It’s one of those things that happens.
A piece of mail floated into our billing office mailbox just this week and behold it was a note to Santa from a billing office far, far away. Good ol’ Uncle Sam’s delivery guys saw billing on it and popped it in our box….zip goes the opener and much to our surprise we read this little plea from the gal in the billing office to the jolly old elf at the North Pole.
Contents as follows.
“Dear Santa…I’ve been a VERY good girl this year…”
It’s (name redacted to protect her PHI)!
I hope you and Mrs. C are doing very well. How has your year-long rest been? Are the elves pumping out lots of toys for good little girls and boys?
You must be as busy as I am this time of year! Of course, my world consists of endless documentation, lots of phone calls to insurance payers and of course the normal day of posting, following-up on denials and working with the flow of dollars that come in for our local ambulance.
Does the North Pole have an ambulance service? If they do, who does the billing?
Anyway, enough with all of that.
I’m writing to you with my Christmas list for this year. We ambulance billers must look out for the guys and gals on the street who help out the people in our community and so I’m asking you to intervene this year big time.
There’s just never enough money, it seems. We really need you to put the fear of God into the guys down there in Washington to cough up more bucks (not the reindeer buck…the money kind- you know….cold, hard cash)?
Those guys in Washington are dragging their feet about approving the bonus payments for Medicare. If you can, will you please threaten all of them with lumps of coal in their stocking (clean coal, of course….don’t want the North Pole to melt with all those nasty emissions you know.)
Congress needs to pass the extension of the bonus payments before they break for Christmas and if they don’t then you need to really give them the business. I know that they’ll listen to you because they rarely listen to us.
While you’re laying that finger aside of your nose and just before up the chimney you “rose”, can you also put a bug in their ear about designating us as providers instead of suppliers?
That way, our people in the field can help out those that need some services in their home but don’t need to be transported to a hospital by ambulance…and yet, when we do help them we can still be paid.
It’s really high time that they make this happen.
You know….like when you eat too many cookies from each house you visit on Christmas Eve and your diabetes kicks in and you need someone to help you maintain a safe dextrose level? Your local EMS could visit and take the stress off of poor Mrs. Claus…and we’d get paid for helping you monitor your levels.
That would be just swell.
Sorry for the long letter, but before I close out.
I’m going to ask that you bring a special extra something for all those really good big boys and girls that do this EMS thing every day.
I know that you don’t see these folks in action all year long because the North Pole is a LOOOONNNNGGGG way away, but I watch them do their thing every day from my office window and, frankly, I’m in awe of what they do.
Santa…they are selfless and giving and caring and they save so many lives. But so many of them are working so hard and many of them could be doing so many other things…but they do this EMS thing because they love what they do.
And that, Santa, is my Christmas wish list. I don’t need a whole lot- maybe a new computer and patience to put up with those insurance guys. Other than that I’m good.
So, give Mrs. C a big hug and kiss from me. Don’t eat too many cookies or drink too much milk (or whatever you drink…no DUI’s on the sleigh!!) And, of course, fly around carefully even though there is probably an ICD-10 code for “accident involving reindeer and sleighs”- we don’t wanna use it now- do we??
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year…Love…
Your Favorite Biller