendiary topic might be wrong. --Kenneth Turan, LA Times

Customer Reviews

I know SO many folks I'm hoping will watch this.
Geraldine Bell
Most doctors will NEVER discuss changing your eating habits because THERE IS NO MONEY IN HEALTH!!!!
Brian T.
This documentary is eye opening to what the american health care system is like for so many people.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 79 people found the following review helpful By David Haybron on October 15, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
The film starts with a story about the Mann Gulch fire in 1949 in a forest preserve in Montana. As most of the crew ran away from the fire just a few yards behind them one of the few survivors lit a match setting fire to grass in front of him and successfully creating a circle of protection around him later called an "escape fire". Firefighters outside this region perished creating a metaphor for the current state of healthcare in United States. That being that the entire system will likely not be reformed and that smaller focused efforts will likely create immediate corrections in the many deficiencies in delivery of healthcare plaguing the current system.

Although the film was somewhat weak on providing supporting details, it was nevertheless, thought-provoking and insightful. It outlined multiple corporate interests including the insurance industry, the legal lobby, big pharmaceuticals, and device manufacturers who all profit from maintaining status quo. "They don't want you to die, but they don't want you to get better.... they just want you coming back". It points out that virtually all financial incentives in delivery of healthcare in America are ultimately based on increased numbers, volume and productivity rather then quality, outcomes or effectiveness of a given treatment.

A former insurance executive correctly pointed out that insurance companies with the expectation that most policyholders will change insurers as frequently as one a year have little incentive to pay for preventative medicine. It is contrary to the interest of the insurance company shareholders.

Fast tracking of the drug of Avandia by the FDA, which was recalled due to its 30% increased risk of cardiac complications after becoming the world's most widely prescribed diabetes medication.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By SBW on February 5, 2013
Format: DVD
The film depicts the true state of affairs in the U.S. A publication from the National Research Council Jan. 2013 "Shorter Lives, Poorer Health" which describes the U.S. when compared to 16 peer countries. The reasons from the film is in large part:
I. Medical Industrial Complex
II. Dr.Donald Berwick recent director of Medicare/Medicaid (CMS) blamed the medical industrial lobbyists.
And the record confirms:

III. In 2005 Sept./Oct. Health Affairs, an academic journal, published 4 articles by experts about the current status of Electronic Health Care(EHR). The lead article said extensive use of EHR by physicians and hospitals would save money and improve health. At the end of the paper: "was sponsored by Cerner, General Electric, Hewlett-Packard, Johnson and Johnson".
The other 3 articles said the available EHR systems and programs were NOT capable of achieving the described goals. They did not report any conflict of interest. The federal government proceeded with a multi-billion program.

The Vendors required certification of their products by The National Coordinator for Health Information, a Federal Agency. Seven years and Billions of dollars spent, a paper in Health Affairs Jan. 2013- "What It Will Take To Achieve the As-Yet-Unfulfilled Promises of Health Information Technology". Health care has not improved and money has not been saved. Examples-We are still unable to communicate medical information electronically except in the same health systems.
Request and receipt of patient medical records from the Veterans Administration are by U.S. Mail only, 10-14 days.(Not even Fax machines.)
There is a long list of EHR problems described in the Jan. 2013 article and the NY Times.

1V. Reported in the New York Times Jan.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Linda D Bosserman MD on November 24, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
Beyond the political one liners, here is an engaging film from US experts and journalists on the fact of our US health care system which is not improving health or care. It demonstrates the complex issues of health care. It shows how our US system incentivises volume over health care. It shows what could be done, what has been done elsewhere and in innovative centers throughout the US. It shows how all these models can be used to REFORM the organizational and payment system to provide a system that improves health. Within the Accountable Care Act that is so complex and misunderstood are the incentives for these new models. Rather than incentivize hospitals to put heads in beds, they need to ensure appropriate, timely, safe and patient oriented care when needed as part of a team of health care professionals working to improve health. Once the system of care teams are paid and reorganized to improve health, service to patients is the focus, prevention of what is preventable, rapid diagnosis and treatment of disease and seriously improved care for the 20% of people who have one or many chronic illnesses and use 80-90% of our health dollars. These programs can save 30% from administrative and waste reduction and 30% in improving health. We can have a system oriented to patient satisfaction and health at 1/3 to 1/2 the cost. We can do this to put money back in people's pockets and ensure our US economy can become more competitive going forward. This movie is a must see for every patient, every care giver and everyone involved in health care in America.
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