WBUR January 17, 2020
Carey Goldberg

Dr. Mike Apkon is wending his way through cubicles at Tufts Medical Center, in a department where 85 workers spend their days mainly making sure patients have insurance coverage for the care they need.

In an ideal world, I ask him, how many staffers would there be in this department?

“In an ideal world,” he says, “none.”

I feel a brief pang for the desk-bound employees whose hospital leader has just imagined a world without them, and prompt him, “Which isn’t to say you don’t value the staff.”Get the week’s most important personal health, medical research, and science news sent to your inbox with the CommonHealth newsletter. Sign up now.

“No, the staff are incredibly valuable,” Apkon clarifies, “because it’s the only way that...