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.