Managed Care Jokes Archives
Jokes, cartoons and humor about our evolving health care industry

         Managed Care Jokes
This page contains archives of our humor from 1997
Please also see our 1998 Archives and
Our Main Managed Care Joke Page


 At a scientific research convention one researcher remarks to another, “Did you know that in our lab we have switched from lab rats to managed care reviewers for our experiments?”

The other asked, “Why the switch?”

“Three reasons,” he replied, “First we found that these reviewers have become far more plentiful, second, the lab assistants don’t get so attached to them, and thirdly there are some things even a rat won’t do. However, sometimes it’s hard to extrapolate our test results to human beings.”


A man walking into a hospital notices a prominent surgeon and his surgical resident down on their hands and knees digging in one of the flower beds. He goes over to them and asks, “Can I help? Did you lose something?”
“No,” says one of the surgeons, “We’re about to do a heart transplant on a managed care executive and we’re looking for a suitable stone.”


An HMO Executive, a teacher and a banker were in a sailboat. Suddenly the boat hit a large rock which tore a hole in the bottom of the boat. To their horror they discovered that the life raft only had room for two passengers. A beautiful tropical island was visible on the horizon, but the water was infested with bloodthirsty sharks. While the teacher and banker were wondering what to do, the HMO executive dove into the water and began to swim toward the island. The others got into the raft and paddled off.

When they finally arrived on the shore of the island, they found the HMO executive sitting under a palm tree, sipping coconut milk. They were flabbergasted. “How did you survive in there with all of those bloodthirsty sharks?” they demanded.

“Easy,” he replied as he took another sip, “Professional courtesy.”


c[email protected]  Joke from AMSO Web Page:

An ophthalmologist, a priest and an HMO CEO were waiting to tee off at their local country club. Two guys in front of them were stumbling around, hitting balls in all directions, swinging and missing and in general holding up the whole show.

The club pro happened to walk by and the three called him over to complain about the two in front of them.

The pro said, “Oh, lighten up a little. Those are two firemen that lost their sight while fighting the fire we had in the clubhouse last winter. We let them play whenever they want for free.”

The priest contritely said, “I feel so bad for thinking ill of those two. I’m going to offer special prayers for them.”

The eye doctor said, “I feel the same way, I’m going to get with some of my colleagues and see if there isn’t something we can do for those guys.”

The HMO CEO replied, “I just wonder why these guys can’t play at night?”


Q: What’s a JCAHO auditor?
A: Someone who arrives after the battle and bayonets all the wounded.


Q: How many nurses does it take to change a light bulb in an HMO?
A: Only one, but it needs a pre-auth before it can be done.


Q:What’s a shy and retiring hospital executive?
A: An executive who’s a million dollars shy and that’s why he is retiring.


A wealthy man lay critically ill.
“There’s only one thing that will save you,” his doctor said. “A brain transplant. It’s experimental and very expensive.”
“Money is no object,” the man said. “Can you get a brain?”
“There are three available. The first was from a college professor, but it’ll cost you $10,000.”
“Don’t worry, I can pay. What about the second?”
“It was from a rocket scientist. It’ll cost you $100,000.”
“I have the money. And I’d be a lot smarter too. But what about the third?”
“The third was from a managed care reviewer. It will set you back half a million dollars.”
“Why so much for the managed care reviewer’s brain?” the patient asked.
His doctor replied, “Never been used.”


New Trends in Cost Containment.

Q: Have you seen the new home surgery kit available via mail order?

A. It’s called Suture Self.


News Flash: “Doctors at a large managed care network gone on strike. .MCO Officials say they will find out what the Doctors’ demands are as soon as they can get a pharmacist over there to read the picket signs.”


Managed Care Finds Cure for Diabetes;
Endocrinologists Take the Plunge 

Declaring diabetes mellitus non-existent, managed care companies nation-wide have managed to wipe out diabetes throughout the United States, it was announced today. It was explained that any patient insisting that they have diabetes will be re-diagnosed as having paranoia, and hence will be ineligible for medical care, as mental health benefits are essentially nonexistent in most managed care plans. The insurance industry also announced that their pre-existing policy of refusing to reimburse for syringes or blood glucose test strips, and discouraging patients’ Primary Care Physicians from referring to endocrinologists, has been “totally vindicated.”

An estimated three hundred endocrinologists were seen lining up to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco; there were unheard-of upsurges in bookings for flights to San Francisco noted by airlines nationally. The San Francisco Tourism Agency announced that it encourages all endocrinologists to spend their final vacation in their city, before taking the plunge.

