Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Idée d’jour

I don't hate my enemies. After all, I made 'em.
- Red Skelton, comedian (1913-1997)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Finding My Place

My former father in-law once told me that, based on his experience, one stumbles into what one is meant to do. This statement was based on his life-time career as an insurance adjustor. I think I may have stumbled into what I'm meant to do. And all it took was an ounce of initiative.

I am currently working with medical coding and billing. I have been doing this essentially since 2008.

I actually started working in my current department in 2000, as support staff to researchers submitting grant requests. At the time, it made sense to have a full-time "administrative assistant" fill this function because most grant requests were paper-based. By 2006, most grants became electronic submission only.

In 2006, I received my first warning that management did not think I had enough to do. My request for additional duties was basically fruitless. In 2007, I receive my second warning. At which point, I began applying for other positions.

At the same time, I noticed that our billing area needed help — they had hired someone part-time (at time and a half) to do additional work. This made no sense. Why not pay my regular salary rather than pay someone else time and a half?

About the time I had this insight, the business manager had accepted a position elsewhere. I had to wait two months to sell my idea to the new business manager.

The new business manager met individually with each member of the staff within her first month in our department. During my interview, I seized the opportunity to express an interest in working in the billing area.

The business manager decided to give me a chance, and neither of us have looked back in the subsequent two years.

A large part of what I did while helping with grant submission was proof-reading. This was vital, because two of our researchers were non-native speakers (they were Chinese nationals).

There's a sense in which what I do now is proofread. I read a op report to determine what CPT codes apply. The providing physician has already input CPT codes he or she believe apply. My role is to insure the report fully support the charged codes.

There's a legal term for submitting a claim that does not have adequate documentation for its charges: FRAUD.

I seem to have an eagle eye for errors (except, of course, in my own writing). When I flip through a hand out at the beginning of a meeting or seminar, my eye tends to fall on common errors without volition.

It would seem that I have stumbled into a fit occupation.

Frederick Buechner has said: “The place God calls you to is where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.”

"Deep gladness" may be strong, but I rejoice in my competence. I give thanks for the business manager who gave me this chance.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

The cardinal

The holy spirit appeared to me
in the form of a cardinal
perched on the windowsill
above my sink
His brilliant Pentecost red
filled my restless head
with sacred morning memories
of lying next to you
And the cardinal
plucked my heart
from its sleeve
before he rose to leave
Will he carry it over
the hill plains
to your kitchen window?
He won't need a map to find you
You draw the song lines
the multicolored labyrinth
that always unfolds unfolds
like the heart of the lotus
and dreams of the rose