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The Condition Of Their Condition

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got a little more of Alyce's adventure to share with you, today! Enjoy! :-)

Excerpt from sci-fi satire novel:
"One thing we heard was quite common in your healthcare system is a 'wallet biopsy', but we couldn't discern enough about what it was to even begin to create an exhibit about it. It certainly didn't seem credible that it could be a literal descriptive term."

I held my stare on Squid-boy for another half a second and then turned to look at the taller alien. With a bitter laugh, I said, "Well, sugar, that's actually almost exactly what it is."

"What do you mean?"

"A 'wallet biopsy' is when a doctor, or more often a hospital, focuses on a patient's financial condition instead of their medical condition. They first find out if a patient has insurance and, if so, what that insurance does and does not cover and how high their deductible and copay are. If the patient doesn't have insurance, they find out if the patient has the cash on hand to pay for their treatment. If they determine that a patient can't pay and doesn't have insurance that will pay, they do the absolute minimum required by law and then send the patient away. Basically, they just make sure the patient isn't going to immediately drop dead and refuse to do anything more." I gestured at where the robot in a paper gown was turning in circles by the bus stop bench. "That might be what happened to her, I don't know."

"How can they do such a thing?" exclaimed Squid-boy.

"What is 'insurance'?" asked Yax.

I rolled my eyes. "They can do it because they're more concerned about money than they are about patients' health. There are reasons for that; it isn't cheap to keep a hospital open or to operate a physician's practice, there are all kinds of expenses involved. And health insurance is something where people pay a company money every month and if they get sick or injured, that company is supposed to pay for their treatment. In theory."

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