Feb 18

There were three medical specialists standing at the gates of heaven.

St. Peter said to the first, “And what have you done to be able to enter heaven?”

“I’m a breast surgeon.”

“Enter, you’ve done a wonderful job.”

To the second he said “And what about you?”

“I’m an oncologist”

“Enter, you really hung in there on earth.” To the third he said “Yes, and you?”

“I was a director of an HMO”

“Enter, but you’ll have to leave after 3 days.”

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Feb 18

Mr. Barricks was brought to Mercy Hospital (a Catholic hospital), and taken quickly in for coronary surgery. The operation went well and, as the groggy man regained consciousness, he was reassured by a Sister of Mercy, who was waiting by his bed.

“Mr. Barricks, you’re going to be just fine,” said the nun, gently patting his hand. “We do need to know, however, how you intend to pay for your stay here. Are you covered by insurance?”

“No, I’m not,” the man whispered hoarsely.

“Then can you pay in cash?” persisted the nun.

“I’m afraid I cannot, Sister” he answered.

“Well, do you have any close relative?” the nun questioned sternly.

“Just my sister in New Mexico,” he volunteered. “But she’s a humble spinster nun.”

“Oh, I must correct you, Mr. Barricks. Nuns are not spinsters – they are married to God.”

“Wonderful,” said Mr. Barricks. “In that case, please send the bill to my brother-in-law.”

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Feb 18

Frequently Asked Questions About Health Care:

Q. What does HMO stand for?
A. This is actually a variation of the phrase, “Hey, Moe!” It 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 high-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 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 conditions?
A. Certainly, as long as they don’t require any treatment.

Q. What happens if I want to try alternative forms of medicine?
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 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 an HMO 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. How is a hospital gown like insurance?
A. You’re never covered as much as you think you are.

Q. What accounts for the largest portion of health care costs?
A. Doctors trying to recoup their investment losses.

Q. Will health care be any different in the next century?
A. No, but if you call right now, you might get an appointment by then.

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Feb 18

A wealthy man lay critically ill.

“There’s only one thing that will save you,” his doctor said. “A brain transplant. It’s experimental and very expensive.”

“Money is no object,” the man said. “Can you get a brain?”

“There are three available. The first was from a college professor, but it’ll cost you $10,000.”

“Don’t worry, I can pay. What about the second?”

“It was from a rocket scientist. It’ll cost you $100,000.”

“I have the money. And I’d be a lot smarter too. But what about the third?”

“The third was from a managed care reviewer. It will set you back half a million dollars.”

“Why so much for the managed care reviewer’s brain?” the patient asked.

His doctor replied, “Never been used.”

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Feb 18

I was hitting the ski slopes when a bizarre accident occurred. While fumbling my way off a chair lift, another chair hit me from behind and knocked me out cold. I woke up with a headache, in a hospital bed and immediately called my insurance company.

After explaining what happened the insurance rep said, “We’re covering nothing on this claim. You hit yourself in the head with a chair on a ski lift. You’re an idiot. And that’s a pre-existing condition.”

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Feb 18

The CEO of a large managed care corporation was sitting in his office late one night, gloating over his latest acquisitions. Suddenly, with a puff of smoke and the smell of brimstone, Satan appeared before him.

Satan smiled at the CEO and said, “I have a proposition for you. You can win every health care contract you bid on, for the rest of your life. Your colleagues will stand in awe of you, physicians will fear you, and you will make embarrassing sums of money. All I want in exchange is your soul, and the souls of all your friends and the souls of all shareholders in your company.”

The CEO thought about this for a moment, then asked, “So, what’s the catch?”

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Feb 18

A SHORT HISTORY OF MEDICINE: “Doctor, I have an ear ache.”

2000 B.C. – “Here, eat this root.”

1000 B.C. – “That root is heathen, say this prayer.”

1850 A.D. – “That prayer is superstition, drink this potion.”

1940 A.D. – “That potion is snake oil, swallow this pill.”

1985 A.D. – “That pill is ineffective, take this antibiotic.”

2000 A.D. – “That antibiotic is artificial. Here, eat this root!”

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Feb 18

An HMO Executive, a teacher and a banker were in a sailboat. Suddenly the boat hit a large rock which tore a hole in the bottom of the boat. To their horror they discovered that the life raft only had room for two passengers. A beautiful tropical island was visible on the horizon, but the water was infested with bloodthirsty sharks. While the teacher and banker were wondering what to do, the HMO executive dove into the water and began to swim toward the island. The others got into the raft and paddled off.

When they finally arrived on the shore of the island, they found the HMO executive sitting under a palm tree, sipping coconut milk. They were flabbergasted. “How did you survive in there with all of those bloodthirsty sharks?” they demanded.

“Easy,” he replied as he took another sip, “Professional courtesy.”

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Feb 18

The Top 10 Signs You’ve Joined A Cheap HMO

10. Annual breast exam conducted at Hooters.

9. Directions to your doctor’s office include, “Take a left when you enter the trailer park.”

8. Tongue depressors taste faintly of Fudgesicle.

7. Only proctologist in the plan is “Gus” from Roto-Rooter.

6. Only item listed under Preventive Care feature of coverage is “an apple a day”.

5. Your “primary care physician” is wearing the pants you gave to Goodwill last month.

4. “Patient responsible for 200% of out-of-network charges” is not a typo.

3. The only expense covered 100% is embalming.

2. With your last HMO, your Viagra pills didn’t come in different colors with little “M’s” on them.

1. You ask for Viagra. You get a popsicle stick and duct tape.

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Feb 18

Question:  What is the difference between an HMO doctor and a seagull?

Answer:  A seagull can still make a significant deposit on a Mercedes.

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