I’m From the Government—I’m Here to Heal You

A couple of months ago, I was sitting in a webinar about coding for outpatient medical and nursing procedures billed to Medicare.  As I was led through the maze of arcane formulas and requirements, I got to thinking about how much Medicare has inflated the costs of health care.  Here I was, being paid $40 an hour, as were seven or eight of my nurse colleagues, to listen to consultants (who were surely getting paid way more than I), quote from other consultants (more $$$) about how to fill out papers to maximize the amount of reimbursement the hospital I work for can receive from Medicare.  And this is all because the people who work for Medicare ($$$) issue coding guidelines that are vague and open to interpretation, so that bills are constantly bounced back to providers for more processing ($$$) to justify or explain the charges so they can be rebilled.  What a ridiculously expensive and inefficient process. Continue reading

What’s the matter with kids today?


What’s a parent to do?  PSAs broadcast on radio throughout the day tell listeners that every kid is constantly on the verge of smoking dope and thus ruining their life.  Parents are encouraged to scrutinize their kids’ internet use since they are in imminent danger of abduction by a sexual predator or intimidation by a cyberbully.  The medical and political authorities warn us about the dangers of HIV, occasional exposure to sidestream tobacco smoke, riding a bike without a helmet, contaminated lettuce, and now the scourge of unsafe bridges.  Continue reading