Thursday, January 26, 2017

“There are more than 9,000 billing codes for individual procedures and units of care. But there is not a single billing code for patient adherence or improvement, or for helping patients stay well.” ― Clayton M. Christensen, The Innovator's Prescription: A Disruptive Solution for Health Care

Good day to each and every individual who happens to come in contact with my blog. There are all kinds of ways that can happen, including accidentally finding it while looking for something else. I welcome all to this one-way conversation where I will be talking about the things that are on my mind today. It is Thursday, January 26, 2017, and I acknowledge my need of the Lord God of heaven to help me make it each and every day. My mom, 92.5 years young, has been released from the rehabilitation hospital and she is now at home. Our home in Louisiana was built in the mid-1950's, and it, along with a number of renovations over the years, is not well suited to a person with as much limited mobility as she currently has. Dad is doing what he can to make it as accommodating as possible. We are trusting God to help them work through this transition. I want to say something about the health care provided to mom over the past month. It has been, for the most part, excellent. Thankfully, she and dad have several plans that help cover these services. I do have a 'but' to add to this comment. But, the coverage, the costs, her age, the medical input, and all of the above, do become considerations regarding the disposition of her future. Was she really ready to be released from 24-hour care? Probably not. However, the pressures on the various entities mentioned above all coalesced to conclude it was time to release her, therefore, like it or not, she is now at home and they are coping as best they can with all that this means. I'm no expert here, just a very interested observer, but, this is how I see it. On behalf of our huge blended family, so large, I doubt we could actually count them all, I offer up thanks to so many for your prayers on their behalf. Amen.

Isn't the person's well-being the number one consideration in this process? Oh, how I wish that were true, and, I can say that I believe it is a leading factor, but, it is not always the main focal point. We saw that back when my wife's brother was being treated after suffering a major heart attack and stroke. They made it seem like the decision for him to transfer from one type of treatment to another was exactly what the doctor ordered. When it comes across that way, the family typically grabs hold of this being the best for their loved one. We later learned that his number of days had been used up and a move had to be made. I'm not saying his condition was compromised, but, we have to know the facts of how care is provided in the environment we are living in today. For me, I wish they would just lay it all out including the part about it being an administrative and billing situation as opposed to a strictly medical decision. They can't do that. Liability issues. Therefore, people get discharged. The graphic I used in my opening paragraph is somewhat indicative of what I am talking about. Even in my mom's case, they have said that if the home care situation doesn't work out, there is another type of nursing and rehabilitation facility that might be available. One of the things us older folks talk about when we are exposed to things like this has to do with our own potential needs in the future. Mostly, we hate to even think about it working like this when we might need these same types of services. Reality check: It probably will, and if I had to guess, probably more so. Again, just me and just my reading of the situation.

Sorry to dwell on these matters but they are occupying a lot of my thoughts and the thoughts of many of our family members. The good news is how mom, at her age, has come through the type of surgical procedure she had to have, her recovery thus far, and her mental clarity at this time. She does know what is going on. We would never want to be anything other than thankful for these blessings. My eldest was commenting the other day about mom's resilience and he said it really hit him when President George H. W. Bush was admitted to the hospital. He and mom are the same age. He too had developed pneumonia. He had to be intubated to help him breathe. We can be thankful that mom is where she is in her progress. We don't know how this home care situation will work out. However, we have a lot of folks who care deeply about her and all of us together will seek to find a way forward, regardless of the difficulties we encounter along the way. That's one thing I do love about our family. Mom and dad have been together nearly 40 years. He has children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Mom has children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and a number of great-great-grandchildren. What a huge blended crew we have! Dad's family. Mom's family. Our family. We are together, bound by our common love one for another. That's a biggie, as they say, in terms of blessings. A biggie, indeed! I know. I finished some time ago but I had trouble keeping the fingers from continuing to tip-toe on the keyboard. May God add His blessings to us all. Amen. .....More later.

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