Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Los Angeles wants a cut of my chedda

Time to Pay Up Son!

Did you receive a green innocuous little green postcard from the city of L.A.? You might have mistaken it for a new years holiday card from your local dispensary. That it is not. It's your business tax renewal reminder. If you make money as an artist, consultant, photographer, street performer, chainsaw juggler or are some sort of independent person getting paid outside of a normal 9-5, guess what? If you be stacking up loot in the city of angeles, you gotsta hand over some of that chedda to Mr. V and the gang down on 1st & Main.

Here's some info you'll need to know to when filling out the form. The government classifies what you do into a series of numbers that lets economists make pretty pie charts for CNN's big board. It's called a professional activity code So what's your number?

New Principal Business or Professional Activity Codes

Accommodation, Food Services, & Drinking Places

721310 Rooming & boarding houses
721210 RV (recreational vehicle) parks & recreational camps
721100 Travel accommodation (including hotels, motels, & bed & breakfast inns)
Food Services & Drinking Places
722410 Drinking places (alcoholic beverages)
722110 Full-service restaurants
722210 Limited-service eating places
722300 Special food services (including food service contractors & caterers)

Administrative & Support and Waste Management & Remediation Services

Administrative & Support Services
561430 Business service centers (including private mail centers & copy shops)
561740 Carpet & upholstery cleaning services
561440 Collection agencies
561450 Credit bureaus
561410 Document preparation services
561300 Employment services
561710 Exterminating & pest control services
561210 Facilities support (management) services
561600 Investigation & security services
561720 Janitorial services
561730 Landscaping services
561110 Office administrative services
561420 Telephone call centers (including telephone answering services & telemarketing bureaus)
561500 Travel arrangement & reservation services
561490 Other business support services (including repossession services, court reporting, & stenotype services)
561790 Other services to buildings & dwellings
561900 Other support services (including packaging & labeling services, & convention & trade show organizers)
Waste Management & Remediation Services
562000 Waste management & remediation services

Agriculture, Forestry, Hunting, & Fishing

112900 Animal production (including breeding of cats and dogs)
114110 Fishing
113000 Forestry & logging (including forest nurseries & timber tracts)
114210 Hunting & trapping
Support Activities for Agriculture & Forestry
115210 Support activities for animal production (including farriers)
115110 Support activities for crop production (including cotton ginning, soil preparation, planting, & cultivating)
115310 Support activities for forestry

Arts, Entertainment, & Recreation

Amusement, Gambling, & Recreation Industries
713100 Amusement parks & arcades
713200 Gambling industries
713900 Other amusement & recreation services (including golf courses, skiing facilities, marinas, fitness centers, bowling centers, skating rinks, miniature golf courses)
Museums, Historical Sites, & Similar Institutions
712100 Museums, historical sites, & similar institutions
Performing Arts, Spectator Sports, & Related Industries
711410 Agents & managers for artists, athletes, entertainers, & other public figures
711510 Independent artists, writers, & performers
711100 Performing arts companies
711300 Promoters of performing arts, sports, & similar events
711210 Spectator sports (including professional sports clubs & racetrack operations)


233110 Land subdivision & land development
233300 Nonresidential building construction
233200 Residential building construction
Heavy Construction
234100 Highway, street, bridge, & tunnel construction
234900 Other heavy construction
Special Trade Contractors
235500 Carpentry & floor contractors
235710 Concrete contractors
235310 Electrical contractors
235400 Masonry, drywall, insulation, & tile contractors
235210 Painting & wall covering contractors
235110 Plumbing, heating, & air-conditioning contractors
235610 Roofing, siding, & sheet metal contractors
235810 Water well drilling contractors
235900 Other special trade contractors

Educational Services

611000 Educational services (including schools, colleges, & universities)

Finance & Insurance

Credit Intermediation & Related Activities
522100 Depository credit intermediation (including commercial banking, savings institutions, & credit unions)
522200 Nondepository credit intermediation (including sales financing & consumer lending)
522300 Activities related to credit intermediation (including loan brokers)
Insurance Agents, Brokers, & Related Activities
524210 Insurance agencies & brokerages
524290 Other insurance related activities
Securities, Commodity Contracts, & Other Financial Investments & Related Activities
523140 Commodity contracts brokers
523130 Commodity contracts dealers
523110 Investment bankers & securities dealers
523210 Securities & commodity exchanges
523120 Securities brokers
523900 Other financial investment activities (including investment advice)

