Monday, September 30, 2013

Little healthcare information tip

I’ve worked in medical/dental offices in various capacities for over 18 years.  I’ve been the receptionist, the dental assistant, the insurance coordinator, the patient accounts trainer, the practice manager/administrator, and the consultant, among several other roles and titles.

Currently, I work from home. I listen to recorded calls online from 7 dental practices in CT, NJ, WA, NY, and TN, and 2 orthopedic practices in NE.  When people call in to make an appointment, I get to hear both sides of the conversation to make sure that the call handlers are saying what they’re supposed to, providing good service, and not missing opportunities for new patients.

I’ve been amazed at many things over the years working in this field.  But lately I’m most amazed at how many people call an office for the first time to make an appointment, and they don’t know what their insurance is, and they don’t have the card with them. 

It’s just hard to fathom, to me, that a person would not have that info in their wallet at all times.  And if they don’t keep it there for some odd reason, why wouldn’t they have it at the ready when they’re calling an office that they will expect to be billing that insurance?  If your method of payment is an insurance company, it seems that would be info you’d be sure to have right there…

So for the sake of the next office you call for the first time, not that any of YOU would lack this nugget common sense already, here’s your free tips…

~Always keep your insurance cards, medical and dental, in your wallet. If you get a new one in the mail, switch them out immediately and you’re all set.

~When you call a new office to make an appointment, have your applicable insurance card available.  It’ll just make everything easier for everyone.

Why do they need it? Because generally the office should be calling or checking online for your benefits to be sure they’re current and to be able to let you know what your patient responsibility will be prior to the date of service. It’s to provide you with the most info about what fees you can expect to incur from this service.  So don’t be grouchy, just be prepared to share what they need so they can provide you the most accurate info.

Oh…One more tip… 

~When it says “this call may be recorded” it means from the time the phone starts ringing til the call ends.

Including when you’re on hold.  (“Billy! Stop licking the dog!” or random saucy comments to another party in the room)

Including when you’re choosing options. (“I hate these automated phone systems! *%#@$ and *&*#@” )

And if you’re in one of those states making an appointment for one of those types of office, maybe I’ll hear ya. 

What? Creepy?  Well, wouldn’t you rather it be me than who knows who else? Smile

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Photography: Maddie and Charlie

Great Homecoming photo session tonight with these two!  Hope the dance was a blast! 


mad622a-wm  mad621a-wm

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Braska Cameo on TV!

Mommy reporting: Check out this link for a story on a Special Olympics event Braska was a part of yesterday morning.  She got to skate with some of the cast of Disney on Ice… and Mickey Mouse!!  I saw this reporter there with a camera yesterday, but I didn’t know her and just assumed it was SO promo stuff.  So when M was walking through the waiting room at his office and saw this on TV today, he called me. “Um, I just saw Braska on TV!”

She’d never been skating before, and I was amazed that she could even stand in the skates on the carpet.  Once she got to the ice, it was a bit more challenging, but they were great. The coach of the SO hockey team that was there ended up skating around the ice with her for almost an hour, holding her. braskaskate1
(photo by
And she LOVED it!  She begged to go back out when I would take her for a break.  “Mom, I wanna skate more!  Mr. Tim, take me back to skate, please!”  It was plugged as a Young Athletes event in the info I got, but Braska ended up the only little one. The rest were teens with the hockey team, but they were great with her.  She just looked especially tiny next to them!

She was one totally jazzed little girl about the whole thing, even kind of curious about Mickey (and we’re not really a big Mickey house at all…though she knows who he is, of course).  By the time I took her to school before lunch, she was wired and talking all about it.  Pretty fun to see.

(Note to self: When going to an ice rink, to go ice skating, don’t forget the ICE element, and put the child in something more than a t-shirt.  Thankfully there was a fleece jacket in the car and she borrowed some gloves.  And Mr. Tim kept her warm while he carried her, too.  So great… )

Icing on the cake…. We got 4 free tix to the Disney on Ice show!!  But don’t tell the girls, it’s gonna be a surprise Sunday evening!

I’ll post more pics from the skating event soon…

Monday, September 23, 2013

Going to sleep

Mommy reporting: Getting ready for blow by gas and then IV. It's no fun watching her get disoriented...  But she won't remember. Thank goodness.

Teeth get out!

Braska reporting : I'm at the dentist this morning. They're gonna make me sleep and take a few teeth out... Like this big one on the front. It keeps getting farther down but won't get loose like it's supposed to...  Silly tooth.

I don't really like when doctors put me to sleep, so I hope this is better than sometimes when I get scared. I'm already asking mommy to take me home. But she says I'll be fine. And she is usually right. My dentist is special and he is real smart about helping kids sleep easy when he does stuff.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Lately on Instagram, Episode 1

Ok, so maybe this is blog cheating… but quick and easy are what it’s all about lately.  I am rediscovering Instagram, and it’s so darn easy to toss up a cute something with a quip about what’s up.  So if you’re into Instagram, come on by… braskasmom is me. If you’re not, well, you’ll get a peek anyway.  I’m thinking I can just snip and paste and boom, mildly interesting content on the blog. 

