CRITICAL CONDITION: PBS Documentary Examines Care System
Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and former New York Times foreign correspondent Hedrick Smith has created a documentary that "takes a penetrating, grass-roots look at the quality, affordability and availability of health care for ordinary Americans, the chronically ill, the uninsured, children and seniors in Medicare HMOs," PBS Online reports. Titled "Critical Condition," the presentation is divided into four segments covering major health care issues, including medical errors; managed care's management of chronic illnesses; quality of care in HMOs -- specifically Kaiser Permanente; and the 44 million uninsured Americans. Smith consults and interviews "more than 100 medical experts across the nation" and "explor[es] some of the nation's most prominent medical institutions, health plans and insurers," to provide a "'flesh-and-blood' report card on the health issues that have fueled public dissatisfaction with a health care system that some say is in need of intensive care" (PBS Online, 10/16). Salon.com calls the documentary a "journalistic gem" that "goes well beyond the piecemeal approach to health care reform that we've seen in this year's presidential campaign (Motamedi, Salon.com, 10/16). The three-hour documentary will broadcast on PBS this Wednesday at 8 p.m. (check local listings). The interviews and transcripts for this production will be available at PBS Online following the broadcast.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.