There was a day without health insurance. You simply paid the doctor $7.00 (1956 price for an office visit), and you got the quality care from the physician that you needed. Unfortunately, many poor people went without care because they could not afford the doctor’s fee. Today it is the opposite. The government is trying to make sure everyone is covered by insurance, but you may not get the care you need because the insurance companies tell your doctor what he or she should do for you. This sets up a perfect thriller plot.
Patient care has become the last priority after costs and compliance with government regulations. What will happen to you if your medical treatment is too expensive?
I have written a novel with a thriller plot that presumes a future budget crisis in a healthcare situation that causes the regulators and insurance companies to set up their own care priorities that violate the patient’s best interest. Priorities that put the lives of some patients at risk and mark others to be murdered. Kellan Publishing published Reducing Medical Costs (At the Cost of Health). At the moment, healthcare has its problems, and this book projects the disaster that could occur if government bureaucrats and insurance companies run amuck. People could die, or be killed.
For example, in the book, we have the Conway brothers discussing what is happening under a tight healthcare budget. James and Charles are brothers. Mike, a cardiologist, is Charles’ son.
Mike said,“ . . .the undercurrent of the discussion is about when to cut the treatments and the costs on patients who some think will no longer benefit from an increased life. Implied in some of the comments is that it would be convenient for expensive patients to die early.”
“So what makes you think that puts your father and I at risk?” asked James.
Mike looked down at his feet. “Dad is already obese and has diabetes. It wouldn’t take much to put him into a category that someone may think will eat up too much money for treatments. You, Uncle Jim, appear to be fit and healthy, but what if something happens to you, something costly?”
“But no form of euthanasia will ever happen. The public wouldn’t tolerate it,” said James.
Charles nodded his head. “I think I see where Mike is headed. No, the public wouldn’t tolerate euthanasia, or at least not tolerate it on their relatives, but a lot of money could be saved if high-cost patients just happened to die quickly.”
~Excerpt from Chapter 7
The plot of Reducing Medical Costs (At the Cost of Health) is that bureaucrats and insurance companies are looking for ways cut costs by making sure high-cost patients die quickly. Then they will also have to eliminate doctors who view patient deaths as suspicious. All of this calls for villains who are perfect thriller characters. The book has danger and action. Readers should wear their Kevlar vests to avoid stray bullets.
Fellow Kellan author, Livian Gray, in her blog post tells about how she adjusted to having a publisher as opposed to self-publishing. I have published other books, and appreciate working with a small press like Kellan Publishing. We get good support.
Kellan Publishing hosts online chat sessions between authors and readers. My slot is the first Thursday of every month from 4-5 PM (PST). The next time I will be on will be March 1, 2018. I look forward to “chatting” with readers who are interested in thrillers. Readers may be able to pry out of me information about the medical thriller that I am now writing.
Get your copy of Reducing Medical Costs (At the Cost of Health)