Q:What does HMO stand for?
A:This is actually a variation of the phrase, “Hey, Moe!”
Its roots go back to the concept pioneered by Dr. Moe Howard, who discovered
that a patient could be made to forget about the pain in his foot if he
was poked hard enough in the eyes. Modern practice replaces the 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.
Those doctors will fall into two basic 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 half a day’s drive
Q:What are preexisting conditions?
A:This is a phrase used by the grammatically challenged
when they want to talk about existing conditions. Unfortunately,
we seem to be pre-stuck with it.
Q:Well, can I get coverage for my preexisting conditions?
A:Certainly. As long as they don’t require any
Q:What happens if I want to try alternative forms of medicine?
A:You’ll need to find alternative forms of payment.
Q:I have an 80/20 plan with a $200 deductible and a $2000
yearly cap. My insurer reimbursed the doctor for my outpatient surgery,
but I’d already paid the 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 investments that only doctors and dentists hear about, like
windmill farms and frog hatcheries.
Q:What accounts for the largest portion of health care
A:Doctors trying to recoup their investment losses.
Q:What should I do if I get sick while traveling?
A:Try sitting in a different part of the bus.
Q:No, I mean what if I’m 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’s best to wait until
you return, then get sick.
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 in giving him a shot.
Q:My pharmacy only covers generic drugs, but I need the
name brand. I tried the generic medication and it gave me a stomach ache.
What should I do?
A:Poke yourself in the eye.
Q:What will change if the government takes over health
A:Your coverage will have the efficiency of the Post
Office and the bedside manner of the Internal Revenue Service.
Q:Will health care be any different in the next century?
A:No, but if you call right now, you might get an appointment