• snoofle (unregistered)

    Yeah, I worked at WTF Inc. (yes, it was in the medical insurance industry) too!

  • TheCPUWizard (nodebb)

    Aargh..... I deal with variations of this all the time.

    Any team who is placing items in a Sprint further out than Current+1 is likely a FUBAR. [exception being those who use a "parking lot" sprint arrangement for items they want to capture, but explicitly are saying "not likely to happen"].... The ordering of the Backlog is king, things will be done when they make it to the top of the backlog...

    "Only make stories for features" is actually Good!!! BUT, items which improve the product are features! So the root problem is a lack of appropriate Features.

  • Oliver Jones (google)

    Yeh, US health care IT is full of WTFs. There's the one where state medicaid authorities require 20-page forms, ensuring that scarce RNs spend their precious time on paperwork for the patients with the least generous payments. Intentional consequence: many practices won't treat Medicaid patients.

    Then there's the one where they completely change the form on a certain day, the same day they release the new form, and start rejecting claims made on the old form the momen the new one comes out.

    Then there are stupid payer tricks, like always rejecting every claim the first time it's sent in and forcing hospitals and docs to spend time appealing rejections.

    These payers (=== health insurance companies) are like old-timey Ma Bell era telephone companies. They get paid based on how much it costs them to deliver their services. When they delay paying claims, they get to keep the interest on the money they otherwise owe to a doc or physical therapist or hospital. So a project like the one in this article, to save tons of time and process claims faster, is doomed from the start. The only part of it that's NOT doomed are the high fees paid to consultants who are expected to fail.

    Fun, huh?

  • bvs23bkv33 (unregistered)

    fired? terminated? dismantled? crippled? divided by zero?

  • my name is missing (unregistered)

    I've been in more than one place where execs (often the CTO/CIO) told everyone there would be no layoffs. This I learned was the perfect time to prepare to be laid off.

  • LCrawford (unregistered)

    I could visualize a story branch where 'Jim' subcontracted timesheet approval to a team from India, while taking a second job and collecting 2 paychecks.

  • DQ (unregistered)

    Everybody knows: when managers say there won't be layoffs, they talk about themselves.

  • gordonjcp (nodebb) in reply to Oliver Jones

    There's the one where state medicaid authorities require 20-page forms, ensuring that scarce RNs spend their precious time on paperwork for the patients with the least generous payments.

    This is why free prescriptions work so well. Here in Scotland you don't pay for prescriptions. It's cheaper per capita than the paid-for prescriptions in England because the kind of people who would qualify for free prescriptions are more likely to have a lot of long-term expensive prescriptions to fill. Up here, although I could easily afford to pay for whatever prescription I need every couple of years, the amount of money that takes in would not cover the amount of money it would cost to gear up to take it.

    TL;DR - the people likely to require expensive medical treatment are frequently the least able to pay and would get state-funded treatment anyway, so you may as well give it to everyone and save the cost of working out who can afford to pay or not.

  • Brian (unregistered)
    The first thing Ian learned was that nobody had assigned desks. Each day, everyone had to clean out their desks and return their computers and peripherals to lockers.

    I worked for a company that was transitioning to this model, because apparently it's the hip, trendy new thing to do. Never mind that our work involved a significant amount of hardware, and despite replicating several of our systems on VMs and simulators, some developers still needed a full suite of devices handy to do our jobs.

    I didn't stay there long enough to see how that worked out for them.

  • Kashim (unregistered) in reply to my name is missing

    "There won't be layoffs" always means that you are about to have layoffs, unless a miracle happens in the next 30 days. Since a miracle hasn't happened in the last 6 months, you're unlikely to have one now. Any time that upper management says the word "Layoff" at all, for any reason, or anyone starts asking anyone about layoffs, get your resume updated. Start looking for another job unless you know at least 5 people in your department who will get canned before you. If you're higher up the totem pole, you may decide to try and wait it out, but I will say that once companies start laying off Software Engineers, I don't see a heck of a lot of them recover.

