31 January 2007

Damaged Care

Laura Dern as Dr. Linda Peeno and the real thing

I took the evening off and watched Damaged Care — a 2002 HBO film about Dr. Linda Peeno (Why not Pinot?), whose job was to deny coverage to sick patients at Humana and another HMO. Her conscience finally wouldn't allow her to do it anymore, and she became an outspoken critic of the HMO model.
Slow start, but a fairly painless way to learn about how HMOs work their magic.
I was sad to see Kaiser, which I've always thought of as the sole good guy in the gang, portrayed as no better than the rest. And it wasn't in the instance cited in the film, where a Kaiser advice nurse told a mom that there was no need for an ambulance for her critically-ill baby, that she could find directions on her own in the rain to a hospital 50 miles away.

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