The Widdershins


Posted on: June 29, 2013


I’m tired of putting up the pics of salads and light meals and junk.  Let’s have some jello shots!  It’s still light fare Saturday and no heavy lifting will be involved.

Why are your eyes so big Grandma?

Because I just got a surgical eyelid lift my child and medicare (and you) paid for it!
Yep it seems that eyelid lifts are the rage (?) amongst the oldsters these days and medicare is picking up the tab.  Now, medicare does not pay for cosmetic surgery.  But if the plastic surgeon certifies that the lift is necessary because the droopy eyelids are affecting your vision, well that’s a different story entirely.

From 2001 to 2011, eyelid lifts charged to Medicare more than tripled to 136,000 annually, according to a review of physician billing data by the Center for Public Integrity. In 2001, physicians billed taxpayers a total of $20 million for the procedure. By 2011, the price tag had quadrupled to $80 million. The number of physicians billing the surgery more than doubled.

Well,  that could be because the number of folks over the age of 65 are increasing too, but that number hasn’t doubled…not yet at least.  Now when the rest of us baby boomers start hitting the medicare rolls, who knows.  Sen. Tom Coburn of OK isn’t too happy about this.  (He happens to be a physician also, or so he says.  Just now looked it up in wiki and shudder (!) he’s an obstetrician!!)    😯

“With this kind of management malpractice, it’s little wonder that the [Medicare] program is in such dire shape,” said Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who is also a physician. “The federal government is essentially asking people to game the system. Every dollar we spend on cosmetic surgery that isn’t necessary is a dollar that can’t be used to shore up the program for people who need it the most.”

But not so fast say the docs who are doing these procedures:

Plastic surgeons say there are a number of legitimate reasons for the spike, including a tendency among the elderly to seek fixes for real medical issues they might have quietly suffered through even a decade ago. But surgeons also acknowledge an increased awareness of the surgery fueled by reality television, word-of-mouth referrals, and advertising — often including dramatic before-and-after photographs — that promises a more youthful appearance. And doctors concede they face increased pressure from patients to perform eyelid lifts, even when they do not meet Medicare’s requirement that peripheral vision actually be impaired.

Now also of interest was that 11 of the top 20 highest billers were in:  Surprise – Florida!

11 of the 20 highest billers in 2008 were in Florida, which is both an elderly mecca and the country’s foremost magnet for questionable Medicare billing.

Among the top surgeons, the data show a South Florida doctor billed Medicare more than $800,000 in 2008 for about 2,200 eyelid lifts. That’s an average of six a day, including weekends. This same doctor was also a top biller in 2006 and 2007.  (That man or woman is busy!)

The reason that so many of these procedures get billed to and paid for by Medicare is because the Medicare guidelines are difficult to enforce.

The process for purely cosmetic surgeries and Medicare-funded blepharoplasty is the same. Doctors numb the eyelids with a local anesthetic before removing fat and excess skin, often with a laser. The entire process usually takes less than 30 minutes, and is performed most often in doctors’ offices or outpatient surgical centers, some of which are connected to “medical spas” or “beauty clinics.”

The process to test whether a procedure was done for purely cosmetic or medically necessary reasons is a simple test:  “doctors are required to test a patient’s vision and document that drooping skin significantly compromises a patient’s eyesight. The exam usually involves lifting a patient’s eyelids with tape and comparing their vision results to tests performed without tape.”  Well okay then, seems simple enough.  And Medicare, unlike private insurance doesn’t require a “pre-authorization for eyelid surgeries.  Further, Robert Berenson, former commissioner of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, said he doubts that pre-auths would help very much.

“I am sure there are some patients who are hampered by eyelids drooping. And I’m sure that many of them are not and it’s a cosmetic reason,” Berenson said. But the doctors, he added, “have probably gotten very skilled at knowing how to document that something is not cosmetic.”

When a claim is reviewed, Quinn said, staff receives a medical record from a doctor that says a patient’s eyelids interfered with their vision, along with a photo of someone with droopy eyelids. There really isn’t anything to review, Quinn said. “It’s really hard to go much further on that.”

There’s a lot more to the article if you wish to read it, including some quotes from one of the top “eye guys” in Florida, John LiVecchi.  I liked his reasoning for justifying the surgery.  I hope they are still as lax with it when I need one of those and hope to hell there’s still Medicare too!  😉

Filed under “what were you thinking?” or
your parents’ license is revoked

Apparently Mamma wasn’t too familiar with catfish and she’s from Arkansas!

