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Posted by ?? ( on January 24, 2000 at 11:10:10:


Q. What does HMO stand for?

A. This is actually a variation of the phrase, "Hey,
Moe!" Its roots go back to a concept pioneered by
Doctor Moe Howard of the Three Stooges Medical Group
who discovered that a patient could be made to forget about
the pain in his foot if he was poked hard enough in the eye.
Modern medical practice replaces the physical finger poke
with hi-tech equivalents such as voice mail and referral slips,
but the result remains the same.

Q. Do all diagnostic procedures require pre-certification?
A. No. Only those you need.

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 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
somewhere in Vermont.

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 coverage for my pre-existing
A. Certainly, as long as they don't require any treatment.
There is no charge when you stay home all the time.

Q. What happens if I want to try alternative forms of
A. You'll need to find alternative forms 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. I have an 80/20 plan with a $200 deductible and a
$2,000 yearly cap. My insurer reimbursed the doctor
for my out-patient surgery, but I'd already paid my
bill. What should I do?
A. You have two choices. Your doctor can sign the
reimbursement check over to you, or you can ask him to
invest the money for you in one of those great offers
that only doctors and dentists hear about, like
windmill farms or frog hatcheries.

Q. What should I do if I get sick while traveling?
A. Try moving to a different part of the bus.

Q. No, I mean what if I'm away from home and I get
A. You really shouldn't do that. You'll have a hard
time seeing your primary care physician. It's best to
wait until you return, and then get sick. Unless
you're near that doctor in Vermont.

Q. I think I need to see a specialist, but my doctor
insists he can handle my problem. Can a general
practitioner really perform a heart transplant right
in his office?
A. Hard to say, but considering that all you're
risking is the $10 co-payment, there's no harm giving
him a shot at it. God bless him for trying.

Q. What accounts for the largest portion of health
care costs?
A. Accountants and managers choosing between new
Ferraris and family vacations in Aruba, or both. Remember
that medical funds also must be set aside for television
advertising to educate medically ignorant consumers like you.
Hugs and a smile

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