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A film by Matthew Heineman

Running time: 99 minutes

Closed Captioning included

Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare tackles one of the most pressing issues of our time: how can we save our badly broken healthcare system? American healthcare costs are rising so rapidly that they could reach $4.2 trillion annually, roughly 20% of our gross domestic product, within ten years. We spend $300 billion a year on pharmaceutical drugs—almost as much as the rest of the world combined. We pay more, yet our health outcomes are worse. About 65% of Americans are overweight and almost 75% of healthcare costs are spent on preventable diseases that are the major causes of disability and death in our society.

It's not surprising that healthcare tops many Americans' concerns and is at the center of a political firestorm in our nation's Capitol. But the current battle over cost and access does not ultimately address the root of the problem: we have a disease-care system, not a healthcare system.

Escape Fire examines the powerful forces maintaining the status quo, a medical industry designed for quick fixes rather than prevention, for profit-driven care rather than patient-driven care. After decades of resistance, a movement to bring innovative high-touch, low-cost methods of prevention and healing into our high-tech, costly system is finally gaining ground. This film follows dramatic human stories as well as leaders fighting to transform healthcare at the highest levels of medicine, industry, government, and even the US military. Escape Fire is about finding a way out. It's about saving the health of a nation.




"AN ELUCIDATING MUST SEE! The healthcare debate's An Inconvenient Truth."
—Anthony Kaufman (The Village Voice)


"Likened to a raging forest inferno by the talented nonfiction team of Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke, the American health care system is diagnosed up one side and down the other—will stir the pulses of angry auds."
—Robert Koehler (Variety)


"There are some genuinely harrowing moments, including a hair-raising journey on an Air Force plane transporting wounded soldiers. A SURPRISINGLY THOROUGH, TOUCHING LOOK AT A TOUGH SUBJECT."
—Jada Yuan, Bilge Ebiri (New York Magazine)


"Destined to be hailed as THE DEFINITIVE FILM ON AMERICAN HEALTHCARE, ESCAPE FIRE offers a way out—a primer on how to save the health of a nation."
—David Courier (Sundance Senior Programmer)


"The reaction from the Sundance audience was SPONTANEOUS AND OVERWHELMING APPLAUSE, more like they were watching the next installment of Twilight than a thoughtfully made (yet visually compelling) documentary about America's broken medical establishment."
—David Geffner (ICG Magazine)


"While everyone knows health care is broken, the filmmakers go further, portraying health care itself as an out of control system, one which, if left unfixed, will burn until it consumes everything in its path."
—Tim Wu (Slate)


"Despite the immensity of the topic, the filmmakers offer viewers a clear and determined solutions-oriented approach that clarifies the institutional deficiencies in America's healthcare system and PROVIDES AN INSPIRATIONAL WAY FORWARD."
—Basil Tsiokos (All Things Documentary)


Continuing Education

The award-winning Sundance documentary ESCAPE FIRE: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare, directed by Matthew Heineman and Oscar-Nominee Susan Froemke, tackles one of the most pressing issues of our time: what can be done to save our broken medical system?

In an unprecedented professional education opportunity, watching the film will qualify for two (2) Prescribed CME credits from the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), which can translate via reciprocity into American Medical Association (AMA) Category 1 credits. For CNE credits, the film will qualify for one and half (1.5) CNE credits from This is a unique chance for healthcare providers from around the country to join the millions tuning in to elevate and deepen the national dialogue about our healthcare system and our role in leading it out of crisis. 

ESCAPE FIRE features the problems of healthcare providers from all sectors, including primary care physicians such as Oregon's Dr. Erin Martin, who struggles with limited time for patients and too little reimbursement, as well as leaders in medicine and healthcare, such as Dr. Donald Berwick, former Administrator of Medicare/Medicaid.

Please visit the official film site to learn more about the film and the movement, as well as to find screenings near you. To complete the assessment for CME and CNE credits, you can watch the film on DVD or download the film from, or a number of other digital providers. You can also host a screening in your community.

Learning Objectives and Online Assessment

Ten identifiable learning objectives associated with this CME activity are for health professionals to be able to: 

  • Clarify the importance of preventive medicine in family practice

  • Summarize the main issues the film raises with the current healthcare system

  • Deconstruct the ways in which an existing practice may undermine patient outcomes

  • Evaluate new approaches for improving patient outcomes by increasing focus on high-touch, preventative strategies

  • Identify strategies for incorporating integrative medicine into an existing practice

  • Judge the pros and cons of the solutions to the healthcare crisis as presented in the film

  • Create new ways to approach integrative patient care based on the solutions presented in the film

  • Design ways to work collaboratively with colleagues across specialties in order to improve patient care

  • Evaluate the necessity of, and alternatives to, invasive and costly tests, medications and procedures

  • Consider ways to engage patients in promoting, supporting and monitoring healthier lifestyle choices

To begin the online assessment for the ESCAPE FIRE CME Activity, click here or go to:

To begin the online assessment for the ESCAPE FIRE CNE Activity click here or go to:


Use the links below to access the appropriate credit survey: 








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