What seemed like harmless fun involving a live catfish nearly turned deadly when the sharp spine of a catfish impaled a 13-year-old boy in the neck, coming just a couple of centimeters from puncturing a main artery.  (as I recall this used to be called getting “finned” by the catfish)

Melissa Menchaca, Aiden’s mother, was joking around as she held the slippery catfish near her son.

“I wanted to give him a kiss,” she explained. “He got nervous, the fish flopped, and it smacked him on the neck.”

Melissa was going to pull the spine out until she saw a bulging artery. She left the spine in place and immediately phoned for help.  (smart thinking Melissa!)

When paramedics arrived, they were said to have been surprised at what they saw. They were forced to wait 30 minutes until the fish calmed down before they were able to cut the fin and airlift Aiden to Arkansas Children’s Hospital where the spine was safely removed. An ultrasound revealed how close Aiden came to possibly dying.

Oy vey!

This one is as bad as the butt-dialing thieves a couple of weeks ago

This fool in nola robbed two people and then took off with their car.  Later on he abandoned the car but left his cell phone in the front seat.   Mr. Brilliant here decided to call the cops and tell them that he had been robbed and his wallet and cell phone were taken.  This was about a half hour after the cops found the car.

Faciane gave police his home address, and when officers arrived and asked who robbed him he gave a description of a man who looked very much like himself, the NOPD said. Police said that when detectives asked Faciane to describe the gun, he “essentially described his own handgun.”

Detectives obtained a search warrant for Faciane’s home and found the handgun described by the victims of the car theft, as well as Faciane’s wallet, which was under his bed.

Police say Faciane, wearing a “Jason” mask, initially rummaged through the car and told the victims at gun point to get in the trunk, thus the attempted kidnapping charge. When the victim suggested he just take the car, police said Faciane agreed.

Faciane was arrested and booked into Orleans Parish Prison with two counts of armed robbery, two counts of attempted kidnapping, one count of auto theft and one count of filing a false police report.

According to the NOPD, Faciane has been previously arrested for aggravated battery and disturbing the police. He also has a municipal court warrant outstanding since January 25.

Darrin Faciane, yo mama is not proud of you!

Lastly for today I’ve got two youtubes for you.  One is of a squirrel and a bull snake in Gold AZ who get into a tussle and the squirrel wins!

This next one is kinda creepy!  It’s about a statue at the Manchester Museum in the U.K.

The museum officials were stumped. A statue is supposed to stand still, not rotate all by itself.

But this one at the Manchester Museum seemed to have done just that. Turned around 180 degrees — revealing an inscription on its back asking for beer.

No other figure in the display had moved — nor had any other in the museum.

Statuette no. 9325 doesn’t appear to go by any proper name. It’s a prefabricated figure — an off-the-shelf product — that was placed into a small tomb around 1800 B.C.

A private collector in Britain donated it to the museum in 1933. The inscription on the back, requesting a sacrifice of beer, bread and animals, was a standard prayer for the deceased.

For decades, the figurine stood perfectly still — until museum workers moved its case a few feet from its original position.

Turn, turn, turn

In February, curator Campbell Price noticed something curious was afoot.

The statue seemed to have slightly turned.

When he looked next, it was facing another direction. A day later, another.

The turns were subtle. But at the end of each day, you could tell the statue was angled differently.

You can read more at the link and here is the time-lapsed video of the statue.  It is the tallest of the four statues on the shelf.

Okay Widdershins, what’s going on in your world today?  Let me know in the comments below and btw, don’t take too many jello shots!  😉


21 Responses to "SATURDAY LIGHT FARE"

It’s still called “finned”, and ERs see a lot of it.

It appears Now The President says with regard to Federal Benefits if you are married legally in a state that has marriage equality at the Federal level you are married no matter where you live in the eyes of the Federal Government…since most benefits for marriage are at the federal level involve taxes this is a good thing.

The DOD is also moving at breakneck speed to reform all its directives and policies to give full benefits to same sex spouses as are available to opposite sex spouses.

It may be the DOD through the Justice Department that challenges states that do not afford their military members equal right. You may see a move by the DOD to threaten (behind closed doors) to close or shrink bases in hostile states.

This is a blow to the anti equal marriage rights states as they cannot compel the Federal government to deny rights and federal benefits to same sex couples that move to their states…

If full faith and credit is imposed on the 35 non marriage states they will be allowed to continue to deny marriages in their own states but they will be compelled to recognize marriages performed in states where it is legal this will happen when the rest of DOMA is repealed possibly in Hillary’s first term or after the Republicans ;lose the House in the midterms.

Chat, I got the term from here:

and here:

Perhaps in the e.r. they call it “dinned” because of it being the dorsal fin?

fuzzy said: since most benefits for marriage are at the federal level involve taxes this is a good thing.

Yes indeed.

