There Are A Lot Of Little Tricks He Knows

There are a lot of great things about expecting a child.  The joy of teaching them how cool grunge once was.  Showing them the greatness of nachos and the proper way to eat them while getting tons of cheese on your shirt.  Having someone to blame when you break something, it's easy to forgive your own children. 

But the best part of expecting a new kid is going through the mounds and mounds of medical bills.  That's the part I love.  I also love getting beaten with a spiked club and I can't wait for my first prostate exam.  That sounded way better in my head.  Now that I read it, let me assure you that I'm not into S&M at all which is a real shame.  Because if I was, nothing says torture me Madam like going through insurance paperwork. 

The new kiddo, tentatively named Bacon, is due in a little under two weeks.  Everything of course up to this point has been checkups, ultrasounds and random pokings of my wife.  Each of these very concerned professionals must get paid and to get said payment most medical professionals and hospitals find it much better to send you thousands of letters from different departments explaining that you owe someone, somewhere money.  I would gladly pay if I could just figure out who. 

These bills now have to be reconciled with our insurance coverage which brings even more fun to the pot.  I get to try and figure out if the bill was submitted, what was paid, and how much we owe.  It's like trying to find your way out of a corn maze in the dark while being chased by zombies who don't know how much the copay is to eat your brains. 

On a side note though, these bills from these many professionals gives a pretty good record of other people that have seen my wife's hooch.  Remind me to bring them to divorce court. 

This shouldn't be this hard but yet, it is.  Johnson Radiology needs to get paid.  Great.  However, it doesn't appear that they have applied our insurance yet.  It also appears that the doctor who ordered the test, Dr. Xray, is not my wife's doctor.  We find this odd.  At this point I think that Johnson Radiology is Buck Johnson, the homeless guy that I've seen at the hospital.  Let's call this a charity tax because other than that, I'm pretty sure I don't know what the hell this is. 

Which is not unusual because I don't know what most of the bills mean.  Ultrasound, ok, I know what that is.  However what I don't know is why three months ago it cost more than the one we had last week.  Is this like an airline thing?  If it is closer to the take off date, the prices go up?  What if we get there for delivery and the OR is overbooked?  Will we get bumped?  I bet that is what happened to Jesus. 

CM pokenhooch is another itemized test that is on our hospital bill.  I would like to know what that is.  Of course, the little asterisk next to it tells me to refer to section A of the appendix.  I assume they just mean a medical book somewhere because I have no appendix.  I do like that we are getting some bills from the hospital already though, it shows they are proactive.  Really I'm just getting into shape for when the big bills come, from 30 different departments within the hospital. 

Making sense of the medical bills and the related insurance appendices is like speaking Latin.  It sounds great when you say it out loud it's just that no one understands what the hell you are saying. 

I would like a menu of services please with the prices listed right next to them.  And I would like those prices to stay the same from month to month.  I would like it to be presented to me like a nice wine list at a fancy restaurant.  Yes, I'll have the 2013 C-section please and can we have a basket of bread? 

With our OB, and I'm not making this up, at least they were up front about it.  When having the financial talk with them we of course asked what we would be charged.  Let's say they told us 4 grand.  Ok, I can live with that, sounds reasonable.  Why 4 grand?  Because that is what we paid last time.  In Texas.  5 years ago.  I should be happy that inflation has maintained so well over that time period. 

As I gather all these bills around me and begin to organize them, in much the same way as you organize butterflies on a bush, it dawns on me that I know exactly how I'm being charged and why.  It's simple once you see the trick, the hook. 

See, they are reasonable charges plus some little extra on the side.
Charge them for the lice, extra for the mice, two percent for looking in the mirror twice.
Here a little slice, there a little cut, three percent for sleeping with the window shut.

When it comes to fixing prices, there are lots of tricks to know.  How it all increases, all them bits and pieces Jesus!  It's amazing how it grows. 

Boom, I just dropped some Les Mis culture on you. 

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