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About Lokicolt

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    HC Village Idiot

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    I bite raaarr
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  • Gender
  • Location
    Rio Rancho, NM
  • Interests
    Horses, endurance riding, 4-wheeling in my Jeep, my pet tarantulas, too many to list
  1. 6 Months With Comet (Pic Heavy!)

    Comet did awesome that weekend, especially for a critter who hasn't seen much of anything but the inside of his paddock and the high desert. Yes he is a work in progress, DR, and she has already changed bits several times to try different things. Save your bullets and your judgment :)
  2. Is It Wrong To Be Forced To Work Holidays?

    As a single mom and a horse owner, those are two jobs that I do 365 days a year. The job I do that actually pays me in monetary value is in the healthcare industry. While I don't normally have to work holidays, overtime and weekends, I will and have, if needed. I have also held jobs in the past such as waiting tables, retail and a call center that required working weekends and holidays. Not my first choice, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do. As someone previously mentioned (I think Blondy), there are lots of unemployed people who would jump at the chance for a job even if it meant working holidays, so treading carefully seems prudent when it comes to picking such battles with employers. Having superiors who are willing to work with their employees' time-off requests makes the pill a lot easier to swallow.
  3. Forgetting Child In Car?

    Exactly it. Even though I was cognizant of fact, I had absolutely zero control over my physiological response. Me no likey!
  4. The Supreme Court Judged Yesterday That

    Maybe, maybe not. But there is a lot to consider here. Coming out of medical school leaves people in tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands in debt. Making big money is their only hope of getting a return on the investment. Second, the liability is extraordinary. They are responsible for patients being put under, as well as their prolonged sedation during the procedure, which could go for hours. There are multiple ways of administering anesthesia and multiple drugs to potentially use just for starters. What also must be factored in is the procedure itself, the duration of said procedure, the age and weight of the patient, his or her allergies, and patient status and overall condition. Is it a young, reasonably healthy person or someone with chronic illness or systemic disease? Is it a geriatric or very young patient? They must carefully review the medical records of each patient so they are aware of every aspect of the patient's health to be able to formulate what anesthesia to use, how to dose, when to back it off, and so forth. The liability on health care professionals is substantial. A miscalculation on the anesthesiologist's part, or overlooking one minute detail such as an allergy could cost the patient's life, and open up a world of lawsuits. Thus, insuring medical professionals and entities is costly. This is all in addition to the long hours these folks put in, being on call, working ER Trauma or ward. Two of the fields I code in are OB Triage and Orthopaedics, and in addition to working rotations at the hospital, they also rotate with the university's individual clinics. Plus, because we are an academic hospital, they are responsible for their residents and fellows, and occasionally medical students. Those two fields also see a lot of volume in terms of sheer numbers. When all that is said and done, they have reports to complete and sign off on so coders like me can review the records, level it, and code it accordingly for billing. If there are any discrepancies, we have to try to pin them down long enough to request corrections be made, attestations be done on resident reports, etc. On top of all that, they have their own families to tend to, amid all the time being spent on their careers. Lots of things to take into account. I don't think the medical industry is the place where we need to start stripping away high-dollar salaries. Entertainment venues like professional football players and actors seems like a better starting point then the medical field. There's a reason doctors get paid the big bucks. This alone isn't the reason health care costs so much. Other factors that drive up the cost of healthcare is taking in to consideration that certain payers are particular about what they pay. Medicare is the largest third-party payer. I can tell you that coding Medicare patient records is often challenging because in order to pay for many procedures they require what they call "Medical Necessity Edits." This means that certain diagnoses and/or symptoms and conditions must exist for Medicare to pay for the service. It makes sense for an 87 year old who's getting a pre-surgical work-up to receive and electrocardiogram right? For all practical purposes, the doctors need to be sure that patient's heart is in condition to hold up through major surgery. But if there is no condition in the patient's record that warrants such, via the medical necessity edit, such as hypertension, heart disease, history of myocardial infarction, etc. then the procedure has to be coded not medically necessary and we eat the cost of it. The payer CHOOSING what they will and won't pay for adds to costs because that's money the medical organization and providers have to eat. Medicare also dictates, via CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) the working "cost" of what procedures and health care services are offered at, taking into consideration things like demographics, geographical location and socioeconomic considerations, etc. What costs X dollars in Houston may cost 3X dollars in New York. People who can't afford health insurance can't afford the $200k in treatments for cancer. It either piles up their debt or if the organization has a write-off account for the established impoverished, that's where that cost goes. I know we have one for UNM's HSC. And it's big. I'm not sure about no plans to bring in additional physicians. Not sure how that would be possible. The day the ruling went through, I received both an email alert from the national coding organization I am certified through, as well as the CEO of the entire Health Sciences Center letting us know of the ruling. The CEO already addressed that we will immediately need to start preparations to bring in many more health care professionals to accommodate the surge. I suspect other organizations are going to start gearing up to do the same. This may be an effort to make more people pay into the health care system, and its success in doing so remains to be seen. Implementing this will be very interesting.
  5. Forgetting Child In Car?