Health Care & Social Assistance

Ambulatory Health Care Services
621610 Home health care services
621510 Medical & diagnostic laboratories
621310 Offices of chiropractors
621210 Offices of dentists
621330 Offices of mental health practitioners (except physicians)
621320 Offices of optometrists
621340 Offices of physical, occupational & speech therapists, & audiologists
621111 Offices of physicians (except mental health specialists)
621112 Offices of physicians, mental health specialists
621391 Offices of podiatrists
621399 Offices of all other miscellaneous health practitioners
621400 Outpatient care centers
621900 Other ambulatory health care services (including ambulance services, blood, & organ banks)
Hospitals622000 Hospitals
Nursing & Residential Care Facilities
623000 Nursing & residential care facilities
Social Assistance
624410 Child day care services
624200 Community food & housing, & emergency & other relief services
624100 Individual & family services
624310 Vocational rehabilitation services


511000 Publishing industries
Broadcasting & Telecommunications
513000 Broadcasting & telecommunications
Information Services & Data Processing Services
514210 Data processing services
514100 Information services (including news syndicates, libraries, & on-line information services)
Motion Picture & Sound Recording
512100 Motion picture & video industries (except video rental)
512200 Sound recording industries


315000 Apparel mfg.
312000 Beverage & tobacco product mfg.
334000 Computer & electronic product mfg.
335000 Electrical equipment, appliance, & component mfg.
332000 Fabricated metal product mfg.
337000 Furniture & related product mfg.
333000 Machinery mfg.
339110 Medical equipment & supplies mfg.
322000 Paper mfg.
324100 Petroleum & coal products mfg.
326000 Plastics & rubber products mfg.
331000 Primary metal mfg.
323100 Printing & related support activities
313000 Textile mills
314000 Textile product mills
336000 Transportation equipment mfg.
321000 Wood product mfg.
339900 Other miscellaneous mfg.
Chemical Manufacturing
325100 Basic chemical mfg.
325500 Paint, coating, & adhesive mfg.
325300 Pesticide, fertilizer, & other agricultural chemical mfg.
325410 Pharmaceutical & medicine mfg.
325200 Resin, synthetic rubber, & artificial & synthetic fibers & filaments mfg.
325600 Soap, cleaning compound, & toilet preparation mfg.
325900 Other chemical product & preparation mfg.
Food Manufacturing
311110 Animal food mfg.
311800 Bakeries & tortilla mfg.
311500 Dairy product mfg.
311400 Fruit & vegetable preserving & speciality food mfg.
311200 Grain & oilseed milling
311610 Animal slaughtering & processing
311710 Seafood product preparation & packaging
311300 Sugar & confectionery product mfg.
311900 Other food mfg. (including coffee, tea, flavorings, & seasonings)
Leather & Allied Product Manufacturing
316210 Footwear mfg. (including leather, rubber, & plastics)
316110 Leather & hide tanning & finishing
316990 Other leather & allied product mfg.
Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing
327300 Cement & concrete product mfg.
327100 Clay product & refractory mfg.
327210 Glass & glass product mfg.
327400 Lime & gypsum product mfg.
327900 Other nonmetallic mineral product mfg.


212110 Coal mining
212200 Metal ore mining
212300 Nonmetallic mineral mining & quarrying
211110 Oil & gas extraction
213110 Support activities for mining

Other Services

Personal & Laundry Services
812111 Barber shops
812112 Beauty salons
812220 Cemeteries & crematories
812310 Coin-operated laundries & drycleaners
812320 Drycleaning & laundry services (except coin-operated) (including laundry & drycleaning drop off & pickup sites)
812210 Funeral homes & funeral services
812330 Linen & uniform supply
812113 Nail salons
812930 Parking lots & garages
812910 Pet care (except veterinary) services
812920 Photofinishing
812190 Other personal care services (including diet & weight reducing centers)
812990 All other personal services
Repair & Maintenance
811120 Automotive body, paint, interior, & glass repair
811110 Automotive mechanical & electrical repair & maintenance
811310 Commercial & industrial machinery & equipment (except automotive & electronic) repair & maintenance
811210 Electronic & precision equipment repair & maintenance
811430 Footwear & leather goods repair
811410 Home & garden equipment & appliance repair & maintenance
811420 Reupholstery & furniture repair
811190 Other automotive repair & maintenance (including oil change & lubrication shops & car washes)
811490 Other personal & household goods repair & maintenance

