By: Mike Burhans
Halloween is an interesting time of the year, isn’t it? Personally, I could do without all the macabre. I more like watching the kids have the chance to be their hero, favorite character, or favorite critter for the day. Plus, who can argue with socially acceptable beggary.
I like how Halloween is organized. Some folks don’t practice Halloween, some folks don’t want to buy a bunch of candy and hand it out, some are just grumps and don’t want a bunch of kids knocking at their doors. Others can’t wait to greet the trick-or-treaters, see their costumes, and hand out candy. We’ve made identifying the houses where trick-or-treating is and isn’t welcome easy, haven’t we? Porch light on- open for business. Porch light off, don’t bug me.
I’ve got some friends down the road from us that always give out good candy but, last night, their porch light was off. I ran in to the wife of the house this morning and she asked why we didn’t make our traditional call on her house for candy. When I told her the porch light was off, she was horrified! She didn’t realize she’d forgotten to leave the light on and wondered why so few people came trick-or-treating. All this time, she had the best candy to give out, but most of the trick-or-treaters had no idea.
This got me thinking about the patients that come to the hospitals we work with. Wouldn’t it be neat if, when they walked through the door, we instantly knew their insurance status? Porch light on, insured. Porch light off, uninsured. That sure would make things easy, but what if some of the insured folks accidently left their porch light off or we got so wrapped up in making the rounds that we failed to see their light on? It actually happens a lot. There are numerous instances where we think someone is uninsured but they actually have coverage.
Wouldn’t it be neat if there was someone to tell us whether a patient had insurance or not?
Maybe there is………