sinanju: The Shadow (Default)
I've been at OHSU for a month as of yesterday. Four weeks. Five weeks since I quit my previous job and took a week off before starting the new one.

I'm working in the Liver Pre-Transplant office. My job involves doing benefit checks--finding out what benefits, exactly, the potential patient's insurance covers so our financial coordinator can assess their situation. It involves sending out prior authorization requests (i.e., getting permission from the insurance company/HMO/whoever) for the diagnostics and office visits needed to evaluate someone to determine if they're a good candidate. It involves tracking the authorizations, and the scheduling of office visits and diagnostic tests and getting authorizations for ongoing, specific visits/diagnostics after the evaluation, and helping to manage patients' required medical appointments and labs (i.e., making sure they know when something is coming due, making sure orders for the medical care are in place so they can be seen, making sure the appointments are scheduled (or in some cases, scheduling them myself). I also enter lab results into the system, and upload diagnostic results from outside offices, and lots of other things.

I spent two weeks being trained and getting a little hands-on experience--and feeling completely lost. There's a ton of stuff you need to know to do this job. I often felt like I was floundering, or stumbling around in the dark unable to piece it all together. So did Carrie, the woman who was being trained with me to take my equivalent role in the Kidney pre-transplant office. But everyone around us--our boss, our trainer, our co-workers and random people who encountered there at OHSU--told us the same thing again and again and again.

It IS a big job. It DOES take a long time to learn. We were doing great, and we shouldn't be hard on ourselves. We'll get it. I was willing to take their word for it, that they knew what they were talking about...but it didn't feel like it.

I've spent the last two weeks, since my initial training, working alongside my counterpart. We split the pre-transplant liver patients between us; I handle A-K, she handles L-Z. Or we will once I'm up to speed, right now we're working closely on all of them while I continue getting up to speed. And...and I feel like I'm getting there. I still have lots to learn, and the job is like a jigsaw puzzle but I've assembled the border now and big pieces of it are coming together, and I'm confident that I'll be able to fill in the rest with time and practice. In some ways, the job is fairly repetitive: benefits checks, evaluation authorization requests, listing authorizations, transplant authorizations, managing patient schedules, and so forth. Lather, rinse, repeat.

In other ways, it's a constant challenge and nobody EVER knows it all because things are constantly in flux. Patients change insurance providers. Plans change. Rules change. Laws change. And when all that remains constant, patients change--they get better, they get worse, and their needs change accordingly. So I'm never going to be in a place where I don't have to ask questions and puzzle out the whys and wherefores of things. But I'm getting a handle on the basics.

And I love it. Time flies. By the time I left my previous job, I hated it. I watched the clock, eager for my next break, or lunch, or the end of the day. The soulless micromanagement of a call center was soul-grinding. But this job, I love. I'm working hard, and learning, and time flies. It's useful, valuable work and it makes a difference to the patients we're working with, which is both exciting and sometimes a little scary. My bosses and my co-workers assume I'm capable and willing to do the job, and continue to be endlessly encouraging, and I'm not being micromanaged, and it's glorious.

So, yeah, I really like this job, and I'm very pleased to have it. It's been a long-overdue and positive change.


sinanju: The Shadow (Default)

August 2017

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