Must See TV: PBS Doc Goes Up Close & Personal With Chapter 58

Last Friday night the PBS magazine series “Need To Know” aired a terrific 22-minute look at Massachusetts health reform. We urge everyone to watch the show here. The reporter, Dr. Emily Senay, was also on the Morning Joe show Friday morning, with a great segment that also looked at the Romney/Obama politics going forward. You can see the discussion here.

As the promo clip above illustrates, the show highlights health reform through the stories of two people whose lives are dramatically changed because they can access high-quality, affordable health care. Both Alliea Groupp and Peter Brook took that energy and turned it into activism, though our allies at Greater Boston Interfaith Organization. Their stories put a human face on the 439,000 newly covered in Massachusetts.

The show also looks at the providers’ point of view, with a doctor in private practice affirming that reform did not adversely impact his practice, and a physician at the Revere Family Health Center who boasts that they have been able to increase the colorectal screening rate in Revere from 30% up to 70%, and the pap smear rates from 40% to 90%.

The show pivots to the cost control issues under debate now, with Governor Patrick, BCBS’ Andrew Dreyfus, and a physician explaining how global payments lets him spend more time with patients and avoid unnecessary testing.

My out-of-state friends keep asking me about why the real story of Massachusetts health reform isn’t more widely known. Hopefully shows like this will spread the word.
-Brian Rosman

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