According to an anonymous spokesman for a major managed care company, it is expected that curing diabetes, and terminating contracts with deceased endocrinologists, will allow approximately 57 more insurance company executives to claim 6-figure bonuses at the end of the current Fiscal Year, while only resulting in an additional 15 minutes loss of sleep per night for the average Primary Care Physician, and only an estimated 2,000,000 covered lives to become uncovered deaths.

 You may feel free to forward or reproduce this satire, provided you include the following copyright notice:
Copyright © 1997   by the Midwest Diabetes Care Center, Inc.


Insurance Companies who refuse to reimburse for Glucose Monitoring Strips Take Note!

An unnamed manufacturer of blood glucose meters is about to announce the development of a major breakthrough in medical care: a new meter that can measure blood caffeine levels.

This innovative device is due for release on April 1st.  

The “CoffeeMeter” will utilize existing blood glucose reagent strips (from most current manufacturers). Through a new method of optical processing, it will be able to measure caffeine consumption, which will be displayed on the meter in “CCE” (Coffee Cup Equivalent) units.

The “CoffeeMeter” has been tested in several clinical settings, including diabetes clinics, inpatient alcohol treatment units, and wellness programs. It has had great success (P The “CoffeeMeter” can also accurately discriminate whether the user had consumed caffeinated or “decaf” coffee.

More details on this very important new product should be forthcoming in the near future.

You may feel free to forward or reproduce this satire, provided you include the following copyright notice:
Copyright © 1997   by the Midwest Diabetes Care Center, Inc.


A SHORT HISTORY OF MEDICINE: “Doctor, I have an ear ache.”
2000 B.C. – “Here, eat this root.”
1000 B.C. – “That root is heathen, say this prayer.”
1850 A.D. – “That prayer is superstition, drink this potion.”
1940 A.D. – “That potion is snake oil, swallow this pill.”
1985 A.D. – “That pill is ineffective, take this antibiotic.”
2000 A.D. – “That antibiotic is artificial. Here, eat this root!”


 An elderly patient needed a heart transplant and discussed his options with his doctor.

The doctor said, “We have three possible donors; tell me which one you want to use. One is a young, healthy athlete who died in an automobile accident. The second is a middle-aged businessman who never drank or smoked and who died in his private plane. The third is a managed care executive who just died after working for 30 years.”

“I’ll take the MCO executive’s heart,” said the patient.

After a successful transplant, the doctor asked the patient why he had chosen the donor he did.

“It was easy,” the patient replied. “I wanted a heart that hadn’t been used.” 


Official Definition of a Fall, from a major Baltimore Hospital

A Sudden, often unexplained change in position in which an adult patient comes to rest unintentionally on the floor.


Eleven ways to get rid of drug reps
Carol Watkins, MD

  1. Develop a chemical sensitivity to doughnuts and pizza.
  2. Insist that they build an accurate 3-dimensional model of a benzodiazepine receptor out of pick-up-sticks and playdough (most child psychiatrists will have these materials on hand)
  3. Establish a strict office dress code. Tell your office manager not to admit anyone wearing tailored skirt suits or highly polished shoes.
  4. Tell them that you mostly treat children and ask them how many of their products have been specifically recommended for children. (except for Solvay…see next item)
  5. Tell the Solvay rep not to come back until he can bring you a detailed report of the hourly wages and working conditions of the workers who manufactured the 1996 AACAP book bags.
  6. Be sure to return all of your phone calls while the rep is waiting to see you.
  7. Hire a pharmacology graduate student to help out in your front office. The drug rep may not see you until the student has finished quizzing him on the chemical properties of all of his products.
  8. Schedule four of them at the same time and only see the one who emerges from your waiting room alive.
  9. Ask them whether their company has underwritten psychologists’ efforts to get prescribing privileges.
  10. Take the drug rep back to your office and confidentially tell him that you have had a bit of a problem with your DEA license. Could he provide you with lots of free samples?
  11. Get your information about psychopharmacology from talking to colleagues, attending seminars, and reading journals.

Please do not reproduce without permission
Copyright 1998 Carol Watkins, MD


The receptionist in a hospital’s executive offices answered the phone the morning after the hospital’s vice-president passed away unexpectedly. “Is Dr. Smith available?” asked the patient on the phone.

“I’m very sorry, but Dr. Smith passed away last night,” the receptionist answered. “Can anyone else help you?”

The man paused for a moment, then quietly said ‘no’ and hung up.

