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Giving Thanks



Wow.  What a challenge.  Thanksgiving is this week and it is only proper that I share with you all the ways we should be thankful.  I’m really struggling.

I could be grateful because I am appealing.  I spend most days at my computer appealing denials for clients.  I enjoy a good argument but the craziness of all these denials for claims for reasonable and necessary care given to eligible patients is overwhelming.  Worse than the financial hit is the overall disrespect of home health and hospice agencies.  If anyone wants to feel like a criminal, all they have to do is work for a home health or hospice. So I may be appealing but I am not grateful.  I would much rather be teaching and doing something – anything – that worked towards better care of patients.  Keep that in mind if you need an inservice or two.

I could be grateful that the Face-to-Face documentation burden has been lightened but I am not.  I guess I’d rather it be lightened than not but I just got ten or so denials this morning related to the requirement.  The Medicare Contractors are going to suck dry the opportunity to withhold money from my clients – and you, too if you do not happen t be a client– until the very last minute.  The regulations taking effect in January have no effect on past denials. 

I could be grateful that more Americans than ever will be able to afford insurance with the ACA but I am not.  The law is so complicated that I think there are only a handful of people who fully understand it and they are not elected officials.  Since nobody really understands it, it has become a dividing line between democrats and republicans who are voting with their party with no idea of how it will play out.  So, no, thank you.  I am not grateful for the ACA.

This doesn’t mean I am not grateful though – even at work.  Home health and hospice have been taken on a ride these past couple of years and you survived. 

I am so very thankful that I know people who are willing to get up and drive to a stranger’s house to adjust pain medications at 3:00 am. 

I know the houses where the water gets cut off for lack of payment located next to the crack house and you find it in you to smile warmly at the patient and show them the same respect that you would if you saw a patient at a $20M Manhattan apartment.

I know your kids are left without a parent during a special football game or school play because you cannot leave a patient in need but I am grateful for the lessen you are teaching to the next generation.  Taking care of others is an important job.  Compassion is a value that should be passed along to the next generation.

I am thankful for those of you who contribute to this blog and The Coders’; even when I don’t agree with you.  I appreciate that you have ideas you are willing to call your own and speak up about them.  You are prime material for patient advocacy.  I like that. 

I love the laughs, the occasional tears and how you make me feel as though I am one of you.  Because I am.

Thank you.

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Mike #

    I’m hearing you. I’ve come to the conclusion that MAC’s don’t know the regulations as they pertain to Medicare. Equally, their denials are the way they get paid. Given the volume of denials, claims aren’t being brought in front of ALJ’s for years. This industry, our industry, needs, no must enter
    a class action law suit targeting all intermediaries for their failure in properly interpreting Medicare Laws and causing harm to patients and providers.


    November 24, 2014

  2. Well said!

    November 25, 2014

  3. This blog post is beautifully said. I posted on my FB . . . Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

    November 25, 2014

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