The EU

Google says the EU requires a notice of cookie use (by Google) and says they have posted a notice. I don't see it. If cookies bother you, go elsewhere. If the EU bothers you, emigrate. If you live outside the EU, don't go there.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Health Care Bureaucracy

In the mail Friday I received a mailing from the "Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services".  It was postmarked 29 May, so the mail service was pretty good. 

This notice was about a flu shot I received in the fall.  Per the form, it was on 24 October 2011.  In fact, it was two shots, one for $13.31 and one for $29.93.  To me they were "free".  Since my company arranged this, I would have thought they paid for it, but this says it was paid by Medicare.  

The claim to Medicare was processed on 17 February 2012, some three and a half months after I got the shot.  Maybe not in your world, but where I come from there is interest being paid on that amount, or interest being lost on that amount.  Not very much for this transaction, maybe only a penny, but still, if it was 100 million shots that would be one million dollars at one penny a shot.  It is my guess that the folks who lost that $1 million were us, the US tax payers.  I am NOT suggesting that someone here is involved in "Penny Shaving", a normally pejorative term.  Having said that, remember the movie Office Space?

So, to recap:
  • Shot:  24 October 2011
  • Claim Processed:  17 February 2012
  • Notice Cut:  18 May 2012
  • Notice Mailed: 29 May 2012
  • Appeal Closure:  20 September 2012
Is this any way to run a railroad?  Or, worse, is this actually the best we can do and the most protective of the rights of those receiving Medicare?

I wonder what Professor Elizabeth Warren thinks?

Regards  —  Cliff

  I think the US Postal Service does a pretty good job of getting the mail from one place to another, the Merrifield Sorting Center in Northern Virginia being an unfortunate exception.  They are across the street from the Headquarters of my Credit Union, but it doesn't much help.
  It always pays to check.  the Memo from the Company said it would be covered by our health insurance, except those with TRICARE, who needed to go to a physicians office.  Because of my advanced age, Medicare kicked in.


The New Englander said...

Cliff, thx for the point you made about the USPS. I have been using their services for literally as long as I can remember and I have never had anything lost in the mail (at least that I knew about).

For what's still really just a small price, they can take something out of your hands on Monday and have it into the hands of someone in just about any part of the country in the same week, with time to spare. They are impressive.

Still, the Post Office gets hit with a lot of cheap shots that people like to say just because, well, they get said a lot. Kind of like bad service at the RMV, or bad airline food, or just sort of becomes its own *thing* regardless of the truth.

I was thinking about doing an entry on this subject...someone on Facebook did a "bums at City Hall" type of post that I happened to see. I pointed out that a few inaccuracies in the person's comment, and they actually withdrew it and apologized. They never meant any malice with the original comment, but it was just of the "throwaway" sort of variety (like a lot of Post Office-bashing).

Craig H said...

I'll desperately try to resist the USPS rant I started on Greg's blog the other day--but will again point out that my most recent Priority Mail delivery took almost a full FIVE MONTHS...

But, in any case, the interest on delayed Medicare payments is actually to the advantage of taxpayers (we're not out the money for months and years after services are rendered) and, rather, to the disadvantage of either the providers, who perform the services and pay for the sera and associated office expenses in order to dispense that care, or the recipients, who may have to front the payment and wait to be reimbursed. No, no way to run a railroad, but float is generally a good thing for at least one of the parties to a transaction.

Jack Mitchell said...

Mail is a luxury Americans just expect. All I can say is, mail a small box with some small items of moderate value to somewhere in Brazil.

You may luck out the first time.

C R Krieger said...

Kad must have had his mail go through the Merrifield Sorting Center.  Unfortunate experience.

Regards  —  Cliff