Professional, Scientific, & Technical Services

541100 Legal services
541211 Office of certified public accountants
541214 Payroll services
541213 Tax preparation services
541219 Other accounting services
Architectural, Engineering, & Related Services
541310 Architectural services
541350 Building inspection services
541340 Drafting services
541330 Engineering services
541360 Geophysical surveying & mapping services
541320 Landscape architecture services
541370 Surveying & mapping (except geophysical) services
541380 Testing laboratories
Computer Systems Design & Related Services
541510 Computer systems design & related services
Specialized Design Services
541400 Specialized design services (including interior, industrial, graphic, & fashion design)
Other Professional, Scientific, & Technical Services
541800 Advertising & related services
541600 Management, scientific, & technical consulting services
541910 Market research & public opinion polling
541920 Photographic services
541700 Scientific research & development services
541930 Translation & interpretation services
541940 Veterinary services
541990 All other professional, scientific, & technical services

Real Estate & Rental & Leasing

Real Estate
531100 Lessors of real estate (including miniwarehouses & self-storage units)
531210 Offices of real estate agents & brokers
531320 Offices of real estate appraisers
531310 Real estate property managers
531390 Other activities related to real estate
Rental & Leasing Services
532100 Automotive equipment rental & leasing
532400 Commercial & industrial machinery & equipment rental & leasing
532210 Consumer electronics & appliances rental
532220 Formal wear & costume rental
532310 General rental centers
532230 Video tape & disc rental
532290 Other consumer goods rental

Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, & Similar Organizations

813000 Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, & similar organizations

Retail Trade

Building Material & Garden Equipment & Supplies Dealers
444130 Hardware stores
444110 Home centers
444200 Lawn & garden equipment & supplies stores
444120 Paint & wallpaper stores
444190 Other building materials dealers
Clothing & Accessories Stores
448130 Children’s & infants’ clothing stores
448150 Clothing accessories stores
448140 Family clothing stores
448310 Jewelry stores
448320 Luggage & leather goods stores
448110 Men’s clothing stores
448210 Shoe stores
448120 Women’s clothing stores
448190 Other clothing stores
Electronic & Appliance Stores
443130 Camera & photographic supplies stores
443120 Computer & software stores
443111 Household appliance stores
443112 Radio, television, & other electronics stores
Food & Beverage Stores
445310 Beer, wine, & liquor stores
445220 Fish & seafood markets
445230 Fruit & vegetable markets
445100 Grocery stores (including supermarkets & convenience stores without gas)
445210 Meat markets
445290 Other specialty food stores
Furniture & Home Furnishing Stores
442110 Furniture stores
442200 Home furnishings stores
Gasoline Stations
447100 Gasoline stations (including convenience stores with gas)
General Merchandise Stores
452000 General merchandise stores
Health & Personal Care Stores
446120 Cosmetics, beauty supplies, & perfume stores
446130 Optical goods stores
446110 Pharmacies & drug stores
446190 Other health & personal care stores
Motor Vehicle & Parts Dealers
441300 Automotive parts, accessories, & tire stores
441222 Boat dealers
441221 Motorcycle dealers
441110 New car dealers
441210 Recreational vehicle dealers (including motor home & travel trailer dealers)
441120 Used car dealers
441229 All other motor vehicle dealers
Sporting Goods, Hobby, Book, & Music Stores
451211 Book stores
451120 Hobby, toy, & game stores
451140 Musical instrument & supplies stores
451212 News dealers & newsstands
451220 Prerecorded tape, compact disc, & record stores
451130 Sewing, needlework, & piece goods stores
451110 Sporting goods stores
Miscellaneous Store Retailers
453920 Art dealers
453110 Florists
453220 Gift, novelty, & souvenir stores
453930 Manufactured (mobile) home dealers
453210 Office supplies & stationery stores
453910 Pet & pet supplies stores
453310 Used merchandise stores
453990 All other miscellaneous store retailers (including tobacco, candle, & trophy shops)
Nonstore Retailers
454110 Electronic shopping & mail-order houses
454310 Fuel dealers
454210 Vending machine operators
454390 Other direct selling establishments (including door-to-door retailing, frozen food plan providers, party plan merchandisers, & coffee-break service providers)

