Drugs, Sex and Socialized Medicine

My wife is a physician and we live close to the Tennessee border, so we are quite used to hearing tales of how TennCare, the state’s healthcare program, screws people. In an apparant attempt to utilize modern technology, they can now screw people over the phone. From the Washington Post:

Bethany Morgan said she used a 1-800 number promoted by John Deere Health, an insurer that administers TennCare benefits, to order new prescription cards.

She said a message on that line prompted her to call another number that told her: “Welcome to an exciting way to go live one on one with hot horny girls who are waiting now to talk to you.”

“I’ve never encountered anything like this before,” Morgan told WATE-TV. “I thought I was going to get insurance cards, not a sex line. I didn’t hear all of it, I hung up.”

As the story turns out, they aren’t really trying to promote phone sex at taxpayer expense. The article reports:

Todd Florence, a spokesman for John Deere Health, released a statement Tuesday that said the company “regrets this mistake and is taking action to ensure the correct phone number is published in the future.”

He said the company had “mistakenly printed an incorrect telephone number that appeared in our newsletter for TennCare members.”

The phone number was previously a John Deere Health customer service number but had been discontinued in December and was not updated in the publication.

“The phone company that owned the 800 number then sold it to another business,” the statement said.

It seems that the marketing folks at TennCare are just as incompetent as the administrators they hire. Who says socialized medicine doesn’t work?

3 Comments
  1. Hehe, hehe. My spouse is also a doc, and I work in medical reimbursement for XYZ co. There is a company that starts with “A” and ends with “A” with a talk line attached to one of its old numbers. I know that TennCare is (^%$#^&)from experience- but, they are not alone with regard to forgetting to protect their reputation. They should have disco’d the old # and implemented the new one long enough in advance to establish the new #’s authenticity. It would only take a year to recycle the benefit cards. And, BTW, JD has just merged with another big payor. Thankfully, the new payor will pay attention to old numbers. (I suspect)

  2. Stephen Gordon

    You hit another one of my hot buttons. Medical professionals are crippled by regulation and lawyers. I say allow them to operate in an environment of less regulation and fewer lawsuits. I know who sits on most state legislatures and Congress, lawyers. I know who are the lobbyists, lawyers. Muzzle some of them and health care may closer to the model of pure competition which would actually increase the quality of the product at less cost.

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