So, among other bizarre and unusual twists of fate in the world of BrainCheese, I am scheduled to provide two inservice staff meetings for staff at Club Med. Yes, I know...this sounds peculiar. No, I have NOT become an employee of Club Med.
I haven't written much of late in regard to my Tysabri billing battle with Club Med that spanned the good portion of nearly 6 months this past summer/spring/early winter...that's because I haven't been writing much at ALL here on CHEESE lately. No worries. My lack of anything productive to say seems to have been replaced by a need for incessant rambling once again! But, back to the above topic...
OK, I am far too lazy at nearly 2:00AM to back track and create links to the many posts I made spanning the months of July through December regarding the multi-level encounters I had with Club Med (my current medical establishment provider) surrounding my rapid fire complaints and concerns over the cost of my (at that time) Tysabri infusions. But suffice it to say, I met with the top brass (is that where the term "blow hards" comes from? Top brass horns? Lisa? Anyone? Am I making a random connection here?!? LOL) of Club Med December 5, 2008, and during the course of that meeting I VOLUNTEERED my time to provide educational opportunities (among other things) in an effort to be a "team player" and ASSIST with the many problems I had encountered with the Club Med system.
One of those "volunteer" efforts I suggested was to provide an inservice/patient perspective regarding privacy and the importance of maintaining such in the health care setting (you may recall or tried very hard to forget I held a HIPAA violation over the large head of Club Med as a means of "encouraging" ongoing discussions of Tysabri billing practices). Well, it seems the collective *they* of Club Med took my volunteering notion seriously and have invited me to do two presentations on Friday to various staff within the Club Med Registration department...either that or *they* STILL fear I might change my peaceful tactics and report *them* to the HIPAA Gods of Rule. Whatever *their* rationale, I WILL be providing two talks on Friday - one at 9:30AM and one at 2:30PM.
I am also pleased to report the Club Med Clinic where I see Dr. She Who Will Not Be Named has FINALLY popped that all-important *letter* in the mail to all of their Tysabri patients, offering assistance in understanding the transition from receiving Tysabri infusions at the Clinic location to the in hospital setting AND the GINORMOUS jump in cost this created. Perhaps I settled too soon on this issue, but I am keenly aware of the "art of war" and this was one battle I had to reach a compromise on...the *letter* was that compromise. Since my goal at the outset was patient education (knowing it was an absolute lost cause to try to convince a corporation they were billing too much) and providing patient CHOICE in care, I feel the compromise and offer made to patients in the letter was sufficient in meeting this goal...patients have now been given the opportunity to meet with a clinic representative to discuss their personal insurance (or lack there of) issues AND will be offered information on alternative sites where they might be able to receive their Tysabri infusions at a more reasonable cost/copay for them...in essence, Club Med has agreed to NOT withhold this information from their patients AND educate them.
I am fully aware (because I was neither born yesterday nor with half a brain...although, if the MS keeps raging away, that half brain theory might just pan out!) this offer to have me come in and "present" inservices to staff is most likely a *smoke and mirrors* approach at placating me. After all, the privacy violation(s)/HIPAA issues were the least of my concerns and ONLY brought up as leverage to "encourage" ongoing discussions about Tysabri billing. Yeah, I'm just paranoid and skeptical like that at baseline.
But whatever *their* rationale, I have agreed to do these presentations and, as my mother always said, "If you're going to do something, do it well". So I have been spending a great portion of my free time putting together information and giving serious thought to exactly what I feel would be most useful and memorable to a group of Club Med staff members who most likely will resent I am there anyway...or, the opposite could be true, and they might be grateful to be taken away from the routine of their jobs for an hour to sit and drool freely while formulating their weekend shopping lists. Either way, it's doubtful I will be seen as a "welcome" addition through their eyes.
So I've decided to present the grand finale of all privacy issues: The Internet and my "Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid" post/information (do a blog search if you are totally lost what I am talking about here...that is the name of the post/information I am referencing). That's right...I'm going to demonstrate first hand just how UN-PRIVATE the world can be on the Internet by having a volunteer give me their name and date of birth. I will proceed to show them their home address, any legal/court issues they may have encountered, an actual view of the front of their home (via street view on Google maps), and any other vital statistic information I can ferret out on them just using basic search engines and sites on the Internet. And, barring a willing participant, I have already let the head of the department know I WILL be using Mr. CEO as my volunteer...I'd like for them to be able to SEE where he lives and wish him a happy birthday on the proper day of his birth! That's right, Mr. CEO if you are still reading CHEESE...YOU just volunteered yourself as a wonderful staff educational opportunity. Oh, and surely you KNOW I've already researched this information...just like I KNOW you've been reading BrainCheese and most likely pulled my health care record for review prior to our 12/5/08 meeting. Again, that being born over 4 decades ago and having more than a half brain theory should be at work here. LOL
Wish me luck...I'm going in. And I'm used to playing to hostile crowds...I DO work in the mental health field after all...