    One time one of my children stuck one of their life-sized baby dolls in the little one's carseat. I'd forgotten about it and was out running errands during the day (good ol' scorching New Mexico heat), sans children, and went to get in my Jeep and noticed the shape of a baby in the back. In the fraction of a millisecond it took for my eyes to see the baby and my brain to process logically that it A)wasn't real, B)that neither of my children were infants, and C)nor were they with me, it was still more then enough time for my sensibilities to be pitched head-long into panic. I took the baby doll out of the seat and put it on the floor lol. I can't really explain it, but something about it made me uneasy. Even though fleeting and illogical, that mini panic attack was horrid and it took a few minutes for my heart rate to come back down lol. I couldn't help but wonder how many people walked past my car and went ballistic seeing the shape of a baby left in there. They probably walked off cursing me out for a sick joke lol.
  6. If You Don't Like Obama You're A Racist!

    I don't know Phurgus personally, nor do I have any idea whatever incident(s) everyone is talking about regarding her past. I can't comment intelligently on any of that as I'm frequently the unicorn that misses the drama boat here, and I'm ok with that. That said, I took her post to be one of jest, or just a means of stirring up a hornet's nest. Had I believed there was any real nefarious intent, I would have just ignored the thread completely. No one can instigate or rile you up without your active participation.
  7. The Supreme Court Judged Yesterday That

    I would like to see that as well. My health insurance with dental for my two children and I is over $400 A MONTH. Yep. $200 PER PAYCHECK, and my coverage is 60/40. The mindboggling part is I work for UNM Medical Group, one of the sub-entities of the University of New Mexico's Health Sciences Center, which is the conglomerate that oversees all the clinics, research centers and academic hospital. A medical powerhouse, one of the largest networks in the state, and I STILL pay $400 a month. The HR folks have acknowledged the high premiums and claim they are trying to work with the providers to lower the cost for employees. I sure hope that's the case. Balance would be really nice but I'm not going to hold my breath. I forgot to put this in my first post, but as some already pointed out, I find it most curious about this "penalty." If someone can't afford health insurance, how can they possibly afford the penalty? How's the gov't going to enforce that?
  8. The Supreme Court Judged Yesterday That

    Yup. Voted 5-4 as a Constitutionally allowable tax under the Federal taxing authority. Get ready, that individual mandate requires all individuals to have health coverage, or face a penalty. Almost as silly as how Medicare Part B is managed. It's "optional" so you don't HAVE to take it, but down the line if you do enroll, you are penalized for every year you DIDN'T have it.
  9. Too Much To Ask?

    Let me start by saying WOW. Good idea...you get your time in, for several days for $100 bucks. Not bad. I'm going to file that away. I'm a single mom and my parents watch the kids for me during the week as they are retired, so I am loathe to ask them for time on the weekends for me to go riding or doing whatever. I have never hired a babysitter and wouldn't know what to offer to pay. Thanks for the head's up on this. I think you could go either way on this. I'd start by offering her perhaps a little more money to incorporate a few chores in, (ie vacuum and dishes) and see what she says. If she opts no, then $100 it is, and you get to come home to clean. Booo lol. Being that you're her customer, I think it's ok to ask for 'reasonable' things without overdoing it. With such good rapport with your family, it's worthwhile to keep her on. I feel you on the chores though. At the end of the week, I just want to relax but instead I find myself looking at the kitchen floor and saying things like "Good Lord, look at this floor." Kids, dogs, horses, living in a desert, eh, c'est la vie. PS - Love the name Weylin.
  10. Frustrating Times

    I have a dog-aggressive horse as well, and that is a behavior I have not attempted to curb at all. Loki is a well-established dog bully, my dogs having learned over the years to always keep an eye on him if they are out with me in the pasture. I find it most helpful when we are riding in a public place and a loose dog charges. As I've aged, I've developed more intolerance for bad behavior in dogs. One of my neighbors has a big stupid GSD that barks at everything, all the time. She has a special talent for carrying on during ungodly hours when I'm trying to sleep. What chaps me is that they just let it continue. I have also have new neighbors across the street with a little fluffy white Lhasa Apso looking critter that is always off leash. Since they leave the property gates open, frequently in the afternoon the dog will come up my driveway if it sees my dogs out while I'm feeding. Part of me doesn't mind cuz it's cute and friendly and clearly wants to play. Part of me minds because I feel like they should do a better job minding their dog. I have "No Trespassing" and "Beware of Dog" signs up around the perimeter of the property that were up when I bought the place, but I was told by a lady working at a feedstore that "Beware of Dog" signs are actually a liability, that you acknowledge in some part that your dog is aggressive and thus acts as admitting of fault. Apparently something happened with her mother in a similar situation which prompted them to remove all of their signs.
  11. Animal Breeding.

