Technology, Philosophy, & Sometimes Both

Thoughts on the World by Jack Umano

Archive for the ‘Ideas’ Category

Lakers Misguided Car

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I see the 2012-2013 Lakers as a misguided mish-mash of great parts that don’t fit together.

  • Dwight Howard Monster Truck wheels:  Able to handle rough terrain.  Not build for speed. Got lots of miles left on them.
  • Dantoni Racing Frame: Ideal for high speed racing. Maybe just not this team.
  • Kobe Struts: Worn and fallen out.  Can Kobe be put back in?  Will he be able to accept a role on the team that is not the superstar?

Maybe we shouldn’t have passed up Jackson’s Custom Designs.  This team needs a redesign.


Written by Jack Umano

April 26, 2013 at 9:32 am

Posted in Ideas, Triviality

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Healthcare Prices should be knowable

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This should be included next time we legislate patients rights:

It seems to me a patient has a basic right to know what the cost will be before deciding whether to receive services.

Currently, the doctor cannot tell me what something will cost before seeing them. Then, in the very next moment, they make me sign a paper saying I will be financially responsible for all charges.

They could not tell me whether examining my son for an ear ache would cost $50 or $500. They cannot tell me whether my insurance will pay for it. At that point, should I just hope that expenses will be reimbursed and risk having to pay some unknown amount? Or should I just hope that my son will probably get better and take him home without seeing the doctor? One can not make an informed decision.

The doctor cannot get pre-approval from the healthcare company.  And now the latest I have received from my health care provider is that my charges will not be reimbursed because I did not tell them I was going to the doctor.  They won’t pre-approve it.  They just wanted me to call them and tell them I was going.   And since I didn’t, they will not pay for the doctor visit.  UNBELIEVABLE.

Written by Jack Umano

December 12, 2011 at 4:57 am

Posted in Ideas, Philosophy

Nat’l Debt vs. GDP

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People have complained about the national debt for the last 30 years and longer.  But, it has never really been a problem until now.

Here is a link to a quick graph that you can easily do on Wolfram Alpha.   It is a graph of the National Debt VS. the Gross Domestic Product.  It shows why the current national debt is scarier than ever.  Even though there has been a large debt in the past, it was never anywhere close to the Gross Domestic Product.  Basically, the United States has in the past borrowed money that it was capable of paying off in relatively short order.  Now, the United States is borrowing money that it cannot pay off easily.

Check it out.  Is this an eye opener for you?  I think the United States needs to really focus on the economy and stop meddling in wars on the other side of the world.

Written by Jack Umano

October 12, 2011 at 4:22 am

Posted in Ideas

Pledged Appointments – An Idea for Doctors (and all who schedule appointments)

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Do you hate waiting rooms?  Suggest this to your doctor: Pledged Appointments.  Pledged Appointments could provide a way for doctors to satisfy patients for whom time is most valuable.

The Problem:

Here is the dilemma that doctors, dentists, and others face.

  • Doctors don’t know how long each appointment will last.
  • Patients are occasionally late.
  • Patients occasionally don’t show up

If doctors are on time and patients are late (or absent), the doctor would waste time waiting for the next patient. Waiting for a patient is a money loss for the doctor.

The solution most doctors seem to choose is to overbook.  Overbooking will mean the doctors are never sitting waiting for patients.  However, when all patients show up, or appointments run long, or patients are late for an appointment it pushes all the following appointments later.  As the day wears on, the stacked up lateness can push appointments to start very late.

In a New York Times article The Hidden Cost of Health Care: Patient Time, it was calculated that Americans collectively spent 847 million hours waiting for medical services in 2007.  Patients are fed up…

Maybe you’ve heard about the doctor who received a bill from the patient.  The patient was a lawyer who billed the doctor for the time spent – after he waited in the waiting room too long.  I don’t know if that’s true but people are working on Punishing Doctors Who Make You Wait – punishments including everything from getting money back to scathing online reviews.

My Solution:

Doctors should present patients with an option for a Pledged Appointment.  Here’s how it would work: The patient would pay a deposit for their Pledged Appointment time.  Doctors would offer this kind of appointment in the morning or at some time when they knew they wouldn’t be delayed by earlier appointments.  Then, if the patient was on time for their appointment, they would get their deposit back.  If the patient was late, they would forfeit their deposit.  That money would compensate the doctor for his time which could have been spent with other patients.

Since Pledged Appointments are scheduled at times when the doctor is in the office already and would not be delayed, the doctor should have no trouble making the appointment.  However, if the patient pays a deposit to promise that he will be there on time, then the doctor should offer compensation to the patient if the patient is there on time and the doctor was not available at the appointment time.

This would offer both doctor and patient incentive to be there on time.  Of course, this is not for emergency rooms, or doctors who often get called away for childbirths, etc..  But a dentist, optometrist, and many others could certainly do this.

And, by the way, to make the patients happy with a Pledged Appointment, a doctor should avoid putting a patient in the examining room at the appointment time and making them wait there for 15 more mintues.  That would violate the spirit of it.  If anyone tries this, let me know how well it works.

Written by Jack Umano

March 7, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Posted in Ideas