And no, you certain friends who keep trying to get me to break and join the FB gang, this is not the beginning of that. Sorry.

Saturday 09/14/13


Tuesday 9/17/13



Weds 9/18/13



Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Rehearsing hellos

Mommy reporting:  Braska loves to visit the private school that she attended last year, where Kinlee still attends.  We love that place, and someday she’ll be back there, I know it for sure.  Things are in the works… 

Whenever she goes with me for any reason, like visiting for lunch and recess with her friends, or stopping by to pick up Kinlee, she always says she’s going to go tell everyone hello.  She has great plans of what she’ll say and so on.  But when she gets there lately, she kind of clams up. 

When she was a student there, she was quite verbal with her teacher and friends, though somewhat picky about who would receive the blessing of her greetings outside of the classroom…. little diva.  But she seems to be re-discovering again when we pop in for little visits.  (She’s fine on the playground, of course, not a problem there.)

So recently she’s started acting like she’s seeing everyone when we talk about going.  Like she’s practicing.  So I got a little video clip of it yesterday so that those who she picked out to address would get to see how excited she is when she’s not actually looking at them in person and staring in an aloof fashion.

And why not share with the blogosphere, right?  There’s a couple little peeks at her goofy little personality in there, too.  (“I gotta think in my mind!”)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Mommy Kinlee Salon Day

Kinlee likes to give things names. Events. Situations. Lots of things.

If we go to lunch, it’s Mommy Kinlee Lunch.

If Braska’s with us, it’s a Mommy Girls Lunch.

When she wants to sit on my lap for a while, she asks for a Mommy Kinlee Moment.

If Daddy takes her to Lowe’s,  it’s a Daddy Kinlee Trip.

When we went to Wal Mart this morning, it was an All Family Trip.

And the list goes on…

Today was Mommy Kinlee Salon Day. 

I was going to get my hair done, and she came along because she wanted a cut for herself, too.

I got to go first because she can get her haircut done during my processing. So she waited patiently (with Netflix on her Nabi, of course) in the chair next to mine.

When it was her turn, she was all smiles.  (Which is nice.  We tend to see A LOT of attitude lately, more than smiles.)


My big-girl 4-year-old bug.  My kindergartener.  Hard to believe.

She is like a little pro when she’s in there. Loves it.  She really likes the whole process, except the shampooing.  The super chic sinks there aren’t the most comfy for her, so she prefers just a spray to wet it down.  And she knows. She’ll speak up and let you know what’s supposed to happen.


She gets very serious about watching everything that Jessica is doing, but she does sometimes crack a smile.


Of course, we had to pause to pose together. 

The after…  she prefers no blow dry, thank you.  It’s far too hot for her liking.

Her couple inches of trim was pretty uneventful, but the other 90 minutes when she was just waiting for me was the real challenge.  And she did great, not the recently-typical whining, none of the rolling eyes and attitude-laden tone.  She was pleased to do her Fooz Kids Math or English on the Nabi or watch Martha Speaks.

It was a pretty nice outing.  And that’s a good thing.  So since it’s not always the way things go, I wanted to document it.  So I can look back next time I get the growl and scoff along with the “Oh my goodness, Mom.  That is not at all what I want to do. Can we talk about other options?”

No joke.  Verbatim quote.

I’m glad to have these little peeks at the fun 4-year-old days.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Photo sneak

A girl just can’t get a fair photo with certain brother-in-laws around.  Nothing is sacred. Even an attempt at taking a picture of my first freehand rhinestone Bears shirt. I’m a bling girl, yes I am.  And this is way more sparkly than the picture shows.  But it might be because of the goofball dimming my aura or something. 

*sigh* little brothers….

Family Bears Day

It’s that time again!!! FOOOOOOTBALLLLL!

Braska reporting: Uncle Ethon and Auntie Cheryl have “the ticket” this year, so we’re going to their house for Bears on Sunday after church.  This was our first week, and we got ALL dressed for it!

And Kinlee got excited!

Mommy and I practiced our cheer poses with her, but we didn’t jump this time.

We won! So yay Bears!  Bear down, Chicago Bears!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Back on the streets

After a little over 2 months off due to low-calorie eating plan to jump start the healthy lifestyle plan, today was my return to the streets to pick up with C25K plan.

Yep. I'm a planner.

I backed up a little in the sequence to make sure I could handle it. But with almost 20 lbs less of me hitting the pavement, seems to be very doable to jump back in. I managed well and it felt very good.

Now off to the shower and on with the rest of a busy day of school volunteer time and dentist appointments.