Motion Picture Television Fund Launching Major Health Care Survey

Following recent controversies about its direction, the Motion Picture Television Fund said Wednesday it will survey about 200,000 members of the entertainment industry concerning their future health care needs.

"This is the first time that MPTF or any other industry organization has embarked on such a widespread effort to assess the needs and wants of the community it serves," MPTF CEO Bob Beitcher said in a statement.

Beitcher said the MPTF has been "overwhelmed by the support for this survey from the guilds, unions, studios and other entertainment companies," all of whom agree that there is a need for tools to determine how to "better serve them now and in the future."

To do the survey, the MPTF has hired the research firm Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates, which has worked with political campaigns, entertainment unions, healthcare organizations and others.

The MPTF said that it is undertaking this survey "against the dynamic backdrop of reduced overall production volume and significant declines, specifically in California-based production, increased healthcare costs, tightening eligibility requirements and a wave of baby boomer industry workers planning for retirement."

Supported by industry donations including funds from check-offs paid by some guild members, the MPTF has for years been a premier nonprofit provider of services to the entertainment industry.

However, in the past two years, the MPTF has come under fire for plans to close a hospital and nursing care facilities adjacent to its campus in Woodland Hills, where it continues to operate a home for retirees.

Critics have said that the opening of a health club for people of all ages and operating for-profit health care clinics goes away from the historic mission to "take care our own" in the show business community.

The MPTF has said it is trying to reach out to as many as possible and serve new generations as well as those who are senior citizens. This survey is expected to provide information to support decisions about how the organization operates.