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Clear, with patches of fog ahead, and sunshine likely after that

August 13, 2010

One thing I have learned about the New Health Care is that nothing is anyone’s fault, ever. If something is anyone’s fault, it is mine, the patient’s. And as everyone has likely learned by now, privacy of records means that everyone gets to see my records but me — no one denies my right to see them, as long as I sign a release permitting myself to see them.

I won’t even go into the nuances and the hassles and logistics of learning how to educate my doctor to write a prescription that will enable him, me, the pharmacy, and the insurer to comply with federal law. But after stress and tears on the phone, and the pharmacy and insurer blaming each other, the resolution was that I needed to tell my doctor how to write my prescription properly. But the sun came out when I learned that the insurer’s pharmacy benefits specialist to whom I was downloading the frustration of trying to secure sufficient hydrocortisone to enable me to stress dose for such occasions as talking to health insurance representatives, turned out to be based in the immediate area of my about-to-be new hometown. Suddenly a human relationship emerged from the corporate uber-structure, and now I have an ally in the New Health Care.

On other fronts of Project Transition, I cleared out my desk this week. I could not conscionably ask anyone to carry what I do not need and will not use. I nearly pitched, but decided to keep, a binder of old clippings of articles I had written for the Wall Street Journal, Puget Sound Business Journal, and others. In 1995, I wrote a piece about how managed care would quash entrepreneurial medicine, and how we should be very leery about empowering this Hydra into existence. Talk about outdated… I have to remember that the Millennials employed by corporate medicine and insurance carriers came of age when managed care was a fact of life and no longer a topic of debate.

Coolidge has bravely made the sacrifice and is on board as transition-ready. I offered him a can of Fancy Feast to see whether he might go for it after a couple of solid years on Trader Joe’s tuna cat food, which will not be available in our new location. He snarfed the Fancy Feast. He snarfed it so fast that I gave him Trader Joe’s tuna for the next round. He snubbed it. He sat next to it and looked into space, waiting for real food. Transition accomplished.

My husband and I have long laughed at our knack for fleeing fortune. The present move is no exception. We managed to buy our new house in a sellers’ market, and we are still attempting to sell our current house in a buyers’ market. The prospect of double taxes, double insurance, and the cost of yard maintenance for our current house is a little daunting, but I remind myself that we only need one buyer, and that God in his sovereign kindness has not once yet left us to die alone and poor in the street.

Somehow in all of this, the difficulties or so-called sacrifices only serve to brighten what is ahead. And for that, I feel very blessed and am very grateful. And I know that in the not awfully distant future, I will be caught up to where I am as transition-ready as our dominion-bent Cat.

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