Saturday, November 7, 2015

Facts About Medicare Observation and Outpatient Hospital Admittance

Although this may not seem to refer to writing, many writers who have Medicate insurance should be interested, and informed. Not an easy task these days.

I'm always skeptical of FWDs, and I generally trash them unread. However, the title on this one indicated a topic I’m familiar with. So I read it.

Having recently been admitted under observation myself, with Medicare covering all of the hospital and doctor charges except pharmacy, I didn’t believe what the writer described.

However, after doing intensive research, I found the circumstances that made his saga true.

Following instructions at bottom of page 40 in the 2016 Medicare & You publication, I found this lengthy publication. Are You a Hospital Inpatient or Outpatient?

Scroll down to see how it applies to this man’s experience! Observation in an intensive care unit, ICU, is not covered by Medicare.

Read also, "Your Medicare coverage choices,

The following is the original FWD: Hospital Stay - Important please read.

SENIORS BETTER READ THIS!!! from a senior gentleman in Mesa , Arizona:

Family, Friends, Neighbors, and former Classmates, I just found myself in the middle of a medical situation that made it very clear that "the Affordable Care Act" is neither affordable, nor do they care.

I'll go back about seven years ago to a fairly radical prostate surgery that I underwent. The Urologist who performed the surgery was very concerned that it was cancer, though I wasn't told this until the lab report revealed it was benign.

Since that procedure, I have experienced numerous urinary tract nfections, UTI's. Since I had never had a "UTI" prior to the prostate surgery, I assumed that it is one of the side effects from surgery, an assumption since confirmed by my Family Doctor.

The weekend of March 8-9, I was experiencing all the symptoms of another UTI. By Monday afternoon the infection had hit with full force.  Knowing that all I needed was an antibiotic, I went to an Urgent Care Center in Mesa, AZ, to provide a specimen a requirement for getting the prescription. After waiting 45 minutes to see the Doctor, I started getting very nauseous and light headed.

I went to the Receptionist to ask where the  bathroom was, as I felt that I was going to throw up. I was told that I would have to wait for the Doctor because I would have to leave a specimen and they didn't want me in the bathroom without first seeing him.

That was when the lights went out. My next awareness was that of finding myself on the floor (in the waiting room) having violent dry heaves, and very confused.  At this point, I tried to stand up but couldn't make it, and they made it very clear they weren't going to let me get up until the ambulance got there.

By the way, when you're waiting to see the Doctor and you pass out, you get very prompt attention.

Now, "the rest of the story", and the reason for sending this to so many of you. I was taken to the nearest hospital, to emergency. Once there, I was transported to an emergency Examination room.

Once I had removed my clothes and donned one of those lovely hospital gowns, I finally got to see a Doctor.  I asked "what is going on?  I'm just having a UTI. Just get me the proper medication and let me go home."

He told me that my symptoms presented the possibility of sepsis, a potentially deadly migration of toxins, and that they needed to run several tests to determine how far the infection had migrated. For the next 3 hours I was subjected to several tests, blood draws, EKG's, and demands for specimens.

At about 7:30 [p.m.] the nurse came back to my room to inform me that one of the tests takes 1- 2 days to complete. I asked if they (the results) could be emailed, at which point she informed me that I wouldn't need them emailed because I wasn't going anywhere. I did tell her I wanted to see the doctor because I had no intention of staying overnight.

Now, this is what I want each of you to understand. Please read these next sentences carefully.

The doctor finally came in to inform me that he was going to admit me.  I said, "Are you admitting me for treatment or for observation?"

He told me that I would be admitted for observation.

I said, "Doctor, correct me if I'm wrong, but if you admit me for observation, my Medicare will not pay anything. This due to the Affordable Care Act."

He said, "That's right, it won't."

I grabbed my bag of clothing and said, "Then I'm going home."

He said you're really too sick to be going home, but I understand your position. This health program is going to hit seniors especially hard.

The doctor then left the room and I started getting dressed.  I was just getting ready to put my shoes on when another doctor (the closer) came into the room. He saw me dressed and said, "Where do you think you are going?"

I simply said "I'm going home."

To which he replied, quite vociferously, "No you aren't."

I said, "Doc, you and I both know that under the "Affordable Care Act" anyone on  Medicare who is admitted to a hospital for observation will be responsible for the bill. Medicare won't pay a cent."

At which point he nodded in affirmation.

I said, "You will either admit me for a specific treatment or you won't admit me."

Realizing he wasn't going to win this one, he said he would prepare my release papers. A few minutes later, the discharge nurse came to my room to have me sign the necessary papers, relieving them from any responsibility.  I told her I wasn't trying to be obstinate, but I wasn't going to be burdened with the full (financial) responsibility for my hospital stay.

