I received one of those fake eBay scam mails today. I was urged to update my account, but cautioned “Never share your eBay password to anyone!” Dang… I was this close to succumbing to their nefarious plan. But I never give my credit card information to people for whom English is a second language, because I’m an elitist American snob.
Then I was reading along… somewhere… today (I can’t even remember where, but it doesn’t really matter), and a poster commented that they would skip any posts where the language wasn’t perfect, because they’re “really a stickler for proper grammer.” (sic) Cuz, you know, it’s so verry anoying when peuple dont have grammer skillz. I resisted the urge to reply “Pot, meet kettle.” Or that I’m really a stickler for spelling, and I’ve decreed that the original poster has been sentenced to death via multiple puncture wounds with red editing pens.
The devil’s in the details, as they say.
I did the final steps (I hope) of the Referral Shuffle today. Surely you’ve danced this dance, no? In the world of HMOs, there’s a fabulous trick to keeping costs down. Rather than just, I dunno, allowing medical professionals to make informed choices about a person’s medical needs, the goal is to send every person’s file into the endless loop of Referral Management until the patient either succumbs to the malady at issue or just loses the will to live.
I’m sure that if my HMO were a person, it would tell me never to share my password to anyone, and please input my credit card information right over here.
Anyway, Chickadee needs a referral to have this complete neuropsychological assessment done, because I’m the sort of overbearing parent who actually wants a diagnosis from these people who keep shoving sample packs of drugs into my hand and telling me that “maybe this will help.” (On the bright side, Monkey was delighted with the handful of Strattera pens he scored a couple of weeks ago when I noted “Oh, I see the drug fairies have visited you!” at the doctor’s office.)
In the HMO Referral Shuffle, the testing doctor refuses to put you on the schedule until you have a referral code (because insurance so often turns down these requests). The doctor’s office tells you to go through the referral office, and the referral office takes your information and wastes a few days before telling you that you need to go through the doctor’s office. The doctor’s office asks why you’re calling about this again, then stalls for a few days, and eventually calls to tell you to go through the referral office.
So today when I was told to go back through the referral office (again) after I’d explained the necessary procedure (again), the woman on the phone told me that was “all she could do for me.” And I took a very deep breath and as calmly as I could manage, I said, “You know, I understand that this is not your personal fault, but I’m really frustrated. In fact, I’m starting to get angry. My child is being denied service because your office can’t seem to figure out who should look at her case. Is this the kind of care you‘d want your child to have?” I paused to uncurl my free hand; I’d realized I was digging my nails into my palm. “Tell me what I need to do to get this done. Please.”
I claimed victory when she called me back an hour later with an official authorization number from the HMO. My celebration was short-lived, however. After speaking with the office that’s supposed to schedule her for testing, it was revealed that without more information (dates of service and number of visits authorized) the code was all but useless. I did get the doctor there to promise to investigate it on our behalf, though. So that’s something. I guess.
Tonight I saw my friend to whom I’d given a container of soup, earlier this week. I’d scooped the soup directly from the stock pot I’d cooked it in, into a plastic container I’d just removed from the dishwasher. My friend told me she was eating it for lunch today and found a staple. In her soup. We spent a good ten minutes trying to figure out if the staple came from my house or hers, and how could it have gotten into the soup, either way?
Sometimes I think all the details of life–the important and the inane, alike–are what cause people to end up in padded rooms.