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Comment: Failng to fire (Score 0) 186

If a guy has 18 separate complaints against him, then:

1) Not only should he be fired - if only to save money on investigations, but ....

2) the idiots that did not fire him after the 10th investigation should also be fired for incompetence.

P.S. I am of course assuming that all 18 complaints weren't from a single incident or from a single person, or members of a single drug gang. But that should not be that hard to detect.


The Medical Bill Mystery 382

Posted by Soulskill
from the $70-convenience-charge-to-process-the-convenience-charge dept.
HughPickens.com writes: Elisabeth Rosenthal writes in the NY Times that she has spent the past six months trying to figure out a medical bill for $225 that includes "Test codes: 105, 127, 164, to name a few. CPT codes: 87481, 87491, 87798 and others" and she really doesn't want to pay it until she understands what it's for. "At first, I left messages on the lab's billing office voice mail asking for an explanation. A few months ago, when someone finally called back, she said she could not tell me what the codes were for because that would violate patient privacy. After I pointed out that I was the patient in question, she said, politely: 'I'm sorry, this is what I'm told, and I don't want to lose my job.'" Bills variously use CPT, HCPCS or ICD-9 codes. Some have abbreviations and scientific terms that you need a medical dictionary or a graduate degree to comprehend. Some have no information at all. A Seattle resident received a $45,000 hospital bill with the explanation "miscellaneous."

So what's the problem? "Medical bills and explanation of benefits are undecipherable and incomprehensible even for experts to understand, and the law is very forgiving about that," says Mark Hall. "We've not seen a lot of pressure to standardize medical billing, but there's certainly a need." Hospitals and medical clinics say that detailed bills are simply too complicated for patients and that they provide the information required by insurers. But with rising copays and deductibles, patients are shouldering an increasing burden. One recent study found that up to 90 percent of hospital bills contain errors. An audit by Equifax found that hospital bills totaling more than $10,000 contained an average error of $1,300. "There are no industry standards with regards to what information a patient should receive regarding their bill," says Cyndee Weston, executive director of the American Medical Billing Association. "The software industry has pretty much decided what information patients should receive, and to my knowledge, they have not had any stakeholder input. That would certainly be a worthwhile project for our industry."

Comment: Re:This seems batshit crazy. (Score 1) 201

by gurps_npc (#49625847) Attached to: Police Can Obtain Cellphone Location Records Without a Warrant
As the telephone company has an expectation of privacy for their data, they must either ask the telephone company or get a warrant.

This means the Sting ray should still illegal.

But I am majorly disappointed in the wording of the ruling. Knowledge of technology should have NO bearing on expectation of privacy. My knowledge of what people can do does not make it legal for them to do it.

Comment: Re:That escalated quickly (Score 1) 105

by gurps_npc (#49595969) Attached to: Climatologist Speaks On the Effects of Geoengineering
You fail to understand the political challenges. Specifically countries like:

Iceland, Greenland, Finland, Russia, and Canada all have MAJOR benefits from higher temperatures, while many smaller island countries will quite literally die at higher temperatures.

There are oil rights, trade routes,and flooding issues that mankind has a long history of straight out old school war over.

Also, it's not between husband and wives that like each other, but between people that don't get along well already.

Try this analogy - you and your neighbor arguing about whether the oil rig he installed is 20 ft over the property line and dripping oil into your bedroom.

Comment: Great way to destroy good writers (Score 1) 108

I have no doubt that a good AI can tell the difference between an F and B essay. But there are humans that can't tell the difference between a C and an A+ essay.

Writing is an art form, not a science. If a computer could grade the art of writing, then the computer could DO THE WRITING - or at least 'fix' the problems it detected. In which case it would become the equivalent of teaching humans to use a slide rule.

I am absolutely sure that our best and brightest writers will end up being screwed over by AI programs grading them

Comment: Re:Heavens forbid (Score 1) 329

by gurps_npc (#49563353) Attached to: ESPN Sues Verizon To Stop New Sports-Free TV Bundles
The thing some people NEVER watch ESPN. Not everyone likes sports. It's not fair to charge me for access to things I have no desire to see.

Worse, by giving everyone all channels, it enables channel drift, where a channel devoted to say Sci-Fi, slowly shifts away from science fiction to garbage. Why? Because people get the channel that don't want Sci-Fi.

Comment: Re:me dumb (Score 5, Funny) 157

by gurps_npc (#49546659) Attached to: Wormholes Untangle a Black Hole Paradox
There are two strange issues in car-physics.

1) The ER effect, is when you go with your dad to buy a cool convertible, but somehow comeback from the dealership with an beat up AMC Gremlin

2) The EPR effect is when two cars that were once touching, continue to effect each other at a distance, the primary example of which is how when you are behind a slow car, when you move over to the fast lane, suddenly the slow car speeds up, leaving you in the distance.

They have discovered that both of these effects are actually the same thing - it is fact the Gremlin that causes the previous fast lane to slow down.

Comment: Re:What's the cost ? (Score 1) 58

by gurps_npc (#49536139) Attached to: NASA Teams Scientific Experts To Find Life On Exoplanets
It is a false dichotomy. The choice is not between spending money on climate science and on exo-planets. Instead it is on spending money on 100 different things, including things like:

Corporate welfare

Iraq war (which created the ISIS

Travel expenses using First class air line tickets.

Paintings of government officials, etc.

There is no need to cut exoplanet research to fund climate research, we can cut other things.

Comment: Re:What's the cost ? (Score 4, Insightful) 58

by gurps_npc (#49529161) Attached to: NASA Teams Scientific Experts To Find Life On Exoplanets
1) They are not exclusive, you have created a false dichotomy.

2) There is no such thing as 'a scientific curiosity with little practical value.' So called scientific curiosities routinely turn into extremely valuable science. Einstein's relativity time dilation effect is routinely used in GPS technology.

3)In fact, examining exo-planets, is most likely to directly affect Earth's climate, by showing us what happens without human interference .

If it wasn't for Newton, we wouldn't have to eat bruised apples.