    Great Doodles! Great googly moogly.
  12. Barnyard Animals Drown At Lake Superior Zoo

    Smokum - I appreciate your sentiment. Even though they are barn animals that are relatively easy to replace, it is very unfortunate, and I'm sure for the animals' keepers, these poor critters are not THAT easy to replace, emotionally. Very sad. Poor critters. I had my fill of flooding after Katrina, but dare I say, I desperately wish we could move all that water over here to New Mexico. We need it. New Mexico burns year after year, the latest 100+ acre fire about ten miles from my house. And that one is small peanuts compared to "Little Bear" and the really big national forest destroyers.
  13. Animal Breeding.

    I think that mentality is all too common, and unfortunately part of the problem. Two purebred animals doesn't automatically equate to "let's breed them!" I have a 13 year old male Doberman I got from a dobie rescue way back when I was in college (I'm dating myself but he's been around longer then my children, by a LONG time), who is a von Willebrand's dog and the product of the backyard breeding - "purebred+purebred= let's breed!" mentality. Of course they didn't bother to test the animals for genetic soundness. Never crossed their minds. They saw dollar signs. My question is...other then the two animals being purebred, was there anything other then the money that was a good reason to breed? This I agree with, though I will qualify the answer further by suggesting that my idea of the animal "proving" itself is not necessarily because it is purebred, shows, etc. Later posts in the thread elaborate on this. Sad truth, nick. My sister works for a vet clinic, and says the number of people who call in demanding immediate care for poor fido who's had a bleeding mass protruding from his back end for a month now is simply staggering. She also notes that more often then not, the people most willing to do anything for their animals, including expensive surgery to retain the animals' quality of life, are usually not their wealthiest clients, instead people who are willing to take out loans and/or make payments every month, any arrangement the clinic will work out. On the contrary, there are a startling number of clients who will have an animal euthanized (in one case, even a long-time family pet) because it had become inconvenient, and they already had a sparkling new purebred puppy to replace it. I'm under the impression it is vastly different in America then it is elsewhere in the world, as Americans are fixated on appearance, and a tremendous number of breeds have been modified beyond even practicality because of the "look" that was being sought, and because that "look" has become so exaggerated, the animals has been rendered all but useless based on its original purpose (ie the English bulldog). I'm a Dobie owner and a huge fan of the breed, and found it very interesting that all across Europe, they have banned the alteration such as tail docking and ear cropping as it is unnecessary and at this point, simply a cosmetic feature. Ah here is the kicker. When breeding animals, I think the most important things to consider are the animals' breeding "credentials" as well as the "market" for said animals. Papered or not, ranch owners will always need solid working ranch dogs, thus, that's your market. If your animals are proven workers with great brains, personalities and work ethics fitting of the breed/environment, and you have people willing to pay for your ranch dogs, go for it. Show titles, confirmation blue ribbons and pedigrees probably won't amount to much working a herd of cattle. That's not to say some Australian shepherd breeders won't use their animals to work cattle as well, but who knows. I'd be very curious to see how many show animals actually "work," aside from exercising on a treadmill for muscle tone, or being therapy dogs. Because of the cost of the animals, their maintenance and potential for injury, I wouldn't think it would be that many, but you never know. Like in all things, common sense is applicable. I don't know that I agree that ONLY purebred animals merit consideration in breeding. Because of the onslaught of congenital illness due to inbreeding, many purebreds are plagued with high genetic risk. Mutts on the other hand seem to benefit from the mixed gene pool and if you're breeding working cattle dogs, and you've got two mutts that love their jobs and excel at it, and people interested in their progeny..so be it. There's no guarantee when it comes to genetics and that is always something to keep in mind.
  14. To Go Along With Another Thread..

    Wow. You need to calm down, nick. The kvetching is my version of debate, which I thought this is what this forum was, fully aware that my opinions won't change the law. That didn't stop it (nor has legality ever) stopped something from being debated. Clearly I'm no good at debate. My bad. I also apologize for not being so well versed as to the actual uses of medicinal marijuana. I've got a lot of nerve coming in here and offering my opinion about a topic when I'm not so intimately educated on every facet. Frankly, I'm not interested enough in marijuana to research it in depth. It must be so scary to think that an ignoramus like me has an opinion about the state of affairs in my own country via my perspective, AND actually gets to vote. Oh the horror lol. What do you expect out of a village idiot. Sheesh.
  15. Wow I had no idea gay men couldn't donate blood. That's crazy. Probably time to reboot this ban.