'Escape Fire'

Updated 11/15/2012

A scene from 'Escape Fire'
Photo provided

★★★ out of four stars Theater: St. Anthony Main.

This swiftly paced documentary assembles expert talking heads and real-world patients and practitioners to discuss defusing the ticking time bomb of American health care costs. The status quo is a tangle of perverse economic incentives dictated by "a very big industry that doesn't want to stop making money," in the words of U.S. News and World Report medical journalist Shannon Brownlee. The better path, the assembled authorities suggest, is a system that prepares Americans to live long and well by focusing on preventable disease, rather than repairing the damage after it occurs. Many eye-opening vignettes explain anomalies in treatment and reimbursement like those that make it twice as expensive to treat a Miami patient as one in Minneapolis, with no difference in the health outcome. (Rated PG.) C.C.