You may see a move by the DOD to threaten (behind closed doors) to close or shrink bases in hostile states.

If that happened, those states would howl, yelling states’ rights. Too bad.

Oh Prolix where art thou when it comes to folks not commenting on your posts? You should see this fiasco. 😯

I thought the eye job or at least the dumb criminal would generate some type of comments, but nah.

Yes Fredster but ans the Military got more diverse in the 60’s and 70’s states became more tolerant of minorities who drilled and were stationed on bases in there states

Fuzzy, you do have a point there.

San Francisco City Hall lit up after the defeat of Prop 8. Coincidentally in time for Pride Week I believe.

This is for our Pat who has been under the weather. I know she’s really going to appreciate it. 😉

And for how she really feels about that movie. 😆

Another use for “The English Patient”: Anesthesia!

Wake me when it is over!

Hugs Pat feel better I am missing you lots….

thanks Donna for your support I am sure it is a mile wide and a centimeter thick!

Pat, get well soon!

That snake vid was bizarre. If there was a snake on my patio, I’d get it off somehow. Laker says that the ground squirrels here (relatives of chipmunks) will attack rattlesnakes. I haven’t seen any rattlers on our hill, but have seen lots of King snakes, which is good because they also kill rattlesnakes. Laker has seen and photographed lots of rattlers on the hill across the street. I won’t let him go up there during the summer.

I have never had a jello shot!

Fredster, sorry to have been absent today, but had to do a little road trip for a friend.

All I can say about Tommy “I hate the world except the part me and my immediate family occupy” Coburn, as an obstetrician if he’s diagnosing droopy eyelids there are some Medicare investigators who want to chat with him.

That squirrel has been watching too much interspecies “True Blood.”

A friend of mine recently did that eyelift thing. She’s not on medicare though. It does seem to be getting to be a popular surgery. She did have them bag down really bad. I don’t know what its like, since I don’t have that, but it looks annoying. I’m sure it really shouldn’t be a medicare thing, but this govt wastes so much $ anyway on their corp welfare and defense contractors and such, I can’t really get worked up over it. Let the poor old people have a little more comfort. It really doesn’t make them look younger, if you’re old enough for medicare, you’re going to look old whether or not your eyelids are jacked up. If a 40 yr old did it, they would probably look a little younger. I see so much weird plastic surgery here in socal, its a very vain area. One of my oldest friends has had her face so jacked around, it looks so strange. And again, she doesn’t look younger, just odder.

You guys have probably seen this, but a really funny old George Carlin vid about abortion & women and republicans. Meant to add it on Prolix’s post last night, but forgot.

That squirrel has been watching too much interspecies “True Blood.”

LOL!! Probably Baby-vamp Jessica was hungry for a snack and turned the squirrel.

As far as “doc” Coburn is concerned, the AMA ought to ask that he turn in his license.

Socal: I’ve seen some plastic surgeries on faces that looked sooo bad I was tempted to ask “can you even open your mouth to eat or speak?”

From fuzzy’s link by donkey brazile:

In 2013, the vast majority of Americans have moved beyond prejudice toward gays and lesbians

Yeah, Donna. We remember your friend Leigh Daughtry who was DNC Chief of Staff in 2008.

In the same document, Daughtry spoke about a proposed change of a Democratic Party rule regarding gay delegates. In 2006, the Blade article said, Garry Shay, a member of the DNC who is also gay, suggested that there be a specified number of gay delegates at the Democratic national convention.

Daughtry did not agree, saying on the transcript that such rules are “based on historic discrimination at the voting booth, and that in order for his rule to be passed, he would have to demonstrate that the GLBT community had been historically discriminated against at the voting booth, and he had not presented that kind of evidence.”

And this from Rev. Amy :

He (Dean) acknowledged a proposal by gay DNC member Garry Shay of California to add gays to the party’s affirmative action guidelines for selecting convention delegates triggered a contentious internal debate.

Dean said some “influential individuals” within the DNC Black Caucus, such as Donna Brazile, opposed the plan because it was seen as “an affront to the civil rights movement.”

Brazile, who chairs the DNC’s Voting Rights Institute, declined to comment for this article.

Dean said the dispute grew to the point where “we had two very important groups of people in the DNC disagreeing with each other” and several DNC and caucus officials were asked to broker a deal that would make peace on the issue.

“I wanted equal representation for gay and lesbian Americans,” he said, “and I wanted to achieve it in a way that wasn’t offensive to the history of the civil rights movement.”

I hope if HRC is the nominee in 2016, that Donna is politely or not so politely shown the door at the DNC.

Socal said: I have never had a jello shot!

Got to try one at least once!

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