The banality of evil: It’s an R.N. now

Email from HR: Never, ever good news. In this case the exciting update that our “deny your health care” company is being upgraded.

Dear VixenCo Health Plan Participant:

Effective September 1, 2006, Nationwide Better Health (“NBH”) will replace SHPS Healthcare Services as the disease management and medical management vendor for the VixenCo Health Plan.

NBH will be an important part of your health coverage. Youl call NBH to get your hospital stay or surgical procedure pre-certified. NBH will also provide access to other valuable services.

Over the next few weeks, you’ll get to know NBH. Watch your mailbox at home and your work e-mail for more information coming soon.

This message is being sent to you by the VixenCo Employee Benefits Department from an e-mail address that does not accept return messages. If you have any questions, please call the Benefits Hotline at (888) 555-1212 or send an e-mail to

I especially like “Over the next few weeks, you’ll get to know NBH.”

I have a special deep burning anger in my heart for Utilization Review “nurses.” They’re the Good Germans of the healthcare world, reducing cost by using their medical expertise to choose the cheapest option every time, deny anything they can, and talk people out of seeking care. Nowadays they don’t just keep you from getting surgery or tests, they also send out colorful brochures urging you to call them when you feel unwell so they can keep you from going to the doctor.

2 thoughts on “The banality of evil: It’s an R.N. now

  1. personally i like the nurse call option. i know my body pretty well and i hate having to go to the doctor just to say “welp, you have another kidney infection! here are the antibiotics see you next time!” Its a waste of money on everyone’s part. Or when the kids get an ear infection. You always know what it is, but you have to bundle them up, drag them unhappy and sick to the doctor, etc. So much easier to just call and say “My kid has an ear infection. Can you call a perscription in and someone can pick it up on their way home?”

    1. Yeah, some health plans seem to have a good service like that. The only thing I’ve ever encountered is the evil UR variety which urges you to take two aspirin and relax when you have flesh eating bacteria in ur base eatin ur doods, etc.

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