Can You Manage My Health As Well As You Manage My Bill?


A few years ago I shared with my perspective on how men dress, and we spent way too much time discussing socks, especially black socks. If aliens ever entered an elevator in a New York office building they would conclude that all American men wear dark suits, white shirts, red ties, black shoes, and black socks.

I never got that memo. On that fateful day a few years back, as I was packing for a business trip, my wife said, “You can’t wear those socks!”

“Why not? I asked.

“Because they are arrogant.”

“No,” I replied. “They are cotton.”

Fast forward to this morning. I am packing for yet another trip to the city of dark suits and black socks. To avoid another confrontation with my wife I had hidden my arrogant socks inside my can of shaving cream. As I put on my blazer, a cobalt blue number (photo 1) woven from organic Italian silk worms, I turned to look at my wife. To her credit, she was doing her best not to comment, but she was about to bite off her tongue.

“What?” I asked.

“You haven’t earned the right to wear that,” she said. “Earned it from whom? You?” I asked. “Not me. From the people with whom you are meeting. You can’t do bold colors with people you don’t know.”

“Well, with whom may I wear this jacket?”

“Unless your meeting is with the Queen, and you are going lawn bowling at a place that cuts the crusts off of cucumber sandwiches, you probably can’t wear it anywhere.”

I turned and looked at my suitcase. I knew immediately that even if I removed my socks from the can of shaving cream, there would not be room for the jacket.

So, I arrive in New York for my meeting and learned quickly that everything I thought I knew about how New York men dressed was outdated. Gone were the dark suits and black socks. I think this may be how Dorothy felt when she landed in Oz. While there were no Lilliputians, I had entered the land of Skinny Pants being worn by skinny people.

And to top it off—this is absolutely true; my female co-presenter was wearing a blazer. A cobalt blue blazer. One that was probably woven from relatives of the same organic silk worms used in mine. (photo 2)

So, now that you have grown tumescent with anticipation, let’s get to work.

Can you manage my health as well as you manage my bill? Don’t just manage my claim, partner with me to manage my wellness. Probably not. Actually, you do manage my bill; you do not manage my health.

You are all over the bill thing; down to the farthing. You can do everything except explain it. You are itemizing my bill from the moment I hit the front door. Tylenol; eight dollars. Band-Aids; four-fifty each. You can tell me the date it was issued; the date it is due, how much is past due. You know when to send me a dunning notice the amount of interest I owe. For an outfit that cannot tell me what anything cost, you seem to know an awful lot about what you are going to charge for those things.

You can help me set up a payment plan. But you cannot help me set up a wellness plan. Yours is a healthcare company, not a bank. Yet it does not itemize my health. My watch knows more about my current health than does my provider.

People and firms pay attention to what is important.

Maybe my bank can help me manage my wellness.



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