With every one of his ten novels a New York Times bestseller, emergency medicine physician Michael Palmer is recognized by critics and fans worldwide as a master of medical suspense. Now Palmer delivers a relentless thriller that slices to our deepest fears with surgical precision-a tale as timely as it is terrifying, as harrowing as it is plausible. Welcome to The Society.At the headquarters of Boston's Eastern Quality Health, the wealthy and powerful CEO is brutally murdered. She's not the first to die-nor the last. A vicious serial killer is on the loose and the victims have one thing in common: they are all high-profile executives in the managed care industry.Dr. Will Grant is an overworked and highly dedicated surgeon. He has experienced firsthand the outrages of a system that cares more about the bottom line than about the life-and-death issues of patients. As a member of the Hippocrates Society, Will seeks to reclaim the profession of medicine from the hundreds of companies profiting wildly by controlling the decisions that affect the delivery of care. But the doctor's determination has attracted a dangerous zealot who will stop at nothing to make Will his ally.
Palmer's 11th medical thriller (Fatal; etc.) takes careful and bloody aim at the managed care industry, beginning with the murder of several loathsome CEOs of HMOs in Massachusetts. Dr. Will Grant is a talented and caring physician in the Boston area who works long hours and hates the unfair and obstructive practices of the big insurance companies. Patty Moriarity is a rookie state cop whose first big case is investigating the deaths of the health care vultures. After some early research, Patty suspects Will, but soon enough that's all straightened out and they're smooching on the couch. After Will is drugged and collapses during a delicate operation, things get rough: he's kicked out of his hospital for drug abuse and sued. Next he's being tortured, while Patty, shot after attempting to save the boorish chauvinist detective who has taken over her case, lies in a coma. The action is a bit preachy in the beginning, but once Palmer gets all his characters in place, the suspense builds. He wraps it all up with a slam-bang battle between our love-smitten duo and some extremely nasty health insurer executives and their loyal, gun-toting minions. Agent, Jane Berkey at the Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Aug.) Forecast: Anyone who's ever had a run-in with an insurance company and that's pretty much everyone is going to love this book's premise. Look for Palmer's usual solid numbers. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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1 . I couldn't put it down. Exciting!!!
Posted January 05, 2011 by Claudia , Green Valley, AZThere is a lot of truth in the problems with HMO's in this book. I think he could have left out reference to Canadian type medical because it is just as bad or worse than what we have today. Other than that, it is an excellent book and well worth the read.
July 31, 2004
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Excerpt from The Society by Michael Palmer
P R O L O G U E
Marcia Rising tilted back in her chair just enough so that neither her chief financial officer Leonard Smith, seated to her right, nor Executive VP Dan Elder to her left could see what she was writing on her legal pad. She was expected to take some notes at these meetings, anyhow. After all, she was the boss. Smiling inwardly, she added an ornate dollar sign in front of the 4. At the far end of the broad mahogany table, Vice President Joe Levinson droned on. Levinson was the cost-containment officer for Eastern Quality Health, and as such was responsible more than anyone except Marcia, herself, for the managed-care companyýs strong financial picture. But as a speaker, he was as animated and vibrant as drying paint.
ý. . . We took last quarterýs slumping numbers as a strident warningýa shot across our financial bow, if you willýthat we had to renew incentives among our employees and physicians in the area of cost containment. The in-house contest we ran was most successful in this regard. Almost immediately there was a twenty-one percent increase in claims rejected outright, and a thirteen percent increase in those surgical claims that were bundled for payment together with at least one other claim. There were some complaints from doctors, but nothing Billýs physician-relations people couldnýt handle. . . .ý
Four million . . . thirteen thousand . . . eight hundred . . . sixty-four.
Marcia wrote the numbers out longhand, then she added touches of calligraphy to figure, which was her salary for the preceding twelve months. Factor in her eight million in unexercised stock options, and she was well into the upper echelons of female executives in the country. The numbers had a delightful rhythm to them, she mused, perhaps a conga. She imagined a kick line of her nineteen hundred employees, snaking its way through the building.
Four mill-ion thir-teen kick! . . .
Marcia was more than pleased with the way her officers had responded to the recent dip in corporate profits. Her philosophy of one set of premiums and coverages for companies with younger, healthier employees and another for those who might have a more risky, older crew was infallible.
ýIf they donýt get sick, they canýt cost us,ý she had preached over and over again to her minions.
Let some other company cover those who are running out of time or wonýt take care of themselves. Every dollar spent researching the demographic makeup of a company (blacks get more hypertension, diabetes, and kidney failure; Asians are ridiculous hypochondriacs; Hispanics have too much alcoholism, drug addiction, and mental illness; thirty-somethings are okay, forty-somethings are not) would return hundreds in the form of payouts that Eastern Quality Health wouldnýt have to make.