Monday, January 25, 2010


HMSA insurance premiums go towards flying in consultant to doodle??

by Larry Geller

Even as HMSA cries about costs, raises your insurance premiums and asks for employee sacrifices, they have flown in an expensive consultant from Texas on perhaps two occasions—to doodle for them at meetings.

A Google image search for HMSA hit this one:

Google catch

Click the image to go to the Bytemarks article. Hmm… that leads to HMSA Leadership Summit – Honolulu, HI (1/24/2010), a current article (just yesterday) on the website of a consultant in Austin, Texas, that includes two HMSA doodles and starts off:

HMSA (Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Hawai’i) has risen to the top of my client list due to the nature of the projects we’re involved with and my deep respect for the efforts of the leadership and the Innovation Team.

What is HMSA getting for this big expenditure? Click the picture on that website for a larger image and see if you can figure it out.

If they want illustrations drawn during their meetings, why not either do it themselves or hire a local artist or consultant?

I suppose the value of these doodles can be disputed, but more typically, meetings are diagrammed by means of mind-mapping. For example, see A Beginners Guide to Mind Mapping Meetings, which includes this example: Mind Mapping Meetings
Anybody can do this either on a whiteboard, on paper, or using any of several free or inexpensive computer programs. The technique shows the relationships between ideas and subjects, which the doodle does not. I suggest that this technique is more useful than the doodle anyway.

Should your medication or doctor’s procedure be denied, remember that HMSA is happy to spend money on doodling instead of on you.

If you’re a doctor whose reimbursement doesn’t cover costs, envy this consultant.

If you’re an HMSA employee asked to sacrifice for the company, wonder why you could not sketch on the whiteboard instead of an expensive Texas consultant flown in to do it (and you could probably produce something more meaningful, as an insider).

If you are the Insurance Commissioner considering a rate increase  application, I hope you’ll ask about the need for spending like this that then gets charged to insurance premiums.

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