Ten minutes later, he called again and asked for Dr. Smith, the administrator who had refused to allow his personal physician to extend his hospital stay..

The receptionist said, “You just called a few minutes ago, didn’t you? Dr. Smith has died. I’m not making this up.” The man again hung up.

Fifteen minutes later, he called a third time and asked for Dr. Smith. The receptionist was more than her usual annoyed  by this time. “I’ve told you twice already, Dr. Smith is dead. He is not here! Why do you keep asking for him when I say he’s dead? Don’t you understand what I’m saying?”

The man replied, “I understand you perfectly. I just like hearing you say it over and over.”


Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, an honest hospital administrator and an drunk were walking down a street together when, all at the same time, they spy a hundred dollar bill. Who gets it? Obviously the drunk, because the other three are mythological creatures.


The CEO of a large managed care corporation was sitting in his office late one night, gloating over his latest acquisitions. Suddenly, with a puff of smoke and the smell of brimstone, Satan appeared before him.

Satan smiled at the CEO and said, “I have a proposition for you. You can win every every health care contract you bid on, for the rest of your life. Your colleagues will stand in awe of you, physicians will fear you, and you will make embarrassing sums of money. All I want in exchange is your soul, and the souls of all your friends and the souls of all shareholders in your company.”

The CEO thought about this for a moment, then asked, “So, what’s the catch?”


An HMO accounts clerk had a cabin in the West Virginia mountains and liked to go there for his frequent vacation times. Each summer, he would invite a different friend spend a week or two up at his cabin. One particular summer, he invited a Czechoslovakian friend to stay with him. The friend agreed.

Early one morning, the clerk and his Czechoslovakian companion went out to pick berries for their morning breakfast. As they went around the berry patch, gathering buckets of   delicious red raspberries, along came two huge Bears–a male and a female.

The HMO accounts clerk, seeing the two bears, immediately dashed for cover. His friend, though, wasn’t as fast, and the male bear grabbed him and swallowed him whole.

The clerk ran back to his car, tore into town as fast has he could, and got the local sheriff. The sheriff grabbed his shotgun and they dashed back to the berry patch. Sure enough, the two bears were still there. “He’s in THAT one!” cried the clerk, pointing to the male bear.

The sheriff looked at the bears, and without batting an eye, leveled his gun, took careful aim, and SHOT THE FEMALE BEAR!

“What do you think you’re doing??” exclaimed the clerk, “I said he was in the other bear!”

“Exactly,” replied the sheriff, “and would YOU believe an HMO accounts clerk who told you that the Czech was in the Male?”


Psychiatry, Past Present (And Future?)
by Gerald Klee, MD Towson, MD

Many years ago,
When I became a psychiatrist
We were interested in how the mind works.

It is said that
As our interest
In the BRAIN increased,
We gradually lost our MIND.

When financing got bad,
We lost our HEART.

When squeezed by HMOs,
We lost our SOUL
To save our SKIN.

If we don’t use our BRAIN
To regain our MIND, HEART, and SOUL
We will have nothing to lose but our SHIRTS.

(Originally written in 1995)

To Hell with It

Gerald Klee, MD Towson, MD

A politician, a lawyer, a doctor and a health insurance executive died and went to hell. They all stood before Satan, waiting to hear what punishments they would receive for eternity. Satan addressed each of them in turn.

Fixing the politician in his gaze, he said, “According to the records, you have been guilty of lying, raising taxes, squandering public money and taking bribes. To the lawyer Satan said, “You are guilty of putting your own interests before those of your clients and the law, and billing for twice as many hours as you actually worked.” To the doctor he said, “You are guilty of devoting more attention to your golf game than to your patients and of practicing an inferior quality of medicine.” Last came the health insurance executive. Satan pierced him with his look and said, “You are guilty of raking huge profits from the sale of health insurance, while advertising that subscribers would have access to the best care, and a free choice of doctors. When subscribers needed medical care, they learned that their only choice was between terrible care and no care.”

Satan passed sentence on the politician, the lawyer and the doctor as a group. He announced to them, “Each of you is a disgrace to your profession. For such as you, there is a special place in Hell. You will be placed with others of your kind. There, the politician will enact the laws, and the lawyer will uphold them. The doctor will attend to your medical needs. You will all perform your functions just as you did on earth.

It was now the turn of the health insurance executive. Satan told him, “You are typical of your profession. We have no special place for you in Hell. You are entitled only the least expensive treatment we have. But you do have a choice. You may choose between being broiled or fried.”

