Welcome to Your New HMO

Three nurses went to heaven, and were awaiting their turn with St. Peter to plead their case to enter the pearly gates.

The first nurse said, “I worked in an emergency room. We tried our best to help patients, even though occasionally we did lose one. I think I deserve to go to heaven.” St. Peter looks at her file and admits her to heaven.

The second nurse says, “I worked in an operating room. It’s a very high stress environment and we do our best. Sometimes the patients are too sick and we lose them, but overall we try very hard.” St. Peter looks at her file and admits her
to heaven.

The third nurse says, “I was a case manager for an HMO.”

St. Peter looks at her file. He pulls out a calculator and starts punching away at it furiously, constantly going back to the nurse’s file. After a few minutes St. Peter looks up, smiles, and says, “Congratulations! You’ve been admitted to heaven … for five days!”

  • Q.     I just joined a new HMO.  How difficult will it be to choose the doctor I want?
  • A.  Just slightly more difficult than choosing your parents.  Your insurer will provide you with a book listing all the doctors who were participating in the plan at the time of the information was gathered.  These doctors basically fall into two categories:  Those who are no longer accepting new patients, and those who will see you but are no longer part of the plan.  But don’t worry — the remaining doctor who is still in the plan and accepting new patients has an office just a half a day’s drive away, just outside Amarillo, Texas.  Talking to him however will NOT be tolerated.
  • Q.     What does HMO stand for?
  • A.  Hand over your money or die.  No that is not right.  HMO.  This is actually a variation of the phrase “Hey Moe.”  Its roots go back to a concept pioneered by Dr. Moe Howard, who discovered that a patient could be make to forget about the pain in his foot if he was poked hard enough in the eyes.  Modern practice now replaces the finger poke with hi-tech equivalents such as voice-mail, referral slips, but the results, remain the same.  You get the sharp stick in the eye pain when you get the bill, and he gets a new car.
  • Q.     Do all diagnostic procedures require a pre-certification?
  • A.  No, only those you need.
  • Q.     What are pre-existing conditions?
  • A.  This is a phrase used by the grammatically challenged when they want to talk about existing conditions.  Unfortunately, we appear to be pre-stuck with it.
  • Q  Well can I get treatment on my pre-existing conditions?
  • A.  Sure, if they do not require treatment.
  • Q.     What happens if I want to use try alternative forms of medicine?
  • A.  You’ll need to find alternative means of payment.
  • Q.  My pharmacy plan only covers generic drugs, but I need the name brand.  I tried the generic medication but it gave me a stomach ache.  What should I do?
  • A.  Poke yourself in the eye.
  • Q. What should I do if I happen to get sick while traveling.
  • A.  Try sitting in a different area of the bus.
  • Q.     No I mean what if I am away from home and I get sick?
  • A.  You really shouldn’t do that.  You’ll have a hard time seeing your primary care physician.  It is best to wait till you return home and then get sick.  The ideal condition would be to NOT get sick period and then everyone would be satisfied and content.
  • Q.     I think I need a specialist, but my doctor insists she/he can handle my problem.  Can a general practitioner really perform a heart transplant right in his/her office?
  • A.  Hard to say, but considering that all you’re risking is the $15 co-payment, there’s no harm in giving him/her a shot at it, eh?
  • Q. My insurer reimburses the doctor for my outpatient surgery, but I’d already paid my bill.  What should I do?
  • A. Your doctor can sign the reimbursement check over to you, or you can ask him/her to invest the money for you in one of those great offers doctors and dentists hear about, like windmill farms or frog hatcheries.  Here is the best bet.  Shut up and stop whining.  If you don’t we will boot your generic butt right out of the office.  After  all, we have YOUR telephone number and vital Statistic’s, you don’t have ours, think about it.
  • Q.     Will health care be any better in the next century or the new Obama administration?
  • A.  No, but if you call right now, you might get an appointment by then.

I hope this has cleared up any matter that has given you anxiety.  Now if you will excuse me, I am going to sneak back to my cubicle, paint my face with liquid paper, and become the Office Mime for the rest of the day.

That is if my boss doesn’t decide to fire me or send me some kind of Registered Letter.