I just read an article on KevinMD that took me back in time to my first meeting with what was to become America’s Grandmaster, the insurance industry.  Most of you remember a time when there was no insurer standing between you and your doctor.

Yep, you paid me and then, if you had insurance, you submitted the bill to your insurer, and he reimbursed you.  School physicals were $15-20.  Office visits were not much more.  Lab and x-ray done in the office were at bargain rates.  So, what happened?

One day I was working in my office when two suits asked if I could spare them a few minutes to talk about the future of medicine and the insurance industry.  Their cards revealed that they worked for one of the larger insurers.  I had some free time, so I had them brought to my office.

To cut to the chase, they offered me the first insurance contract I had ever seen offering me access to their insured patrons for a discounted rate and a new rule book.  I thanked them and promised to review the contract and let them know if I was going to sign it.

“Oh, you’ll sign it!” is one of those statements you try to forget but that eventually resurfaced.  He continued stating that, if I didn’t sign the contract now, I would probably not be able to get future contracts.  He inferred that his company would put me out of business.

Summing up my youthful arrogance, I reached in the draw and pulled out my tape recorder.  I asked him to repeat what he just said so that I could go to the States Attorney and he responded with, “You obviously don’t know how big we really are, you should sign the contract.”

I showed them the door.  Later, I told Renee I would never sign their contracts. We would practice as before.  Boy, was I young and stupid?  I really didn’t realize how big and all powerful they would become.  I get a little nervous anytime I write anything negative about the beast.

Oh yeah, they are the beast and it’s almost impossible to find a medical practice that has not been consumed by the beast and his contracts.  So, what can you and I do?  Nothing! 

Well, there is one thing.  Thank your physician for the care they give you. While thanks will not make up for their cut in pay on a monetary basis, it will shore-up their emotional side and keep them practicing.

Here’s your music and joke for a day.

Four insurance companies are in competition.

One comes up with the slogan, “Coverage from the cradle to the grave.” 

The Second one tries to improve on that with, “Coverage from the womb to the tomb.” 

Not to be outdone, the third one comes up with, “From the sperm to the worm.” 

The fourth insurance company really thought hard and almost gave up the race, but finally came up with, “From the erection to the resurrection.”

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2 Replies to “INSURANCE”

  1. Boy this is such a true article for you! I remember being in hospital several times and Ray getting a call at home that I was in long enough! I should be discharged now.
    I remember telling you of this issue and you saying “I will deal with your insurance , I am your Doctor and I and only I will make the decision of when you CAN go home!” I never had any issues you did just what you said and dealt with them, I never got any additional bills that I had to pay.
    Thanks for being a great Dr and caring about your patients.
    Mary Jane

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