(Initially written in 1994)


Q. Why do hospital CEOs carry their certification on their dashboard?
A. So they can park in the handicapped parking; it’s proof of a moral disability.


If a retrospective claims reviewer and an IRS agent were both drowning, and you could only save one of them, would you go to lunch or read the paper?


A woman who was diagnosed as being terminally ill was told she needed a brain transplant using a 1-1/2 pound brain. The surgeon informed her that three types of brain were available: Movie star, surgeon and managed care reviewer. He told her that a 1-1/2 pound brain of a surgeon would cost $500 and the 1-1/2 pound brain of a movie star $600.

“That’s a lot of money and I know that my plan will not cover it. I’ll take the managed care reviewer brain.”

“That’s fine”, he said, “but that will cost you $10,000.”

“What?” she replied incredulously. “If a surgeon’s brain only costs $500, why does a managed care reviewer’s cost $10,000?” “Do you have any idea how many managed care reviewers’ brains it takes to get 1-1/2 pounds of brain?” the doctor replied.


 [email protected]   Joke from AMSO Web Page
Joke Topic: Specialty descriptions

Psychiatrists know nothing and do nothing.
Internists know everything and do nothing.
Surgeons know nothing and do everything.
Pathologists know everything and do everything, but too late.


Carl and Adina Sherer, [email protected]
Joke Topic: Saving Lives   From AMSO Web Page:

 As a premed student at Washington University in St. Louis, I had to take a difficult class in physics. One day our professor was discussing a particularly complicated concept. A student rudely interrupted to ask “Why do we have to learn this stuff?”
“To save lives.” the professor responded quickly and continued the lecture.
A few minutes later, the same student spoke up again. “So how does physics save lives?” he persisted.
“It keeps the ignoramuses out of medical school,” replied the professor.


Q. Hear about the terrorist that hijacked a 747 full of managed care reviewers?
A. He threatened to release one every hour if his demands weren’t met.


Q: What is the difference between HMO’s and Terrorists?
A: You can bargain with terrorists.


[email protected]
The Pope, an HMO CEO and a student nurse are flying on an airplane. The captain comes back and says that he has some bad news and some really bad news. The bad news is that the plane is going to crash! As he puts on a parachute and jumps out he says that the really bad news is that there are only 2 more parachutes.

The HMO CEO says “I am the smartest man in the world, and the world of Health Care would be nothing with out me!” With that he puts on a parachute and jumps out.

The Pope says “Well, my child, I would love to live, but I believe that my time is up. Please take the other parachute and save yourself.”

The student nurse says “Not to worry sir. Right now the smartest man in the world is trying to find the rip-cord on my back pack!”


Sophisticated, targeted preventative medicine: The cornerstone of HMO care:

A man walks into a Doctor’s office.  He has a cucumber up his nose, a carrot in his left ear and a banana in his right ear.
“What’s the matter with me?” he asks.
“You’re not eating properly,” replies the Doctor.

Submitted by  Rev. Jon Burnham


[email protected]

 The three medical specialists & heaven   From AMSO Web Page:

 There were three medical specialists standing at the gates of heaven. St. Peter said to the first, “And what have you done to be able to enter heaven?”

“I’m a breast surgeon.” “Enter, you’ve done a wonderful job.”

To the second he said “And what about you?”

“I’m an oncologist” “Enter, you really hung in there on earth.” To the third he said “Yes, and you?”

“I was a director of an HMO” “Enter, but you’ll have to leave after 3 days.”


The chairman of a large charity noted that the wealthy CEO of a major managed care company had never given him a donation He called on the CEO in an attempt to persuade him mend his ways. “Our research shows that you made a profit of over $600,000 last year, and yet you have not given a dime to the community charities! What do you have to say for yourself?”

The CEO replied, “Did your research also show that my mother is dying after a long illness, and has medical bills that are several times her annual income? Do you know about my brother, the disabled veteran, who is blind and in a wheelchair? Do you know about my sister, whose husband died in a traffic accident, leaving her penniless with three children?”

Sheepishly, the charity solicitor admitted that he had no knowledge of any of this.
“Well, since I don’t give any money to them,” he continued, “why should I give any to you?”


Managed Care Game   From AMSO Web Page:

 Parker Brothers (the folks who brought us Monopoly), decided they wanted to develop a new board game. Managed healthcare is a popular topic, so they decided that the game would use “Managed Healthcare” as its theme.

