Saturday, February 11, 2006

Discovery Blunders Again

This week I discovered two new things about my medical "aid", Discovery Health. The first relates to my doctor friend who wrote to them complaining about their bullying tactics and doctors fees.
Of course the original complaint was lost in the red tape of their call centre. That's what call centres are supposed to do: pretend to listen to the customer but actually shield the ivory tower management from the actual concerns of paying customers.
Nevertheless, they were sufficiently challenged by the letter after it started circulating among their clients. Since they had no idea who wrote it (see above) they asked their propaganda/marketing department to prepare a response. Here it is. And once more it proves that they don't care about either their patients or the doctors who provide it.
They followed the classic tactic that is the proven response of arrogant companies who are just trying to cover their backsides and appear to be responding to issues: admit no wrong. Of course they didn't do anything wrong; the critic was wrong. Is he a doctor? Does he know what is going on? Why is he anonymous? And so on.
Of course what these weasels fail to realize is their customers don't buy these excuses any more. They forget that their customers also work for large arrogant corporations who are completely out of touch, and they recognize these tactics for what they are.
Now for the bitter irony: the same KeyCare Plans that they are so keen to defend are the ones that are now in trouble. The KeyCare plans favour certain hospitals, particularly the Mediclinic hospitals
Recently the Medi-Clinic Group of hospitals put their rates up, beyond what Discovery thought was reasonable (2%). Medi-Clinic has stuck to their guns. Discovery has in return promised to make the preauthorizations for hospital admissions much harder, longer, and has indicated they will try to push their members away from Medi-Clinic hospitals.
So here you have a KeyCare plan, especially linked to Medi-Clinic, with 100 000 members, who will face major delays and obstacles in hospital authorizations, and told not to go to Medi-Clinic, the only hospital group they can go to!?
They had no problem in raising my premiums by 7.5%, but expect the hospital group to stick to 2%. Have all their accountants gone mad? The mind boggles. And we thought the Minister of Health had lost the plot.

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