Wednesday, April 9, 2008

So Now that's it's really Wednesday

I don't feel any different from when the computer thought it was Wednesday (because I lied to it). Janis Joplin had it sooooooo right when she said "it's all the same fucking day man."

I used to say that a lot when I was working in a skyscraper in Dallas. It pretty much summed up the futility I felt-applying rules, counting money, explaining the events in the least taxable way. Before hippa, sometimes medical reports would be used as actual support for a procedure. Would you believe that people go to the emergency room to have vaginal lesions lanced?

If you go to the emergency room, it is most likely the highlight of your day, or at least the low light...a pinnacle, day defining, perhaps even life changing, experience. Your name will end up on 15 sheets of paper, all documenting procedures, medical necessity, insurance coverage or lack thereof and those bits of paper will be disbursed for electronic data entry and electronic submission (no one really uses paper as an end product any more, except for toilet paper.)

Eventually you won't be a name. In the past you were the last four digits of your social security number but now I don't know how the hell they decide to differentiate you and your heart attack from all the other pinnacle experiences that day. Your heart attack, cost to treat and outcome data, as well as insurance data and reimbursement data will be combined to help determine the rate that should be negotiated/defined for other people with similar statistics. I've met a couple of brilliant people who eke out a pretty good living as experts in this field.

Two months after the actual event your statistics will be part of the monthly financials reported one month in arrears. At that point, reimbursement for the event should have started, but depending on the number of insurance carriers/programs you belong to, it could take 9 months or so for it to trickle in.

At that point, someone analyzing the paper who says "you do realize these numbers are people with life changing events that happened two months ago, some of them may not even be alive," will be looked at with blank stares and reminded to "focus".

What was my point? I really don't have one, other than the general notion that the same fucking day can be a sad thing to say or a hopeful thing or nothing at all. It's 1o till 9 on Wednesday in OKC and in Dallas. Instead of sitting in my office that overlooked my neighborhood , I'm sitting in my chair in my neighborhood. Instead of Double Double (folgers made with two packs of coffee to get that boost we needed) I'm drinking fresh ground Kona, watching the dogs and listening to Oliver the parrot babble.

For a while now I've been thinking that I may have lost my way, gotten off track somewhere. A closer to the truth explanation would be that I've gotten off that particular track. My co-workers now are dogs, a parrot, a few snakes, an elderly cat. I'm probably one of the luckiest people alive.

1 comment:

Forever Young said...

listen girl, you have definitely found your way.dogs and parrots, so much simpler and nicer, far nicer, way nicer, very much nicer! i think bbc is going to have a great time commenting on this piece!