In order to give the game credibility, they hired five consultants (CEOs from the most prestigious hospitals in the country). When the consultants arrived at the headquarters of Parker, they were all locked in a room and were advised that they would not be released until they completed the conceptual design of a new Managed Healthcare game.

Three days elapsed before the consultants signaled that they had completed their project. Top management from Parkers immediately assembled with the consultants, anxious to learn of their expert recommendation.

Parker Bros. Spokesperson: Is it a board game?

Consultants’ Spokesperson: Yes.

Parker Bros. Spokesperson: Does it use dice and movable players?

Consultants’ Spokesperson: Yes, Yes.

Parker Bros. Spokesperson: What are the rules of the game?

Consultants’ Spokesperson: The first one to make a move … loses!


A doctor was walking on the beach and noticed an empty bottle. He kicked the bottle. A genie suddenly came out of the bottle and said “Gee thanks!! I’ve been locked in the bottle for five hundred years!! Just for that I’ll grant you three wishes. I have to warn you, however, that each of the HMOs with which you have contracted will get double.”

So the doctor thought about it. He then stated “For my first wish I’d like a million dollars.” The genie said, “Okay. But remember, HMOs will get two million dollars” And the doctor said “that’s okay with me.”

The doctor then said for his second wish, he’d like a house overlooking the cliffs down to the ocean. The genie said, “Okay. But remember, HMO executives will be next door in a house twice as large and they like to party 24 hours a day.” The doctor said, “I think I can live with that.”

So the genie said, “For your third wish you’d better think long and hard.” So the doctor, after thinking it over, said, “Could you beat me half to death?”


A prominent doctor died and went to hell. Satan was taking the physician on his tour of where he would spend eternity. He explained to the doctor as they walked down a long hallway filled with doors marked with numbers, “I allow some new residents a chance to choose their own little hell. These are the rooms you will get to pick from.”

Just then, the Devil’s pager went off. “Darn, I have to answer that. Stay here, I’ll be right back.” The doctor stood there for a moment, then decided he could look around on his own.

He walked through door #1. Inside, he was standing in the middle of a large metropolitan ER bustling with activity. Patients were lined up along the halls in stretchers moaning and shouting. Several ambulances were pulling up, each carrying multiple traumas. The doctor thought, “Man, this is the ER from hell. I’m not staying here…” and walked back out the door.

He walked down the hall and entered door #2. Inside, he was surrounded by geriatric patients in wheelchairs and walkers. All of the patients were confused and combative, and the smell of urine filled the air. The doctor thought, “This is the nursing home from hell, I’m getting out of here…” and walked back into the hall.

He walked into door #3. Inside, he was standing at the nurses station of a hospital ward. As he walked in, a nurse stood up and said, “Hello, Doctor, would you like to sit in my chair? Could I get you some coffee? Do you need me to page anyone?” The doctor smiled to himself and walked out into the hall.

Soon, the Devil returned and said, “OK, let’s get on with your tour.” The doctor said, “While you were gone, I looked around and have decided to go to door #3.” The Devil smiled and clapped the doctor’s back. “Sorry, doctor,” he said, “that’s one of the choices for nurses’ hell…


Managed Care Cartoons

MCMD: Adventures in Managed Care

Cartoons from  the web site of “Physicians Who Care”

Submit your original cartoons as gif or JPEG files. We cannot reprint syndicated cartoons without permission. If you find a good managed care cartoon, please send us the absolute URL and we may be able to link to it.

Other Humor Sites

Web Smilies: How to show facial expression on the Web

Web Chat Acronyms: What those initials mean.

Bibliography on the Use of Humor in Medicine

Bibliography on the Use of Humor in Psychotherapy

Shakespearean Insult Generator

This site is presented by Northern County Psychiatric Associates
The opinions expressed in the jokes are not necessarily those of our practice.
External Web Sites can change without notice. We cannot be responsible for content or subject matter of external links.

Northern County Psychiatric Associates

Offices in Monkton and Lutherville, Maryland

Copyright © 2003  Northern County Psychiatric Associates
Last modified: January 29, 2005

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Contact Us:
Fax: 410-343-1272
Postal address: We have two locations in Baltimore County
Monkton Office16829 York Road/PO Box 544/Monkton, MD 21111
Lutherville Office: 2360 West Joppa Road Suite 223/ Lutherville, MD
Email: [email protected]
Please use telephone for appointments or medical questions.

Carol Watkins, M.D.
Glenn Brynes, Ph.D., M.D.
Rita Preller, LCSW-C

Copyright © 2004  Northern County Psychiatric Associates
Last modified: January 29, 2005