mellicious: pink manicure (Xmas light gif)
[personal profile] mellicious
I don't know why I keep ending up in the Dallas area this past year. I'm not doing it on purpose, really - but events keep sending me there, somehow. The seminar I just went to is only held in about 5 locations around the country, and that's one of them. Both times I've gone to schedule a certification test, there weren't any in Houston on the dates I wanted, but there were ones in Dallas. And I've always wanted to go to BeadFest, which usually is held in more exotic locations like, well, Philadelphia - so when they announced the one in Arlington, I immediately signed up for a class on a whim. (That was an expensive whim, but the class was good.) I hadn't spent any appreciable time in that area in years and years, or when it comes right down to it, I'd never spent more than a few days there, total, ever. But now that I've been up there four times in less than a year, with one more that I know of to go, I'm starting to learn my way around, a bit. There are some pretty neighborhoods in Dallas proper - sort of like University Place in Houston used to be, before they started knocking all the cute old houses down and building McMansions. (Do they have zoning in Dallas? Those areas seem much more unspoiled than their Houston counterparts.) And there's some nice shopping, and of course there's Six Flags and the Ballpark at Arlington and all that, but other than that, what I've seen of DFW is mostly freeways and strip centers and suburbs, just like Houston. Not all that exciting, but really, I could bear to live there, if I had a reason to.

I did exactly the same thing I did the last time around - I went to sleep late Sunday night before I left, and got up early Monday because I couldn't sleep, and then when I got there I was totally exhausted and went to bed really, really early - like, I was watching "CharlieWillie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" around 9:00, and I fell asleep around the time Veruca fell down the garbage chute. (I did stay awake long enough for that. That was always my favorite part. But I must've sacked out moments after it happened.) Then in the morning I was dressed and downstairs so early that the breakfast buffet hadn't even opened yet. Very nice buffet, eventually, though, with omelets and the whole thing, exactly what I was in the mood for. The hotel was the Sheraton DFW (actually apparently there are two Sheraton DFWs, but it was one of them, anyway) and it was chock-full of people here for various conventions, plus a whole lot of airline employees - it was mostly those last eating breakfast around me at 6:30 this morning. I'm told one of the other conventions was a Christian thing of some sort, and I saw people carrying musical instruments into the big ballroom next door, although if they actually played anything we weren't close enough to hear it. (I was thinking that it was some sort of musician's convention, but it strikes me that they could also have been playing for the religious thing. That would seem to fit.)

Incidentally, Sheratons these days seem to have marvelously comfortable beds. I stayed in one in Arlington the last time, too, and it was just the same. I highly recommend the beds, if you have occasion to avail yourself of one. (The rest of the hotel is fine, too.)

The conference I went to was about next year's CPT changes. (That means the procedure codes for surgeries and doctor visits and such.) There are enough of them every year that they publish a whole book with just the changes (which was given to us as part of the price of admission, along with a 2011 CPT book) and more than enough of them to fill an all-day conference. Usually (in my vast experience of two of these things) there's one big issue every year - usually something that affects reimbursement. Last year it was that CMS (i.e., Medicare) had stopped paying for consults. It's not actually a CPT topic at all, really, but it was what everybody wanted to talk about. This year the big change was in coding for cardiac caths. From a purely coding point of view, they've made it much easier. You used to use multiple codes for each procedure and now they're bundling them and there will be only one. But if you add up the reimbursements for all the old codes, it was higher than the reimbursement for the one new one, so if you were really using all 3-7 codes for the old ones, you won't be getting as much money. What I'm wondering, though, is how many people were really using all of the possible codes. (But I have no immediate way of knowing the answer to that.)
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mellicious

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