  • Bruce W (unregistered)

    Huh, I think I work for the same company; I can even guess what office Ian worked in. The only difference is layoffs do happen at my company (I've seen two good-sized rounds in 10 years).

    Here's the scary thing: we just had a small round of layoffs in IT Security. Yeah. That specialty that industry surveys report is understaffed and solid people are hard to find. My company laid off 50 people so other companies could snatch them up. The reasoning was "we grew too fast". I felt the underlying reason was to pad the quarterly numbers which, BTW, were outstanding.

  • jkshapiro (nodebb)

    fired? terminated? dismantled? crippled? divided by zero? Folded? Spindled? Mutilated?

    Addendum 2018-01-16 13:23:

    fired? terminated? dismantled? crippled? divided by zero?

    Folded? Spindled? Mutilated?

  • NotAmerican (unregistered)

    This is why 'constructive dismissal' is a thing in other countries- treating professionals like crap just because you don't want to go through the pain of firing them shouldn't be an option.

  • Watson (nodebb) in reply to TheCPUWizard

    I thought the intent of "Only make stories for features" was to say that "making stories for features" was the only thing they could do; they weren't in shape to do anything else, but they still had to soothsay their sprints.

  • Zenith (unregistered)

    Shared desks would've had me looking right away. Some people just don't get how much anxiety assigned seating eliminates.

    I had a contract a few years ago with that kind of confused setup. For almost two months I was in limbo, not knowing who I was reported to or what project I worked on. Fortunately, I was also a shareholder, so news of a spinoff hit me earlier and got moving ahead of any layoffs.

    Slashdot today posted an article about Google creating certificate programs to help fill a large number of open IT jobs. It occurs to me that, if these jobs actually exist, they're the sort of confused situations some of us have firsthand experience with.

  • 🤷 (unregistered)

    All this sacking going on reminds me of the Holy Grail opening credits: "We apologise for the fault in the subtitles. Those responsible have been sacked. Mynd you, møøse bites Kan be pretti nasti... We apologise again for the fault in the subtitles. Those responsible for sacking the people who have just been sacked have been sacked. [...] The directors of the firm hired to continue the credits after the other people had been sacked, wish it to be known that they have just been sacked. The credits have been completed in an entirely different style at great expense and at the last minute."

  • DocMonster (nodebb)

    This form of agile always amuses me. It's not agile if you plan out all your iterations in advance and then stick to them. The whole point of agile is that you can adjust. For instance, I'm on a project now using "agile". We have at least a handful of iterations spread out because we already have the deadline given, so everything is backed in from that. But we started the first iteration a week late because we were still wrapping up the prior project; did it get adjusted? Nope, it's "we need to get this done, we're already behind". This entire week my team has training so cannot put anything to the project; does it get adjusted? Nope, the first iteration is meant to be finished this week (we still might do it, most of it was done last week, but still) and I'm like uhh.. that's not agile. You should have seen there was 0 hours available this week and adjusted the plan. If you have a set-in-stone deadline, agile probably is not the right tool for you because agile is all about being able to adjust the deadline if you need to.

    It amazes me how many experienced managers like to claim they are doing agile, when really they're just releasing stuff every 3 weeks and having daily "scrums" and then thinking that alone makes you agile.

  • Quite (unregistered) in reply to gordonjcp

    This philosophy applies to many means-tested and so on. The money spent on making sure nobody who is not entitled to a given benefit does not get that benefit cost more than it would to just let that person get that benefit.

    "We are clamping down further on benefit thieves," said a gubmint spokesman on the radio a few years back, here in the UK, near the start of "austerity". "But won't that cost more than the money you are planning on saving?" asked the interviewer. "Surely that won't be cost-effective?" The reply: "It's not about saving money, it's about Sending a Message."

    And meanwhile many people are dying of starvation, illness and cold, because the government departments are making people jump through ever more challenging hoops in order to be allowed to claim their benefits. Their latest innovation is to move everybody to a new "Universal Credit" system, which replaces 6 possible benefits to which you may be entitled with one single benefit which lumps them all together. But in between when your old benefit finishes to when the Universal Credit starts, people have to wait 6 unpaid weeks before their first UC payment. The question "What do they live on during that time?" has failed to be granted an adequate answer.

