EH got a phone call from someone purporting to be from United HealthCare, and they were actually calling about me (we are on the same insurance). The woman on the phone said that UHC pays for a home visit program where they will send someone out to MY HOME to visit with me to discuss my health, review my medications, and go over my doctor’s and medical conditions. (I was quite sick last year’s end, but have recovered, and was never offered this option amid visits to the doctor or ER or urgent care.)
This makes my hair stand on end, to say the very least. My insurance company is good for ONE thing. Paying the bill.
NOT advising me on my healthcare, NOT telling me what meds I should or shouldn’t take, NOT telling me which doctors I should seek care from.
If I hadn’t just sat through hours of social engineering talks at a hacker convention, I might not immediately go to SCAM, but I certainly don’t want my insurer in my home. The conflicts of interest seem legendary to me (do they evaluate what’s in my pantry, my choice of toilet paper, or if there is a mildew or mold or pollen problem on my property?!?)
I can’t offer any information about UHC in particular, however, one of our customers has a business model where they take on patients whom they think they can educate/work with to understand their disease better and reduce their costs to the insurance company. If they succeed, they get paid a percentage. Now this customer is employing specialized practice nurses to do the educating and trying to get to patients that otherwise would benefit from the education. So this type of thing doesn’t scream scam to me, but it also doesn’t mean you have to agree to participate.
@TravelingOn to @Chris 's post, both California and Washington state have also used that same health model to great success in the last 20 years with underserved\ high health risk groups. The end result was a significant overhead cost reduction with better medical care for.many who would otherwise slip through the cracks.
I think often of how our insurance provider is always trying to “help” by not allowing us to get what we want. Want Novolog? Nope, have Humalog, it’s the same. Want Freestyle strips? Nope. Have some Accucheck it’s the same.
Coming from the state, I’d be less weirded out somehow.
UHC has contacted us before for EH about diabetes, they have a nurse call, but honestly we’ve learned more here. I value my time over most other things, and I’d rather spend it here.
If I think about underserved/high risk folks, I can see how it might be helpful. If they literally have no idea what diabetes or allergies or whatever are…it could help.
I certainly understand the business model, and even it’s validity for some patients. What annoys me is the lack of research into WHICH patients it is likely to benefit. I mean look at my records, or at the very least, my last A1C before you decide I need this help.
My standard response over the years has been to ask questions. When it’s obvious to everyone that their knowledge is inferior to my own, I bluntly reply with statements like “if your knowledge is inferior to mine, what is it you have to offer me?”
UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage has phoned repeatedly to try to get me to agree to an in-home visit. I don’t think it’s a scam, but I surely won’t let them come into my home, because I see only downside, no upside. If I were struggling with diabetes management, maybe they could possibly help; I can’t rule that out.
I’d like to offer UHC a chance to setup a diabetes conference or workshop and have ALL their educators come over to my house for a day or two. I could do some presentations and speak to them all and teach them a good bit, and it would certainly help them learn a little more about diabetes.
And any of you would also be invited to do some presentations on different topics too. We could organize our talks to make sure we cover everything. All of us just take different subjects and plan our talks so we make sure we cover as much as possible. And we could do some PowerPoint presentations and so-forth.
For lunch midway into the conference, we could do a hands-on demonstration of mealtime insulin use. Show different methods - pumps, syringes, pens - as well as CGM and BG meter use. And show the different calculations for different food choices. So it would actually be a working lunch, and a lot of fun.
You know, stuff like that…
I think that would really help them. If anyone hears from them again, please pass the idea along to them.
(Admins, can someone please create a sarcasm font?)
@TravelingOn My gut reaction is the same as yours, especially since insurance companies tend to be FOR PROFIT which does not always align with the patient’s best interests. That said, I might listen and see if it’s actually worthwhile for me. I can always say no.
Glad your better! I have been contacted with the same approach. I feel like you do. I dont want a stranger in my home. I can handle my meds and health records just fine…especially being a widow. Did you call your insurance company to see if they do have reps call?
My insurance, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, will reach out every so often, notifying me that I’ve been placed in their awesome diabetes management program and that I will be contacted by my own personal nurse helper who will advise me on how to be a better diabetic. Ugh. I call them right back and let them know I CONTINUE TO WISH TO BE OPTED OUT OF THIS PROGRAM. Actually, I first ask if with the program they are offering free diabetes supplies (CGM, insulin) for participating (friends in some states/some insurance programs actually get this – test strips and insulin at least)… the answer is always no and my response is to OPT ME OUT. It’s irritating as all hell, especially that they keep trying to enroll me.
@Eric- how much would we charge for our bootcamp for the insurance professionals? I think there’s a good business model in there. Jessica
So, I would do the BCBS nurse program in exchange for supplies, especially if they were offering CGM supplies. 1) my current insurance coverage through my husband’s company is complete crap, so those products are valuable to me right now; 2) even if I had great insurance coverage I know plenty of people to whom those products would be valuable and I would love to be able to offer excess supplies to them.
And I am serious – a type 1 bootcamp for insurance professionals and/or for medical students going through endo rotation would be extremely valuable to them and if we put together a simple, yet effective, teaching program (ideally interactive for them), we could charge for this. I actually started work on this years ago but was interrupted by the birth of children and other life events! Groups like ours have very valuable information to share.
Finally! There is NO WAY I would EVER allow someone from my insurance company or anywhere I can think of come into my house to discuss ANYTHING medical with me. That’s just crazy. Jessica
PS - I understand the programs with phone conversations, but home visits? NO WAY.
To ensure the call is legitimate, simply ask them for the online enrollment address and/or call back phone number. This allows you to control the process and take note that the phone/email address is legitimate. I get calls/emails every now and then from BCBS of MI. The last one was to notify me that my old Humalog was moving from a Tier III to a Tier IV drug so the cost was going to dramatically go up and suggested my Endo prescribe Novolog instead. I did and ended up saving a bunch. But since Windsor, Ont Canada is only 30 miles away, I’m renewing my Passport and save 90% on my insulin.
I currently charge customers for training courses. We could get $2000 - $3000 per participant for a 4 day program, plus another $750 for a certification exam if we could put one of those together. If it was only a 2-day program we could still probably get $1,500 per participant. If we could show that the training benefits the people we could get more.