Kreis’ (The Corridor, 2012 etc.) latest novel tackles dubious billing and procedural practices in the pain management field.
Terry Webb is an unemployed doctor; his problem is that his degree from an island nation school doesn’t have the cachet desired by most hospitals. He finally lands a job with another doctor but for less money than he hoped. The position is in pain management, and it’s a solid if not quite lucrative practice. Terry and his employer are constantly being wined and dined by medical reps with all kinds of get-rich schemes. Where his employer is content to keep the practice on the up and up, Terry sees dollar signs and decides to go off on his own. He soon meets Katrina, a stunning model who sees Terry as her ticket to the good life. With the help of a medical industry focused on maximizing profit with dubious treatments and billing procedures, Terry is soon living luxuriously. Goaded by his ravishing wife, he begins spending himself into oblivion. The novel serves as vehicle to expose the darker side of the medical industry—patients are sent to multiple doctors who prescribe endless procedures and drug treatments and abuse insurance claims. Because of the relevance to many people, this book is an easy read. As with most attempts at using a fictional tale to expose an ethical dilemma, the story can be somewhat wooden and predictable. Nevertheless, Kreis has created sympathetic, realistic characters to represent every side, from victims to profiteers, providing an in-depth look at the overall impact of this problem.
An entertaining, believable portrayal of a seamy side of the health care system.