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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Musings from a Footstool: How to Appropriately Bill for Lending a Shoulder to Cry On

Blogging on Sunday is Musings from A Footstool (Philosophy)  

 Medicine is too much now a days about doing things. You do things so you can dictate you did something. You dictate that you did something so you or your biller can bill for that something. Was that something helpful? No one in charge really seems to care. Was that something hurtful to the patient? So what since you can bill for it. If you did it, you can bill for it. The more you bill, the more you probably will get paid. So do a lot, whether it helps anyone or anything really does not seem to matter (but it should help your pocketbook). 

     How sad? 

     When you talk to billing coordinators that deal with insurance companies, they do emphasize that the sky is not the limit on these matters. Normally health care providers can get paid for one something for any visit encounter. That provider may feel you need 5 or 6 things done to get the ball of progress rolling towards healing, but they feel the pressure of only doing 1 something. So, they might as well do the most expensive something, even if it is probably the least predictable to help you. They can rationalize that there will be another visit. More can be done to help next time. But, that next time, the pressures of making a living are still there. 

     So, where am I going with all this?

     And this soapbox is just as much directed to me as to any other health care provider.

     We need more hand holding, more shoulders for a patient to cry on, more smiles, more pats on the back, more gentle nudges, and more open caring. Providers care, but medicine tells them to be careful about showing that care. It makes you vulnerable, and you do not want to be that. You have to be in control of every situation. You have to say you know what is going on, even if you do not. And you sure can not bill for that extra meaningless time with the patient. There is no billing code for "Lending Your Shoulder For Patient To Cry On" even if that was the most important part of the healing process to have occurred in months. 


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Thank you very much for leaving a comment. Due to my time restraints, some comments may not be answered.I will answer questions that I feel will help the community as a whole.. I can only answer medical questions in a general form. No specific answers can be given. Please consult a podiatrist, therapist, orthopedist, or sports medicine physician in your area for specific questions.