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Comment: Re:nonsense (Score 1) 465

by shutdown -p now (#49635545) Attached to: The Medical Bill Mystery

I wholeheartedly agree that US government is very inefficient. I'm an immigrant in US, and before that I was one in Canada, and dealing with government services in two countries is night and day. Just to give a simple example: in Canada, I was issued a SIN (the local equivalent of SSN) on my second day of arriving to the country, and it was all done in about 2 hours in the local government office. In US, it took almost a month from request to issue, and two trips to the local SSA. And when I asked why, they told me that they needed to send a request to USCIS to confirm my visa validity etc, and that takes over a week - seriously? They actually push papers around, instead of having automated query handling directly against the database? This is a recurring theme, by the way... US seems to have a lot of government organizations, which are very much disjoint in how they operate, and whenever anything needs to cross the boundary between the two, there are copious amounts of red tape (and, I would imagine, the associated expenses).

But I think a big problem with the government in US is that people are kinda expecting it to fail to begin with, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Even worse is the "starve the beast" crowd who are basically saying that because it is likely to fail, not only we should let it, but we should actively encourage that.

I think it would be more productive to operate from the assumption that government should be doing certain things, and that it should be doing them well (seeing how other governments are perfectly capable of doing so) - and if it doesn't, then it's the problem with this particular government rather than the general idea of having it do those things, and the fix should therefore be on the government side.

Comment: Re: "the software industry" lol wut (Score 1) 465

by budgenator (#49633467) Attached to: The Medical Bill Mystery

If you have ever seen any medical billing software you know that the people "writing the software" are basically just using FileMaker or MS access and slapping something together as quickly as possible.

It is a specialized type of application and they pay the least possible for it. The software I have seen is always at least 10 years out of date (even the "new" versions) and extremely buggy.

I'm quite sure that FileMaker and MS access does the maths much better than our dental practice management software, different reports give different sums for the same data, you would think that total production grouped by insurance plan (and yes cash patients are handled as an insurance plan) would be the same as total production grouped by service class as total production grouped by CDT code, but they are all different.

Comment: Re:nonsense (Score 1) 465

by budgenator (#49633253) Attached to: The Medical Bill Mystery

Maybe that's an indication that the reimbursement rates for your insurance are so poor that nobody is willing to work for them. If the insurance company is able to provide the Dr. with patients that pay their portion, actually show up for their appointments and on time, follow orders and don't make a hobby out of being an asshole; the Dr. might accept a lower reimbursement..

Comment: Re:What's that ahead? (Score 2) 208

by drinkypoo (#49633113) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

I was driving in Nevada one dark, moonless night, when out of nowhere came a cow in the middle of the road... I'd like to see how an autonomous vehicle would deal with that.

That's out of nowhere to you, but the computer is going to be able to see in the dark far outside the range of your headlights. Its headlights are going to be a convenience to other drivers, and an IR source for its night vision — which will have automatic gain control far outside the range of your pupils. It'll also likely have radar and lidar so even if it can't see the cow, it'll know it's there.

Weekend, where are you?