Have you looked? Do you usually look?
~~WARNING!!!! LONG POST AHEAD!!!~~~~
Every year around this time, I end up laughing sardonically to myself.
“I just love a clean slate!”
“New year= new beginnings!”
<gag> I mean, really? Do people really believe this? Like, nothing from the past year is going to follow them into this year because it’s a “new calendar?” Or that because it’s the new year, things are just magically going to be “better” because the time meter has been reset?? The short answer is yes, apparently they must because every year, they say the same thing.
Ooooooookkkk- back to reality! I love history. I just don’t live there.
Sir Winston Churchill said, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Yep. It’s true. The key here is learning.
So many times, people do the same things over and over, each time expecting a different result. Doesn’t work that way. Never has; never will.
Learn something from the past, get over it, and move on already. Play the hand life has dealt you instead of moaning and groaning about better days (like when you were in high school). Don’t let the past keep you trapped, because you can’t escape from self-imposed imprisonment. It’s just not happening.
Get rid of your grudges- they keep you enmeshed, even if you don’t think they do. Why are you continuing to let that/them/him/her/it continue to have that kind of power over you? They don’t care about your grudge, and it’s going to damage you far more than it will them. Let it go……. but learn from the experience- don’t forget it; protect yourself from something similar happening again.
This is why we need to periodically look back. For me, it’s a measure of taking stock- where have I been? What went right? What needs work? Were any of those things things I actually had control over?
Let’s take a walk down memory lane for a minute so we can see what my frame of reference is: 2010.
Oh hey. I see you’re back.
The big rant there, about the medical billing? Yep. It’s still broken. The one bit of information I redently learned from my insurance company was “All emergency room doctors are contractors. None of them work for the hospital.” <gasp!>
That was news to me! I thought only smaller community hospitals were cursed with that! I have no real way of confirming this information, so if you have some kind of concrete evidence, would you point me at it, please? Thanks.
Why, you might ask, is that even on my radar? Well, in August, dd #2 (my now 10-year-old) ended up in the ER with a concussion. I kid you not when I say that the hand of God was on that situation from the get-go, because financially, it could have been a WHOLE lot worse than it turned out to be. (I mean, of course the hand of God is in everything all the time- this was one situation, though, where a person could see it really clearly and know it for what it was.)
Explanation: We here, in our rural community where a larger city is 200 plus miles away in ANY direction, have 2 hospitals. One is relatively new; a private, physician owned venture that is really, really nice. Thanks to the cuts in Medicare and Obamacare, it can’t expand nor can it sustain itself, so it’s being bought out by the other hospital. I’m not sure that’s happened yet, and it’s besides the point.
So, when J started vomiting after goofing around with siblings (something I did not witness), I knew it was time to take her to the emergency room. I’m pretty well convinced that the other hospital will kill you unless you are mostly dead anyhow (ya, this is the one where the head of ER services told me “Everyone has pitting edema in the morning- you are just fine besides the connective tissue disease issue. Get off the internet and stop trying to find something wrong.” Yes, really. Nevermind those pesky chronic illness that other COMPETENT medical professionals have diagnosed. ), so my thinking was to take her to the other ER because surely, it had to be better.
Indeed, it was. We were in and out in 2 hours; the CT confirmed a concussion but no bleed (which was a huge relief, because that’s an airlift out). In reality, we were the only ones there.
That was early August. It is now January. A few weeks ago, I got another bill from the emergency doctor’s contracting service, which turned into nearly 2 hours (yes, really) of time waiting on the phone. First, I had to call the service to find out why they hadn’t billed insurance again. (We had already had this conversation in October.) They said they had, and insurance said it needed more information from me.
??? I hadn’t gotten anything from insurance, so I called. Insurance said they couldn’t find a record of a claim. Interestingly, the hospital bill and the labs had been completely paid for by the end of September- apparently, the hospital, which took my information- was able to properly bill insurance with no problem. Somehow, the ER doctor service wasn’t able to take that same information and do anything with it. That bill was for nearly $750.
When I called insurance, it showed that it hadn’t been billed at all. The next logical step was for the insurance company to call the ER doctor service to try to straighten it out- all with ME still on the line……..Granted, most of the time spent was just being on hold, but still…. 2 hours later, it was finally determined that the ER doctors hadn’t actually billed the right place, but now it should be on the right track.