After making sure the door was closed, she said, "I don't blame you at all, I would do the same thing."  She went on to say, "You wouldn't believe the people who elect to leave for the same reasons, people who are deathly sick, people who have to be wheeled out on a gurney."

She further said, "The 'Affordable Care Act' is going to be a disaster for seniors. Yet, if you are in this country illegally, and have no coverage, you will be covered in full."

This is not internet hype folks, this is real. I just experienced it personally. Moving right along, this gets worse. Today I went to a (required) follow up appointment with my Arizona Family Practitioner.  Since my white count was pretty high, the follow up was important.

During the visit, I shared the experience at emergency, and that I had refused to be admitted. His response was "I don't blame you at all, I would have done the same thing." He went on to say that the colonoscopy and other procedures are probably going to be dropped from coverage for those over 70."

I told him that I had heard that the "Affordable Care Act" would no longer pay for cancer treatment for those 76 and older, is that true? His understanding is that it is true. The more I  hear, and experience the Affordable Care Act, the more I'm beginning to see that we seniors are nothing more than an inconvenience, and the sooner they can get rid of us the better off they'll be.

We can have an impact on this debacle by letting everyone in Congress know that their responsibility is to the constituents, not the president and not the lobbyists. We need to let them ALL know that they are in office to serve and to look after the BEST INTERESTS of "we the people," their employers, and not to become self serving bureaucrats who serve only out of greed. And if they don't seem to understand this simple  logic, we'll fire them.

REMEMBER: Demand your hospital admission is for TREATMENT and NOT for OBSERVATION! Don't believe this? Ask your doctor.


Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.”

Good luck!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Don' Miss "Creating A Promotion Target List" by Diane Craver, at Angela Hoy's Writers Weekly

Writers, as well as wannabee writers, who don’t bookmark Angela Hoy’s, and also subscribe to her newletter, are missing good marketing information like Diane Craver's article in this week's “Creating a Promotion Target List.

Readers can navigate, but to really see what all is available go to the Site Map.

You can subscribe to the free newsletter by filling out the form on the right near the bottom here.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

What Peter Bernhardt Learned From a Dozen Years of Writing Successful Fiction

What a Dozen Years of Fiction Writing Have Taught Me, by Peter Bernhardt

Now and then during my twenty years of composing legal briefs and reports evaluating federal agencies, I expressed my desire to write a book. Little did I know that my wife would call my bluff when we moved to Sedona in retirement.No longer did I have the excuse of a demanding caseload and supervisory duties that bound me to courtroom and desk at the U.S. Attorney's Office. Nor could I plead lack of time since running and playing tennis only take up so many hours a week.

So after a year of procrastination and having run out of excuses, I enrolled in a workshop for wannabe authors.
The workshop was a bust, but it did push me into tackling my first book, The Stasi File-The Stasi File – Opera and Espionage: A Deadly Combination,  in which, following the age-old advice to “write what you know,” I wove together the unlikely combination of a German upbringing, a lifelong love of opera and my experiences as an attorney.As I struggled with an outline and the first chapter, I realized that I needed to seek counsel from more experienced writers. Point of view, filters, dialogue mechanics, narrative voice, passive voice, subjunctive, nominative absolute—these and endless other writer's tools I learned in our Sedona Writer's Group.
Let me emphasize that not all critique groups are the same. Puff groups (praising your work like your mother would) will do more harm than good.

Receiving honest, critical feedback is crucial to your goal of improving your writing. A group that offers such constructive critique is
The Internet Writing Workshop [IWW]. Whether you write fiction, nonfiction, short stories, memoirs, poetry, or other genres, it offers a critique group to meet your needs. IWW’s Writing Group’s spirited discussions gave me a new understanding of writing topics.

IWW’s Novel Group members hail from the far and near corners of the English-speaking world. Their honest and constructive critiques will improve any manuscript—that is certainly true for the three novels I submitted, chapter by chapter.
Many proclaim that a first novel seldom works.

Due in large measure to the things I learned at IWW and in my local critique group, I managed to craft The Stasi File – Opera and Espionage: A Deadly Combination competently enough for it to be named a finalist for Book of the Year by the British Arts Council sponsored website,
You Write On which ranked my book a bestseller. The novel was also a quarter finalist in the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest.

After the above writers' groups helped me put the sequel,
Kiss of the Shaman's Daughter, into publishable shape, my muse whispered a new cast of characters into my ear. Real-life events inspired me to come up with the story line for Red Romeo. Over forty West German government female employees were convicted of spying for communist East Germany for love. They fell for the charms of Stasi Romeos trained by one of the greatest spymasters of all time to seduce lonely single or divorced secretaries with security clearance.
Red Romeo has now undergone the vetting process and is currently available as an ebook preorder. You might ask why put a book on preorder when you can publish it upon final editing?The answer to that question leads me to mention one of the rare writing workshops I've ever attended that was worth the time and money: Ebook Publishing Intensive, recently given in Phoenix by Mark Coker, founder and CEO of Smashwords.

