Money-Driven Medicine: Screening Tips

To download the PDF, click here.


Money-Driven Medicine and the accompanying user resources on this website are only tools. Their real power lies in your ability to use them as part of a larger organizational strategy for healthcare change through increased awareness and action.

Planning an Effective Screening

These simple steps will help you plan effective screening events:


  • Step 1: Build internal consensus and capacity. Make sure your event organizers and the organization as a whole (both leadership and staff) have a clear understanding of the forces driving health care costs and quality, a firm commitment to reform, and the capacity and strategy to be effective advocates.
  • Step 2: Develop clear goals and objectives appropriate to your organization’s mission and scope of work. Outline precisely how you will use Money-Driven Medicine to educate, organize or advocate for healthcare reform.
  • Step 3: Define your audience and opportunities for action. Tailor your event to your constituency. Determine goals and objectives, including actions and “next steps” appropriate to the time and energy you can realistically expect your audience to spend so the screening can be a step towards further engagement, not just a one-time event.
  • Step 4: Logistics: Making your event a success. You can avoid pitfalls by providing ample opportunities for audience participation and following simple guideless for a professional and productive screening.


Each of these four steps is described in greater detail below. They are designed to be read in tandem with How to Use the DVD which will help you tie specific content themes to different kinds of audiences.


Step I: Build Internal Consensus and Capacity

Before bringing others together make sure your own “house” is in order. Use the following questions to assess the commitment and expertise in your organization. They will tell you if you should first proceed with internal screenings to train your staff and activists before reaching out to external partners and audiences.


  • How knowledgeable, skillful and committed to healthcare reform are leadership, staff, and your target audience? On what issues do they agree and disagree?
  • What other organizations are advancing informed participation in health care reform? How can you tap into the resources and momentum these groups are bringing to this issue?
  • Whose backing inside your organization do you need to spread this conversation throughout staff and constituents?
  • Whose backing outside your organization can help you bring this issue to other organizations, communities, occupations and policy-makers with a stake in healthcare reform?
  • Do you have an action strategy? If not, who has the credibility, time and capacity to develop such a plan and implement it, including follow-up activities?


Step II: Develop Clear Goals and Objectives

How will a screening advance your goals for healthcare reform? Do you want to win

'buy-in" for a specific policy, to strengthen alliances with other organizations, to engage and mobilize your our constituents or generate a community-wide dialogue?

Set clear goals (what you want to accomplish) and concrete objectives (measurable outcomes which will help you evaluate the success of your program). Setting goals and objectives will help you determine whether to screen the entire film or selected scenes, how best to structure your event, who should introduce the film and lead the post-screening discussion, and what follow-up activities to suggest.

There are many different ways to use Money-Driven Medicine. The six strategies below each suggest different goals and objectives. You’ll also find it helpful to review “Focusing Your Event” under the Using the Money-Driven Medicine DVD section of this site.


1. Play a leadership role in evaluating healthcare reform proposals to distinguish structural change from a "band-aid" approach.


  • Use your “bully pulpit” to draw the attention of your organization, policy makers and public to the problems of our healthcare system, their sources and possible solutions. Hold presentations, write op-eds, conduct seminars and in-service training, schedule conferences, and employ the resources and power of the “social web.”
  • Build partnerships and solidarity with others. Build alliances with other groups committed to healthcare reform but don’t just preach to the choir; encourage patients, health workers and impacted communities wary of expressing their concerns to contribute to the debate.


2. Build a shared knowledge base and common vocabulary among staff, officers, allied organizers and elected officials.


  • Carefully distinguish life-long, preventive primary care from rescue-care; evidence-based, accountable care from rationed care;  patient-centered medicine from profit-centered medicine.
  • Identify the differences between fee-for-service, a public option, health insurance co-ops and single-payer health reimbursement.
  • Trace and publicize the public and private decision-making processes which affect health care
  • Examine media portrayals of healthcare issues and the sources they use
  • Identify and spotlight institutions and individuals in your community already providing effective, patient centered-care.
  • Highlight alternative systems adopted in other industrialized nations.


3. Involve health workers and patients in an independent investigation and evaluation of health delivery in your region.


  • Examine the hospital reporting requirements for avoidable deaths, avoidable harm and patient safety
  • Research the political contributions and lobbying activities of health care companies and medical institutions to your elected officials. Identify potential allies to leverage your own influence.
  • Use the tools developed by the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care ( to identify which hospitals and providers in your area or delivering effective, cost-efficient care, and which aren’t.
  • Publicize your results in the local media


4. Build strategic alliances with a broad array of groups. Reach out to organizations which may not have thought of themselves as healthcare stakeholders - labor, business, housing, racial justice, childcare providers and schools. Money-Driven Medicine provides an accessible and effective tool for sharing your knowledge about the healthcare system.


5. Demand greater community participation and accountability in healthcare decision-making


  • Challenge government and corporate policies which don’t encourage affordable, patient centered care.
  • Require greater transparency in billing and decision-making processes effecting healthcare costs and availability.
  • Work for more open and participatory budgeting processes at all levels of government.


6. Enter into a dialogue with journalists and bloggers over their coverage of healthcare.

  • Encourage reporters to focus on the underlying reasons why so many of our healthcare dollars are squandered on unnecessary tests, ineffective or unproven procedures, and over-priced drugs and devices.
  • Spotlight examples of institutions providing evidence-based, accountable care that puts patients first and are both more effective and less expensive than the predominant fee-for-service model.


