There’s a saying, “If everyone put their problems in a pile, they would look at everyone else’s and take theirs back.”
I’ve heard this phrase several times, usually offered (unbidden) in a moment of tension by a well-meaning parent or friend and I often wonder if it’s true. Some days I think it is, others, less so. It depends on who comes to the party: Lindsey Vonn or Lindsay Lohan? Rupert Murdoch or Rupert Grint? Bill Gates or Bill Clinton?
Recently I’ve been wondering if this proverb lends itself to providers too. Over the past few weeks I’ve fielded a lot of calls and a lot of grievances—justified grievances—about Medicare. They run the gamut from competitive bidding issues to audits to denials. I’ve heard plenty of ridiculous reasons CMS has denied reimbursement, but this, this took the cake: A man without arms and legs was denied a wheelchair because one of the doctor’s signatures looked different from the rest.
It’s during these calls that I wonder, if every provider put his or her problems in a pile, would they take theirs back? Or would they all have the same problems?