Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Evening update

Shortly after the last posting, Woody got moved from the bendy-straw CPAP to the other CPAP version that he was on for most of Extubation I, which makes us very happy because it's far more stable and maintainable on his nose. Shortly after this change was made, I was made aware that Respiratory has a glitch in their billing system, that means that they can only bill for one CPAP machine per day, even if they have to switch the machines in the middle of the day, even though they have to account for the machines in a separate way, which means that going from vent->CPAP->different CPAP means they lose out on a revenue stream. Because of this, RT will typically give the doctors and nurses a lot of static about having to switch the CPAP versions. Now, this didn't happen with us today, which is good, because I'd have to Hulk out on the nice health care professionals if they would have tried to make my kid's healthcare suffer because of their billing idiosyncracies. What the hell is wrong with this picture?

The other thing that really bugs me about that is that the original bendy-straw CPAP was run off the same Dräger vent that his intubated ventilation was run through, so it's not like they're having to involve new machinery or anything. The "normal" CPAP (the Aladdin) is a different machine, though. And one wonders why our health care is so expensive.

Speaking of, I haven't actually seen a bill yet for Woody since about the first of June, which is a little frightening, because it was already about a third of a million at that point and we've had an awful lot of care since then. I mean, I think the room/nurse charge alone in NICU is somewhere north of $2,000 a night, and that's obviously not counting lab tests, phlebotomists, ultrasound and x-ray technicians, neonatologists (one of the hugest expenses, I bet), nephrologists, pulmonologists, occupational therapists, and liquor.

Ha ha, just kidding about the liquor. We all know insurance will not cover liquor. Which is why I've added a nice link to the sidebar on sending money via Paypal to keep me in scotch whisky.* Thanks for your support.

Anyway, Woody's still doing famously. He's satting well at 34% FiO2, which is unheard of (good), his blood gas taken at 5 was amazingly good (7.42 pH, 54 CO2), and he's finally getting a bit of sleep. The real trick is going to be this weekend-- he'll do great coasting the first couple of days, but he needs to maintain it well after that for us to feel like he can make it. No backsliding now, kid.

*Note to the humor impaired: This is a joke. I did not actually do this.


At 11:21 PM, Blogger Bill Hooker said...

I am very pleased to hear so much good news. Yay Woody! {{Hobbses all}}.


*defenestrates self*

At 12:04 PM, Blogger Nathan said...

Bill, you dirty ocker, if you don't stop correcting me, I'll come to Portland and beat the vegemite out of you.



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