Damaged Care

Damaged Care

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Cast: Laura Dern, James LeGros, Regina King, Michelle Clunie

     
 

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Damaged Care is fact-based drama about the managed care industry. It originally aired on Showtime. Laura Dern co-produced and stars in the film as Dr. Linda Peeno, who gives up her career after earning a medical degree, so that she can take care of her family. Her husband, Doug (James LeGros), is a successful OB/GYN. In 1987, when their children (from previous

Overview

Damaged Care is fact-based drama about the managed care industry. It originally aired on Showtime. Laura Dern co-produced and stars in the film as Dr. Linda Peeno, who gives up her career after earning a medical degree, so that she can take care of her family. Her husband, Doug (James LeGros), is a successful OB/GYN. In 1987, when their children (from previous marriages) have gotten a little older, Linda decides to return to work, and gets a job as a medical reviewer at Humana Health Care. Patient claims that aren't approved by the UR (utilization review) nurses are forwarded to the doctors on the medical review team, who, Linda learns, are expected to rubber-stamp the UR nurses' decisions. Every decision Linda makes to cover a patient's care is questioned, sometimes angrily. The head of the UR department, Cheryl Griffith (Regina King) befriends Linda, and shares her unhappiness with the system. Linda has a crisis of conscience when she gets a call about an emergency heart transplant that needs immediate approval. Pressured by the company, she finds an out in the employer's healthcare booklet, and denies the claim. The patient dies. Eventually, Linda quits Humana (angering Doug), and Cheryl gets her a job at a smaller, non-profit company, Brothers Managed Care. The system is pretty much the same, though, and Linda comes into conflict with the cost-conscious head of the UR nurses, Gemma Coombs (Michelle Clunie). When a nurse (Suki Kaiser) is stricken with a series of crippling strokes, Linda takes a stand against the company to get her the treatment she needs. Eventually, Dr. Linda Peeno gets out of the system, and becomes an outspoken critic of the abuses of the health care industry. Dern's mother, Diane Ladd, and Adam Arkin also appear in the film.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Damaged Care isn't a perfect film, but its subject matter has such compelling immediacy that it overcomes its minor flaws. This story of the managed care industry and its casualties (including the souls of some of those who work within it) demands to be told. Laura Dern delivers a strong, sympathetic performance as Dr. Linda Peeno, who wrestles with her conscience while working in the insurance industry. Under tremendous pressure from her superiors, Dr. Peeno allows patients covered by the insurance companies to suffer and die before finding, as the her narration poetically (perhaps a bit too much so) puts it, "her own voice." James LeGros brings humanity to the part of Dr. Peeno's unsupportive, philandering husband. The supporting cast is also strong, although some of the more reprehensible characters come across as stock villains, rather than human beings. The film occasionally falls into the usual trap of TV movies based on real events; the filmmakers try to condense too much information into the film's running time, and the ellipses make everything seem a bit pat and contrived. But Dr. Peeno's story is an inspiring one of a confused but principled person, seduced by the promise of a comfortable life, who eventually finds the courage to let her principles guide her.

Product Details

Release Date:
12/10/2002
UPC:
0097368038240
Original Release:
2002
Rating:
PG
Source:
Paramount
Region Code:
1
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Stereo]
Time:
1:54:00
Sales rank:
76,864

Special Features

Full screen format; Dolby digital english stereo

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. The Still Small Voice [7:29]
2. A New Job [10:26]
3. The Bottom Line [11:00]
4. Bad Medicine [6:06]
5. Welcome to Brothers [6:04]
6. Darkening Forrest [8:34]
7. 100% Denial [7:05]
8. Runaround [4:13]
9. Serving the Company [5:45]
10. Kindness and Courage [8:46]
11. Words Into Action [4:49]
12. At Risk [6:24]
13. Special Needs [2:16]
14. Personal Injuries [10:20]
15. Gethering Storm [3:46]
16. Day of Justice [11:15]

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Damaged Care 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Linda Peeno gives an accurate account of the unethical and illegal practices by HMOs. I wish more was said about the Kaiser Permanente, the leader of the industry. The Permanente Medical Group is a disease that is spreading rapidly throughout the medical profession. We need to find a cure.