Wednesday, May 30, 2007
The Attack of the Healthcare Marketing - Revenge of the Database
So, remember I said the other day I received promotional materials for a cardiac health care program, and I called my insurer to tell them I didn't think I had the problems they were targeting, and the nurse agreed? Once you are on the list, you cannot get off the list, the computer is already generating mailings. A "welcome package" arrived today, with the welcome letter dated the day before I called. Okay, whatever. It really is a very nice program, very informative. It tells me how to manage the medications I'm not on, and lose the weight I was not told to lose, and quit the cigarettes I don't smoke, manage the diabetes I don't have, and watch my diet - okay, I'm doing that one already - and exercise - okay, I'm doing that, too - and manage stress, and God knows I need that one. It's a very nice, friendly, helpful thing and I'm not mocking it at all, but I thumbed through it and yep, I don't think I was supposed to get this, I don't even know the names of any of the meds they want to help me manage, etc. It's a generic book covering the basics of stuff cardiac patients take and deal with and have to change in their lives, and it really is nice and helpful and we all could use some of this advice. And the welcome letter was the same generic letter as before, sent at the same time as the other letter, it just arrived later. I'm not going to call AGAIN, I'll just put this nice booklet with the rest of my insurer's fat glossy expensive publications, and keep doing what I'm doing. And wonder how much insurance premiums could be decreased if they didn't spend God knows how many dollars generating these expensively produced materials and shipping them to anybody who had the word "cardiac" on a bill. Though again, to be fair, they probably hit their target more often than they miss it, because "ruptured cerebral aneurysm" requiring heart monitoring is definitely not as common as "overweight smoker has heart attack." So I am duly impressed with the aura of caring this insurance company creates, even if their computer isn't too discriminating.