Step III: Define Your Audience and Opportunities for Action


Advancing healthcare reform is about working towards change. Know your audience ahead of time, what understandings they’ll bring to your event and the amount of time and energy you can realistically expect them to invest in this issue.


1. The following four questions will help you better define who you want to attend your event.


  • Will your audience consist of your organization’s leaders, staff ajnd/or constituents? Will it be confined to your agency or involve other groups? Will it include only health professionals or patients as well? Will you try to attract government officials, administrators and the policy community? If you are trying to reach the general public, how can you reach out to students, journalists, bloggers, community-based organizations and faith-based communites?
  • What are your natural audiences, i.e. groups you’ve worked with in the past or who are already committed to healthcare reform? How can you expand beyond your traditional constituency to include new groups joining this conversation for the first time? Does your planning committee reflect the audience(s) you’re trying to attract?
  • What organizations should you ask to co-sponsor your event to attract broader attendance and the desired audience mix? Who will represent them on your planning committee and at the event? Are they already invested in healthcare reform and want to mobilize their constituency with a screening? Or is this a way to introduce a new community of the issues at stake in healthcare reform?
  • Will you invite the media to cover your event? If so, who will be your message point person for follow-up questions and quotes? There is an on-line press kit including press release, photos and video clips in the Press Room section of this site (link)

2. Once you’ve defined your audience, these questions can help you customize your event.


  • How knowledgeable is your audience about the present healthcare system?
  • To what extent do audience members view healthcare as something that affects them personally? Professionally? As an urgent national issue?
  • What handouts and campaign resources will you provide? There are a number of discussion guides, articles, action options among the User Resources section of this site.
  • What discussion questions will you use to reinforce understanding and promote further reflection?
  • How can you use your research into local healthcare delivery to make the issues concrete and resonant for your audience?


3. Finally, based on your goals and objectives, what do you want audience members to take away from this experience? What opportunities for action can you offer them - both at the event and in the longer-term? Which will motivate them yet be appropriate to their level of commitment? Don’t be over-ambitious; people face many issues other than healthcare.

You will find several action options under the Get Involved Today! section of this website. Six more options are suggested below. The best option is the one which grows out of your event objectives.


  • Identify a network of individual activists and organizations who can comprise a local coalition for healthcare reform
  • Organize follow-up events which deepen the knowledge and commitment of participants at your events, for example, a presentation to which doctors could invite their colleagues or a public policy briefing for elected officials
  • Set up a committee to identify assets and programs within your own organization which offer opportunities to use Money-Driven Medicine to educate, organize or advocate.
  • Solicit volunteers to screen the DVD for other groups to which they belong: PTAs, extended learning classes, book clubs, neighborhood associations, churches and unions.
  • Provide local reporters with the facts and resources they need to give a fuller picture of healthcare issues.
  • Broaden the discussion. Encourage audience members to write op eds and letters to the editor, call in to radio talk shows, or host “house parties” for neighbors and friends.


Step IV: Logistics: Making Your Event a Success


Now that you’ve defined your audience, your objectives and the kind of event which can best achieve them, it’s time to schedule, promote and hold your event. A film screening doesn’t have to be a passive experience! Be sure to provide plenty of opportunities and time for your audience to engage the issue. These could include pre- and post-screening discussions or small break-out groups. Don’t neglect the opportunities for on-line “social networking” before and after the event.

Careful planning and good facilitation will help viewers watch critically, reflect on their own experiences and assumptions and examine how the issues relate to their own lives, work and community. The following checklist will help you cover the logistical details.


  • Organize a planning committee; select a lead person from each co-sponsoring organization or department.
  • Select diverse hosts, invitors and co-sponsors. Be sure to give them credit and offer a table where they can distribute their literature.
  • Find experienced facilitators and speakers who reflect your audience’s composition.
  • Set a time and date for the event which is convenient for your target audience.
  • If no time seems to work, ask your potential viewers to screen the film via in-house digital streaming (an additional streaming license needs to be obtained from California Newsreel) or via Amazon Video On Demand in their homes.
  • Arrange a venue where your audience feels comfortable and at home.
  • Invite a wide range of participants but don’t lose the focus of your screening.
  • Decide whether to screen the complete 86-minute version of Money-Driven Medicine, one of the three shorter versions or just selected scenes of special interest to your audience (listed on the DVD menu). You can read the film transcript here and find a scene list of chapters in the Table of Contents section of this website.
  • Create a minute-by-minute schedule for the screening; leaving time for discussion and action.
  • Assemble handouts, discussion questions, etc. The User Resource section of this site may be helpful.
  • If you make the film available digitally, be sure these supplementary materials are available on-line and referenced in all your promotion.
  • Conduct a technical rehearsal of your audio-visual equipment. Remember sound quality is even more important than image quality.
  • Design flyers, invitations and other promotional materials and publicize your event intensively. Remember promotion is by far the most important factor in determining the size of your audience. Templates for promotional materials can be downloaded from the Press Room.
  • Seek out media coverage. You can us the press materials in the Press Room section of this site. The Praxis Project has also prepared an excellent media advocacy guide.
  • Schedule a follow-up meeting with your planning committee and co-sponsors to evaluate your event, complete tasks which grew out of it and chart future collaboration