Home > Cancer > A Bloated, Runaway, Bureaucratic, Quagmire Of A System

A Bloated, Runaway, Bureaucratic, Quagmire Of A System

In the midst of one of those, what BD00 calls, “Opdivo-induced systemic flareups”, I discovered that forcing myself to play in my blog sandbox during each event siphons most of my attention away from the numbness, crampy-ness, ear-ringing, fire-feet, wobbliness, etc, symptoms that characterize a flareup. The only other non-drug therapeutic that does the same trick is zooming with my fam and buds. It’s difficult to articulate the shift of attention, but it feels like the energy being used to animate the flareup gets rerouted into my mind to get one last blog post out into the world before… the fit hits the shan and my blogging days go kaput. Seriously, if I didn’t have the Emperor and his Orc army roaming the recesses of my body hunting for ways to wreak havoc while simultaneously avoiding the Opdivo resistance, I would not have written the previous macabre sentence.

After navigating the dangerous waters between two health insurance transitions last year, I finally settled into using medicare for the duration to pay for healthcare services. Since I’m a well known “regular” patient to my cancer doctors, nurses, and CT/MRI imaging providers, you would think that their billing services wouldn’t screw up my bills anymore, right? Bzzzzzt, no, no. Observe the latest 2 redacted bills I just received in the mail:

In an obvious exercise of incompetence, the first bill was never even submitted to medicare. The un-itemized, one line, bill was sent directly to me. WTF! On the upside, when I called the billing department they were very accommodating. The service rep recognized and fessed up to the mistake immediately. She apologized and said that whoever screwed up would be getting a nasty email for being a lazy ass.

The mistake on the second bill was that whoever composed it entered the wrong “negotiated discount” for the healthcare service provided. It was off by over $1600 in their favor, of course! After calling the billing department, I once again was treated well and the issue has been resolved (I think?). It’s very sad to see this note on the bill: “If you are currently in bankruptcy please disregard this notice.

Whenever I have to do battle with the screwed up US healthcare system, it makes me think of those poor souls who are not equipped to joust with, or are incapable of jousting with, the system’s maddening Byzantine behavior and lack of compassion for the very people it was designed to serve. It’s a bloated, runaway, bureaucratic, quagmire of a system that only cares about self-preservation and has totally abdicated its original purpose of helping sick people to get well. It’s a classic Ackoffian, dysfunctional system where the vast majority of the people performing the system’s internal functions are good, caring people but the system behavior as a whole is hostile and abhorrent to external system users.

In keeping with my recent tradition of somehow hawking Bitcoin in each post for your future salvation during the upcoming financial apocalypse, I present to you my newest Bitcoin swag item below. It’s a well crafted, hot/cold bottle that I bought off of Etsy from a seller in England. Kudos to whoever conjured up the cheeky motto: “Mass Adoption One Bottle At A Time.

Categories: Cancer
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