Everyday Tidbits...

Be Kind. Do Good. Love is a Verb.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Weekend Reflections 12/30

Looking outside...it's clear and currently 43. The sun is shining and the sky is blue. There is still snow on the ground because we had a white Christmas.

Listening...to The Artist on his computer. The Boy is watching something on his phone. The Doctor is taking a nap.

Loving...time spent together. There is nothing better than being with my husband and sons.

Thinking...that I am blessed. We had a wonderful Christmas. It was nice and quiet. We spent Christmas Eve with just us. We went to the evening candlight service at The Cathedral of the Rockies and it was beautiful. We read Christmas stories as is our tradition. We opened presents Christmas morning. My mother joined us for part of that and then we went to her home for an extended family Christmas dinner. It was a lovely day.

The best part of Christmas was seeing the joy that our boys found in giving to others. They were more excited to see each other open their gifts than they were for the ones they received. As a parent, it is wonderful to see your children as kind, thoughtful people.

In my kitchen...Crio Bru. Not sure what we're doing for dinner tonight.

Wearing...black skirt, red sweater with a black cardigan and black boots. When outside? A gorgeous red, black and gray scarf I received for Christmas.

Reading...Let's just not talk about it. I'm writing my 2017 Wrap-Up post and it's a bit depressing.

Today...this morning we saw patients in the office and then stopped at the hospital to see a patient there. This afternoon, I am taking down Christmas. The Boy is working and The Artist is going to a youth dance.

Quoting..."You do not need a permission slip from the principal's office to live a creative life." Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert

Feeling...tired, but hopeful. As regular readers will know, we started our own practice this year. We've learned a lot about business and patient records and tracking and insurance and claims and billing and more. We've made some mistakes and learned some lessons. The Doctor and I have also learned that we make a pretty good team. Our strengths and weaknesses balance each other's. He is the doctor and I am the office manager. My strengths are organization and administration and his are working with patients. We've also discovered that we like spending time with each other every day.

I have learned that I really don't like healthcare from a provider's perspective. I love seeing patients and visiting with them and watching them walk out of our office feeling better. I despise trying to communicate with insurance companies. When  the system works, it can be good. But, it's so convoluted and confusing. I'm convinced that the spawn of Satan sit in their little gilded offices and look at insurance claims and toss a coin to see if they will pay it. Then those same spawn walk into Satan's office and get rewarded for putting more money in Satan's pocket.

Meanwhile, down in the trenches. A really nice office manager is trying to learn why she can't find her patient in the provider portal online, because she went there to check why the patient's claims were rejected. When she calls Satan's Insurance Company, she gets transferred to 5 different people. 3 of whom are not even located in her country and speak only enough English to read the scripts in front of them. When the office manager's questions deviate from what they think she is supposed to say, they get confused and just transfer her to someone else because no one knows what anyone does in Satan's Insurance Company. Satan himself doesn't know, he is just happy that claims are denied so more money goes into his pocket and the pockets of the congressmen that he bribes.

The office manager? When the doctor walks out of the exam room, he finds her banging her head against the desk in frustration.

Fortunately, every once in a while, a real person answers the phone. This blessed woman is from somewhere in the south and is my new favorite person in the whole world. She actually had answers. She actually helped me get into the provider portal. The correct one, because one of the many transfer people had me going to the wrong one. After the call? I had the chance to take a survey. Oh hell yes, I took the survey. And I gave credit and kudos to my new favorite person in the whole world and then told Satan's Insurance Company that the rest of them were useless and that they needed to get it together so that everyone knew how their system worked.

I abhor the word deductible. It's awful. The words, "your remaining balance owed" are terrible to utter. Mailing bills to patients is just as painful for me as it is for the patients who receive them. But, as much as I would love to just serve everyone for free, we too have a mortgage and building rent and expenses and a family to support. So if we treat you, we expect payment. If not from your insurance company, then from you. I will take payments, because I know what it is like to not have the full amount for a bill and then have a doctor's office (always from dentists because they are the fathers of Satan and Satan's spawn) say that they won't take payments and the full balance is owed or you're going straight to collections which is worse than hell. Because of them? I will take payments. Just talk to me. Please.

The patients who know what their coverage is? Who know that they will be getting a bill for the remaining balance and then who either send payment or come into the office and pay? You are my favorite people after the one real person who works in Satan's Insurance Company. Thank you for being real and reasonable and for understanding that we are people too.

I do enjoy serving people and helping them to feel better and get well. It's rewarding. I have enjoyed the freedom that has come with owning our own practice and setting our own hours. I have enjoyed seeing The Doctor be a doctor. I love hearing him with patients. He is so good to educate and explain what he is doing and why or why they are hurting or in pain. I love seeing how much they appreciate and respect him.

We are ending this year on a better business note than the one we started on and I am hopeful for an even better year in 2018. And The Doctor? He has taken a leap of faith this year that most people will not even understand. And he has worked hard and done well. And I am so proud of him.

Planning...this next week. The Artist goes back to school on Wednesday.

Gratitude...for the sunshine today.

From my world... 

40 years ago, I stood in a line with my father to see a funky little space movie called Star Wars. I loved it. He loved it. He loved it so much that he went back and saw it more than 10 times according to family lore. The original trilogy became one of our family's favorite film series'. 

Last week, I watched The Last Jedi with my family. As the opening scene rolled and those iconic yellow words scrolled up the screen, I thought how much Daddy would have loved it. How he would have loved watching these films with his grandchildren. 

I don't think many people get misty-eyed during the opening sequences of Star Wars films, but for me they are treasured memories. 

No spoilers here or in the comments, please. All I will say is that Luke and Leia are still my favorites and we need a pet porg.

What about you? What are you reflecting on this week? How has your week gone?

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you had a nice Christmas. Ours was quiet and peaceful which made us all happy.

    I have a friend who's managed a doctor's office for years and she hates dealing with insurance companies too.

    I saw Star Wars in the theater twice when it first came out - it was groundbreaking.