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Friday, October 06, 2006

Managed medical madness

The medical community wants you to have a complete physical exam once a year, especially as you get older. The health insurance industry will pay for it, provided it's only once a year. Sometimes those interests conflict.

My wife and I take our physicals toward the end of the year. Last year, I didn't call my internist early enough for a November appointment, so I was bumped to Dec. 19. This year, I was going to be smart about it and call in early October for that November date. So I did and Nov. 30 was open. I'll be on vacation anyway. Wrong! The health insurer nixed that date. It hasn't been a full year since my last physical. So with the last two weeks of December a no-go at work and at home, I'm now set for Jan. 3, forcing me to take a few hours off from work.

I know rules are rules, but what difference would it make to have my checkup after 49 weeks instead of a full year? The point is to have the physical to assess my health and to catch anything before it becomes really nasty. At least, I've rescheduled it. What about those who give up, curse the managed health care system and forget about a checkup altogether. Who wins then?

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