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The Truth About HMOs & Exciting New Options Coming

We have all heard of the horror stories of HMOs. The link below is a great example as it tells the story of the extended torture--no, not too strong of a word--of a woman whose only sin was to become ill. Her family eventually won their wrongful death suit against Kaiser Permanente HMO in 1995 based solely upon the medical evidence. The HMO's gross malpractice in this case is a matter of public record. This book uses the case to present a powerful objective lesson about how HMOs make medical decisions and how some of those decisions ultimately cause or accelerate the death of their patients.

Last week I presented at Parker Seminar in Vegas. One of the major highlights for me was attending a lecture by renown economist Paul Zane Pilzer. He wrote the book The Wellness Revolution, which is highly recommended for anyone interested in the next trillion-dollar economy of health. I was fortunate enough to sit next to him for lunch following the presentation. He has developed some very exciting products to the traditional health insurance industry that takes advantage of the legislation that President Bush signed last month providing enormous expanded tax avoidance benefits of Medical Savings Accounts. I am working furiously on this project and hope to have a major story on this in the next few weeks. Until then, please read the following for your enjoyment. It was forwarded to me by Dr. Pearsall:

Q. What does HMO stand for?
A. This is a variation of the phrase, "HEY MOE." Its roots go back to a concept pioneered by Moe of the Three Stooges, 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.

Q. I just joined an 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 in the plan. 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 participating in 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 and has a diploma from a Third World Country.

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

Q. Can I get coverage for my preexisting 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. What if I'm away from home and I get sick?
A. You really shouldn't do that.

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 $15 co-payment, there's no harm in giving him a shot at it.

Death By HMO

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