Me: Thank you for calling the medical center. How can I help you?
Chowder Enthusiast: Yeah I’m going to need a preauthorization for clam chowder.
Me: [thinking I misheard and checking Diet Coke for signs of drug tampering] I’m sorry…a preauthorization for what now?
CE: Clam Chowder.
Me: Care to explain what you mean?
CE: Well I have an inpatient surgery for next week and I’m allergic to shellfish but last time I was at the hospital over there I really liked the clam chowder and didn’t have any issues with it. They made me jump through hoops to get it approved though and I wanted to get it approved ahead of time so I can have my clam chowder.
Me: I have to say, that’s something I haven’t run into before. Just a moment and I’m going to see what I need to do.
[hold and dials out to my helpline. I got my boss. This should be fun.]
Me: Hey so how do I get a preauthorization for clam chowder?
Boss: A preauthorization for what now?
The coworker next to me was laughing her ass off just listening to us. My boss had no idea how to get a preauth for clam chowder. I ended up telling the patient he will have to wait and ask about that when he’s admitted.