Mark made a convincing case for using preorders through which retailers accept customer orders for your book in advance of your official on-sale date.
In May 2015, Smashwords found that during the preceding 12 months, 7 of its 10 bestselling titles were born as preorders and 67 percent of its top 200 bestsellers titles started out as preorders. Yet, surprisingly, only about 10 percent of authors avail themselves of this powerful marketing tool. Read a detailed analysis

The potential buzz building and the fact that most retailers credit on the on-sale date all accumulated preorders convinced me to put Red Romeo on preorder before its publication date of November 7, 2015. You'll find the blurb and a sample of the first 15 percent of the novel at Smashwords Book Review.

The ebook can be preordered at a special price at the following retailers:
Apple iBooks.
Barnes & Noble.


In twelve years, I've not only learned the craft of writing by joining the writers' groups I mentioned, but the best ways to self-publish by giving my newest baby the greatest possible chance of a successful birth.

Your manuscript will shine after it has undergone honest and constructive critiques, whether by one of IWW’s groups and/or your local writers’ group. And once you have polished your novel into publishable quality, consider releasing it as a preorder.

Peter Bernhardt,
Sedona Author.
Bernhardt Profile.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Insights Into Earning Steady Paychecks Doing Magazine Content Writing

Successful content writer, founder of The Conservative Fiction Project, and Senior Editor, Liberty Island Media, Jamie Wilson, shares her expertise on today’s content writing opportunities.

“One of the biggest changes that content writing has afforded freelancers is the luxury of a reasonably steady paycheck. My current favorite gig, CrowdSource, provides consistent multiple projects which are lower paid compared to many freelance jobs - but they don't require much in the line of research, and writers can skip the hard speculative work of queries." 

She recently started a new gig at PJ Media.

"A freelancer just getting started can support himself or herself on jobs like this while querying for better-paid and higher-profile work. It's been a game-changer. 

Content marketing is all advertising if and only if you consider everything broadcast on network television, including your favorite shows, to be advertising. It is designed to be clickbait, drawing readers - but in order to do that properly, it also has to be engaging content in and of itself, not just content that says "click the ads." Just like any newspaper or magazine content, web content needs to a) provide something of value to the reader and b) make money. The key to not being a hack is understanding the balance between the two - and sites that balance these two things properly are the ones that are most successful at both.

Journalism is indeed about information provided to an audience - but more and more, that audience is unwilling to pay directly for that information as they find more ways to acquire it for free. For that reason, journalism has been borrowing more heavily from content marketing techniques as the years go on, just in order to remain viable. 
Examples would include USA Today's very large content program and the San Francisco Chronicle's SFGate website, which is primarily what you might term content marketing. I know that's about clear as mud, but so is the demarcation between content marketing and journalism today.

Freelancers make good money doing content writing and editing - but they aren't hacks.

Just like any other writing segment, there are tiers of expertise, and I've been fortunate enough to meet some of the best,” Jamie says.
 A Navy wife and the mother of five children, she is also the sister of a war hero.

“I am the founder of The Conservative Fiction Project, which helps conservative writers find one another and a wider audience. I work with Liberty Island Media, the first overtly conservative fiction publisher. I have always read stories and told stories, and I will always be a storyteller," Jamie says.
Read Jamie Wilson’s stories, The Biscuit Boy and The Enforcement of Happiness, at Liberty Island.

Read her website and blogs, Conserative Fiction, and Conservative Feminism.


Monday, September 7, 2015

Answers to Those Baffling Punctuation Marks and Writing Questions

Once again, members of Internet Writing Workshop shared the following valuable information with fellow members of this excellent writing list.

If punctuation baffles you sometimes, Punctuation Made Simple  can rescue you.

Take the em dash for example.
Or Quotation marks .

You'll find answers to many punctuation questions, and other writing questions, so Punctuation Made Simple is an excellent website to bookmark.
However, a word of warning ~ the three examples given for em dash were published in 1876, 1873, and 1719. The second one was originally written in French, and English translations may have carried over French punctuation.

21st century punctuation backed only by examples from the 18th and 19th centuries may have changed. Therefore, I suggest using Chicago Manual of Style for the current usage of punctuation in publishing.

You'll find it at Chicago Manual of Style Online , and at Amazon.

Become a member of Internet Writing Workshop to help you become a successful writer.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Rainy Weather Ends Danger to Ross Creek Cedar Grove in Montana

September 3, 2015, courtesy of US Forest Service:

The Northern Rockies Wildland Fire Management Team has assumed command of all fires in the Napoleon and Clark Fork Complexes and will manage them as the Clark Fork Complex under the command of Diane Hutton.

