A guy came in today wanting his wife's medical records. I explained to him how to fill out the release and that we would need either his wife's signature or a power of attorney or some kind of legal document showing that he can have access to her records. He fills out the release back assward and wasn't making any sense as far as what he wanted so I summoned the help of our release of information person because she isn't afraid to be firm and get it done right. Unfortunately, the guy intimidated me when he walked in the door so I wasn't in a "firm" mindset.
She came over and told him how the release needed to be filled out and asked if his wife was able to sign.
"Does she have a power of attorney or legal document drawn up?"
"Maybe, maybe not!"
"Is she coherent?"
"Sometimes. *heavy sigh* Do you just want me to have her sign it?!"
Well yeah, sir, that would solve the issue. (This sentance was unspoken.)
He throws up his hands and yells, "I think I AM gonna get my degree! My medical degree! So that I don't have to go through all this CRAP!"
He then proceeded to stomp out the door, only to have another thought and stomp back in. "I am a medical researcher you know!"
That's lovely. Perhaps you should research the laws behind release of information.
The second scene:
The phone rings and I answer. The woman on the other end says, "Hi. I have an issue!"
Me: "Okay, hopefully it's something I can help you with!"
She launches into this long story about how her UNDERAGE son was seen in OUR emergency room and SHE didn't know about it and if he'd gone to HER doctor she would have only had to pay FIVE BUCKS and he could have had the same thing done, but NOOOO, he was brought to OUR facility without HER consent, and DRIVEN, no less, by ANOTHER underage person who ISN'T even supposed to be driving, and NOW she has a $350 bill that SHE can't pay!
Okay, I understand that that is totally frustrating. So I express my empathy and ask her to hold while I find out what I can do for her.
I talk to my supervisor who gives me a patient complaint hotline number and a few questions to ask the woman to better understand her situation.
I go back to the phone and she's still there. I give her the number which she is grateful for and then she launches back into her story, explaining everything for a second time. So I ask her:
"Ma'am, how old is your son?"
"He JUST turned seventeen."
"I'm sorry, in this case it's unfortunate but in the state of Oregon minors are able to sign for their own medical treatment at the age of fourteen."
"Then he needs to have his OWN account number and when he can't pay this bill because he is an unemployed minor then YOU GUYS can take that up with each other!"
And then she makes the statement that blows me away.
"I mean, I can take responsibility for the things I know about beforehand but if it's unplanned, I just can't, as a parent, be held responsible for that."
I'M SORRY?? As a PARENT you aren't responsible for the things you haven't PLANNED?? Your son was in the ER for STITCHES IN HIS HEAD! I'm guessing he wasn't really thinking, "Gee, if I went to my mom's doctor this would only cost me five dollars..." as he was bleeding from the head! And his FRIEND was probably WORRIED about him bleeding from the head and drove him to the ER! If my friend was gushing blood I wouldn't really care if I was a legal driver if I was the only one around to drive them to a hospital.
She then went on and on about how she is in the middle of a physically abusive and brutal divorce and how he hasn't paid a penny in child support for a year and a half and on and on and on.
"Well, I hope the hotline number is helpful to you."
"Have a nice day."
Phone calls like that leave me exhausted. I want to be understanding but I don't think I deserve to be yelled at. I always try to put myself in the customer's shoes (which is probably why everybody in the office thinks I'm all nicey nicey) but in this case I couldn't sympathize. If my son were bleeding from the head and his friend took him to the ER I think I would be thanking the friend for looking out for him and thanking GOD that my son was ok. Yeah, the bill sucks. But there are options. And you should explore them before you burn your bridges by yelling at the hospital staff.
So, ANYWAY. =)
Steve and Jordan and I spent almost the entire weekend at the coast, off and on. This is the view from Steve's and my favorite resaurant on the bay. We sat in the bar where they have seats right up at the window.
Jordan at the resort where Steve's parents are members.
At the Hatfield Science Center! I hadn't been there since I was a kid and it has changed a lot. They just got an octopus! We couldn't see it because it's tank was all covered because it's that new and was still adjusting so we'll have to go back to see it sometime. Jordan was thrilled to climb on the submarine.
Listening to sounds in the ocean.
It was WINDY on the beach!! We found this tiny little shore right next to the science center and ate our turkey sandwiches which I made on the back of the car (go me for thinking to bring a cooler of food because we left town way later than we thought we would). Jordan found about half a dozen crab shells in the sand which he thought was pretty cool.
Down at the docks
Until he noticed his picture was being taken!
Last Friday Steve and I went to his brother's concert to support him, which was really fun. I haven't been to one of his shows in almost a year.
Grabbing a bite beforehand
Here's to more blogging in the near future! I know I've been absent for awhile. Tomorrow I'm babysitting two kids from 8am to noon and then in the late afternoon I'm watching a friend's baby, possibly overnight. I'll be exhausted by the end of the weekend!