How does this stuff happen?!!! You give your information a single time; to a single person. This person enters that data into the computer, for goodness sakes. And every one but the one gets the billing right? Maddening!
But wait- there’s more! As it turns out, the new hospital doesn’t actually HAVE pediatric services. Yep. You read that right. They can deliver the bulk of the babies for the community, and they treat adults, BUT, they cannot admit pediatrics because they are not equipped to do so.
AND NOWHERE WAS THIS INFORMATION POSTED OR OTHERWISE SHARED WITH ME.
You’d have thought that when we showed up, there would have been a note or something posted- or the person taking our information would have said, “Please be aware that if she needs to be admitted, we are going to call an ambulance to transport her to the other hospital.” Had I known that, I would have taken her there to begin with (where a dear friend actually works in the ER). It was a given that if she had had a bleed, it would have been a chopper ride out- but first, they would have transported her to the other hospital by ambulance, too, because they are not equipped to do that there for peds.
WTH?!!! Pardon my french, but really? You don’t think you should tell someone that kind of information when they come in with a child that clearly needs medical attention? But see, fortunately, this is where God was clearly *overtly* in charge, because there was no bleed and things went well, all things being considered (we didn’t come home with something like MRSA….). But when my friend called and let me know what was more likely to have happened- wow. Just wow. Do people not have consciences?
I think we can conclusively say that medical billing is broken. And while our medical system is broken, I’m still inclined to think it’s considerably better than other countries with socialized healthcare, where people have to wait for eons to get surgeries and other services. At least here, I, the consumer, have the option to shop for doctors, even if I have to fight the payment ring-around-the-rosey later.
I think we can check that off the rants for 2011.
Let’s see- the Stuff issue remains, more or less. Getting a Kindle has been hugely helpful in not adding to the pile of books, so that is good. The other stuff- *sigh*. Work in progress.
I will say, though, that unlike 2010 which I was glad was dead and buried, 2011 actually DID have some really good points.
I missed not doing our usual travels. I think we all missed not taking out usual vacations. This was due completely to the addition of CHICKENS! If you’ve been reading along, you have no doubt figured out by now that I am totally crazy chicken lady.
Not a *single* regret here for getting chickens! Santa even brought Mama some chicken lanterns for Christmas, which add to the chicken calendar, magnets, and ornaments for her birthday.
We’re hoping to get the chicken arrangement more automated so when we do hit the road again, we’ll have it set to where our chicken sitter only really has to come once or twice a day to collect eggs and make sure they all put themselves to bed.
Of course, all of our girls are grown up now and they are all laying eggs. One of these days, I’ll actually get around to taking pictures of the chicken condo, the girls, and their gift of eggs!!
The other “big” thing for me this year came in the form of running shoes. The change to Vibram Five Fingers has been absolutely monumental for me. Because I’m not running with as much pain, I’ve been able to increase my mileage and enter races. 2011 brought me 2 10k races.
Year end totals for running: 935.76 miles. At the beginning of the year, my goal was 500 miles. At some point, that changed, and I was looking at 800 miles. When that goal got close, it changed to 900. The last few weeks, I had changed the goal again, to 950 miles.
The last week bit me in the rear, though, as I hit a pretty major flare on Christmas Day followed by a tummy bug. I only logged 43.5 miles for last week; my monthly total for December was 205.
How does that break down with the shoes? 308.56 miles were run in my Asics, which leaves 627.2 in my VFFs. I’ll continue to update periodically on my VFFs, as a measure of keeping track of the longevity of these treds. The Holiday Challenge finishes today, so stay tuned for the update coming soon!
Overall, 2011 wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated. In fact, it was considerably better than I had hoped! That being said, I can’t confess to having unbridled enthusiasm for 2012. While I’m cautiously optimistic, I’m probably just too cynical.
2012- looking forward to good things and firsts- like going and collecting eggs, because we haven’t collected eggs at all this year. And then a run, since I haven’t run at all this year……………….
What are your goals for the coming year? Do you set any? Have you looked in your rearview mirror yet?