APRIL 1, 2002
Frequently Asked Questions About HMOs:
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, 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 physical finger poke with hi-tech equivalents such as voice mail systems and referral procedures, but the result remains the same.
Q. Do all diagnostic procedures require
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
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 three categories--those who are no longer accepting new patients; those who will see you but are no longer part of the plan; and, the remaining doctor who is still in the plan and accepting new patients. This last group has offices just a half day's drive away!
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
Q. What happens if I want to try alternative forms
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 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, and 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 giving him a shot at it.
Q. What accounts for the largest portion of health
A. Doctors trying to recoup their investment losses.
Q. Will health care be any different in the next
A. No, but if you call right now, you might get an
appointment by then
A man was having trouble getting his neighbor to keep his chickens fenced in. The neighbor kept talking about chickens being great creatures, and as such they had the right to go where they wanted. The man was having no luck keeping the chickens out of his flower beds, and his buddy commented that he'd soon have no flowers left at all.
Two weeks later, on a visit, the friend noticed that his flower beds were doing great.
So the friend asked him, "How did you get your neighbor to keep his hens in his own yard?"
"Well, one night I hid half a dozen eggs under a bush by my flower bed, and the next day I let my neighbor see me gather them. I wasn't bothered
The finance committee refused to provide funds for the purchase of a chandelier because none of the members knows how to play one.
The congregation asked, when they learned that Jesus fed the 5000, whether the two fish were bass or trout, and what bait was used to catch 'em.
The pastor says, "I'd like to ask the identical twins to help take up the offering." and five men and three women stood up.
The opening day of deer season will be recognized as an official church holiday.
A member of the church requests to be buried in his 4-wheel-drive truck because, "It ain't never been in a hole it couldn't get out of."
The choir is known as the "OK Chorale."
In a congregation of 520 members, there are only seven last names in the church directory.
Baptism is referred to as, "branding."
There is a special fundraiser for a new church septic tank.
Finding and returning lost sheep isn't just a parable.
High notes on the organ set the dogs on the floor to howling.
The congregation thinks "rapture" is what you get when you lift something too heavy.
The baptismal fountain is a #2 galvanized washtub.
The choir robes were donated by (and embroidered with the logo from)
The collection plates are really hubcaps from a '56 Chevy.
Copyright 2000 Claude Dern, All Rights Reserved
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