  • The Clark Fork Complex is a collection of the following fires:
  • Scotchman Peak (IPNF): 2057 acres Whitetail (IPNF): 1870 acres
  • Sawtooth (KNF): 2465 acres Marten Creek (IPNF): 6 acres
  • Napoleon (KNF): 8957 acres Government (KNF): 399 acres

Yesterday’s Activities [9/2/15]: There was an uptick in fire activity on Wednesday as sunshine and moderate winds caused hot areas to show themselves. Fortunately the activity was concentrated well within the fire perimeter or on flanks with little chance of growth. Infra-red photography showed growth across the Complex was limited to 20 acres on the west edge of the Sawtooth Fire.

On the Whitetail Fire crews started water-barring constructed fire-lines to prevent erosion from forecasted rainfall. Supervisors worked with Resource Advisor Lydia Allen to devise a rehabilitation plan for the area. Equipment continued construction of a contingency line along the private boundary south of the Napoleon Fire and north of Highway 200.

Crews pushed their mop-up activities deeper into the area west of the Highway 56 corridor. The focus of work on Wednesday was on the contingency line along the boundary of Eagle View Estates, northeast of the Sawtooth Fire. The work included structure protection and the strategic placement of pumps and hose-lays.

The final night shift was completed on Thursday morning as fire conditions along Highway 56 no longer warrant making engines work through the night.

Today's Planned Actions [9/3/15]: Additional sunshine on Thursday will likely "liven up" some of the fires, but the activity should be mostly interior single-tree torching on the Sawtooth and Napoleon Fires.

Firefighting activities will be similar to Wednesday with additional mopping-up of hot spots and the expected completion of the contingency line south of the Napoleon Fire. Structure protection will continue in the Eagle View Estates subdivision.

The Temporary Flight Restriction around Whitetail Peak that had prevented conflicts between Complex aerial operations and other aircraft will be lifted today. The Team will continue to demobilize crews and equipment to "right size" down to an organization that is appropriate for the present fire activity and forecasted future weather.

Forecasted Weather: Showers and thunderstorms will be passing through the area on Thursday. There is only a 20% chance of a wetting rain (greater than one-tenth of an inch) from these storms. Winds will be light on Thursday except for erratic gusts associated with thunderstorms. Meteorologist Scott Carpenter is feeling increasing confident that a wide-spread low pressure area will bring between ¼ and ½ inch of rain on Friday night and Saturday.

Evacuations: The following area in Montana is under a Pre-evacuation Notice: all residences south of mile mark 20.5 along the Highway 56 Corridor to the Highway 200 intersection, including Angel Island, Bull Lake Estates, Eagle View Estates, East Fork Bull River Road and the South Fork of Bull River, also the residences north of Highway 200 from mile marker 6 to the Highway 56 intersection (approximately 4 miles); and the residents of Old Bull River Road. A Level 1 Evacuation Order is in effect for an area in Bonner County, Idaho. This area is bounded by the State Line on the east, River Road (south of the Clark Fork River) on the north, the main fork of Johnson Creek on the west and the Shoshone/Bonner County Line to the south. Level 1 is a pre-evacuation notice that informs residents that they should have plans in case the fire moves in their direction.

Closures: An area closure order exists on the Idaho Panhandle National Forest around the Scotchman Peak Fire. A closure order on the Idaho Panhandle National Forest that closes the 332 Road, the 1066 Road and the 1021 Road at the intersection with the 332 Road, in the local area remains in effect.

The Idaho Panhandle National Forests and the Kootenai National Forest have instituted area and trail closures around many of the fires in the Clark Fork Complex; please consult the websites for the respective Forests at the Idaho Panhandle or the Kootenai for the latest updates. Closures on the Idaho Panhandle will likely last through the Labor Day Weekend to ensure public safety.

For the latest fire information and photos, visit

Stay current with the Idaho Panhandle National Forest on Facebook: and the Kootenai National Forest at

This ends fire reports.



Thursday, September 3, 2015

Will Your Books Still Be Read 100 Years From Now?

In the left panel on this website, when you scroll the list of writers I admire, you'll see Kristine Kathryn Rusch. She's the author who spells out what to do if you want to be read 100 years from now. I don't recommend these writers lightly.

Each has something worthwhile to impart. Please visit them.

Recently I revisited Kristine's website and scrolled, stopping randomly to re-read an article here and there.

Because Do Want to be Read 100 Years From Now?
is a subject I soapbox about I've included the link to her good advice.

Become a member of Internet Writing Workshop for valuable help to successful writing.