Interview with Martine G. Brousse

What's the story behind this book?
As a billing manager for two decades, the last 6 years spent in oncology, I have come to realize how difficult the process can be on a patient, especially if just diagnosed with a serious condition such as cancer. After seeing patients' hope, fighting spirit, focus on treatment and emotional well-being crumple and even disintegrate due to financial and support issues, I made it a priority to offer alternatives and solutions when informing them of their liability and cost.
Using my insider understanding of the healthcare system, a deep familiarity with coding and billing, and vast experience with the topic, I found that writing this guide was not only a logical step to share my knowledge but also a way to be of service to those in need of advice and tips.
What is the goal of writing this book for you?
What started as a one-page help sheet at the last practice I worked at, quickly escalated to this compilation when I decided to write a more thorough, practical and educational guide by sharing my knowledge and experience. I hope that cancer patients will find not only the specific topic or website they seek, but will also become aware of many more options and assistance. I have seen how education and preparation can be keys to a successful journey. If these difficult times can be eased even a little, then the goal is met.
What inspired you to compile this guide?
As a billing manager for an oncology practice, I always found it unbearable to hear a patient say their upcoming treatment would need to be cancelled due to lack of funds or support. Hearing someone state that their only option is death, even if their condition is curable, prompted me to find solutions, financial assistance, free drugs and support. This was my way not to carry the stressful responsibility of such a decision and bring some hope to those who had lost it.
How much research went into this book?
The advice and tips came naturally, as I had been sharing them with my patients for years. Doing more extensive research, vetting every site, and finding the most appropriate links took the bulk of my time.
What is your writing process?
This guide is an extension of a presentation I put together for a local Cancer Support Community chapter. Asked to present practical solutions, options, tips and information to cancer patients and their caregivers, I found that a 90-min power point presentation was not enough to effectively communicate all that I wanted and needed to. Hence the book.
How do you approach cover design?
I used the cover photo in another book I wrote, and always loved its quality and colors. For me, it conveys both the feeling of a peaceful and colorful nature, and the feeling of abundance. The golden round leaves remind me of old gold coins, ready to be showered down indiscriminately and without reserve, as nature does her beauty and gifts.
Where did you gather the information in your book?
The written portion came from my experience and reflects the practical knowledge I gained as an oncology billing manager for several years. Most of the links were either some I routinely recommended to patients, or was aware of. I did find quite a few more while researching and exploring topics as this guide has more than 300!
Published 2013-11-07.
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