    This of course is no big deal to people who disagree with the concept of social welfare in the first place (after all, why should someone pay tax for a service they don't use?) but unfortunately that butters no parsnips for people who are, for example, too ill or old to fund their food or heating. Social engineers of a certain philosophy are delighted with this, because they are all in favour of people who are not in a position to actively contribute to the economy dying and no longer being a burden upon society.

  • Pjrz (unregistered) in reply to Quite

    This is all why we need a Minister of Administrative Affairs! (And if you know what TV show I'm talking about, it astounds me when I re-watch them how relevant and 'topical' it is even decades later. Nothing changes).

  • Quite (unregistered) in reply to Pjrz

    The joke is that Jim Hacker is a far more competent and effective (and of course humane) minister than any of our current crowd.

    I remember Heseltine, when being asked whether he was going for the big chair, replied with a direct quote out of YM with a grin on his face. Oh for a minister with a self-deprecating sense of humour nowadays.

  • LzzrdBorth (unregistered)

    Was Ian a programmer or a systems analyst ? "The main problem with this arrangement was that Ian's disciple was a systems analyst, not a programmer." "They were still intent on shoving Ian into a systems analyst position despite his requisite lack of experience." In his case, I'd take the position as a systems analyst, looks better on a resume that just "programmer". Unless it was the helpdesk kind of systems analyst, that is.

  • Jaundicia (unregistered)

    A comedian (forget which) once joked that we should run more companies like American baseball: players are overcompensated, act out badly, don't show up, and so when they have a bad season, they sack the manager!

  • Ian S (unregistered) in reply to LzzrdBorth

    That's an error. I am a backend programmer with no background whatsoever as a systems analyst, and no inclination to be a systems analyst, and no experience as one, making it all the more astounding they thought they could just slide me over without any notice, or without even asking me first.

  • Paul Neumann (unregistered) in reply to LzzrdBorth

    "The main problem with this arrangement was that Ian's disciple was a systems analyst, not a programmer." "They were still intent on shoving Ian into a systems analyst position despite his requisite lack of experience."

    --> "The main problem with this arrangement was that Ian's disciple was a systems analyst [...] despite his requisite lack of experience"

    That either explains or exemplifies the root wtf.

  • Martin Kühne (google)

    How. Can. You. Even. Fuck. This. Up.

    I'm half a year into my small company producing a ticketing system for this branch's public relations departments. They don't need much, and we make it all look like it was social media - seeming simple and intuitive. And with the few years of python experience I have, I built the whole DRF backend, at basically unrivalled reliability.

    Okay, there are currently a few trade-offs at the speed front which will be improved upon, but as someone who worked with PHP in the past, I'm basically still in shock and awe, because it's possible to write software... This. Frigging. Stable.

    Anyway. What the hell.

  • sd (unregistered) in reply to NotAmerican

    Had to constructively dismiss someone(systems engineer) in a 3rd world country with guaranteed employment. What a pain. The employee had gotten so quarrelsome that all productivity had literally stopped. The solution: move them to a job where they had to hand transcribe the tickets out of a help desk system that was being replaced. The employee actually tried a hundred of them before deciding to move on. I tried one and felt seriously nauseous. It's a terrible thing to do, but when the law warps the system one seems to be stuck.

  • FinalBreaker (github)

    This story is familiar to my previous position. despite the sprints, deliverables, and visibility the company and agile swore would improve company functions, timelines always walked right past their target dates. not blaming agile. the company would willfully break its own tenants in every policy as exceptions, even developed a dedicated "Exception to Policy" form. low and behold the company is going under.

  • Masterofnone (unregistered)

    Why does this feel I was part of that group ??? :) and one of the person who was let go

Leave a comment on “Why Medical Insurance Is So Expensive”

Log In or post as a guest

Replying to comment #:

« Return to Article