Transportation & Warehousing

481000 Air transportation
485510 Charter bus industry
484110 General freight trucking, local
484120 General freight trucking, long-distance
485210 Interurban & rural bus transportation
486000 Pipeline transportation
482110 Rail transportation
487000 Scenic & sightseeing transportation
485410 School & employee bus transportation
484200 Specialized freight trucking (including household moving vans)
485300 Taxi & limousine service
485110 Urban transit systems
483000 Water transportation
485990 Other transit & ground passenger transportation
488000 Support activities for transportation (including motor vehicle towing)
Couriers & Messengers
492000 Couriers & messengers
Warehousing & Storage Facilities
493100 Warehousing & storage (except lessors of miniwarehouses & self-storage units)


221000 Utilities

Wholesale Trade

Wholesale Trade, Durable Goods
421600 Electrical goods
421200 Furniture & home furnishing
421700 Hardware, & plumbing & heating equipment & supplies
421940 Jewelry, watch, precious stone, & precious metals
421300 Lumber & other construction materials
421800 Machinery, equipment, & supplies
421500 Metal & mineral (except petroleum)
421100 Motor vehicle & motor vehicle parts & supplies
421400 Professional & commercial equipment & supplies
421930 Recyclable materials
421910 Sporting & recreational goods & supplies
421920 Toy & hobby goods & supplies
421990 Other miscellaneous durable goods
Wholesale Trade, Nondurable Goods
422300 Apparel, piece goods, & notions
422800 Beer, wine, & distilled alcoholic beverage
422920 Books, periodicals, & newspapers
422600 Chemical & allied products
422210 Drugs & druggists’ sundries
422500 Farm product raw materials
422910 Farm supplies
422930 Flower, nursery stock, & florists’ supplies
422400 Grocery & related products
422950 Paint, varnish, & supplies
422100 Paper & paper products
422700 Petroleum & petroleum products
422940 Tobacco & tobacco products
422990 Other miscellaneous nondurable goods

999999 Unclassified establishments (unable to classify)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Cedars Sinai Medical Center, what does Marcellus Wallace look like?

An Open Letter to Cedars Sinai Medical Center

February 1, 2012


Lawrence B. Platt Chair, Board of Directors

cc Thomas M. Priselac President and CEO, Vera Guerin Vice Chair, Marc Rapaport Secretary

I've had the great pleasure of receiving treatment at your facility for a head injury sustained in a hit and run criminal act perpetrated by an unknown assailant. My choice to use your facility was necessitated by my insurance carrier, Anthem Blue Cross, which I understand considers your facility a "preferred vendor."

My doctor, Raymond Chu, came HIGHLY RECOMMENDED and I can attest that his reputation is well deserved. In addition to his impeccable bedside manners, he also gave me the most comprehensive lesson in hand-washing I ever received. Kudos (but not Koodies) to you Dr. Chu!

I can report that by all measures, I have fully recovered from my injury. Dr. Chu thought best that I get an MRI to be absolutely sure this is the case. He ordered up an MRI downstairs at your medical imaging division and his office sent the necessary paperwork to Anthem to get them to agree that it is medically necessary/yes we'll approve it/payment yadda yadda.

So last night, my appointment arrived. Just to satisfy my curiosity, I asked how much the procedure would cost. Without blinking an eye, the straight-faced gentleman with an amazing old hollywood moustache responded it would cost almost $10,000, I believe the exact quote was $9,680. At that very moment the foul stench of metaphorical Rattus norvegicus overwhelmed my Olfactory Epithelium, and my instinctual response was to immediately head for the door. Later that evening, I did some research which confirmed my suspicion: your rate for this procedure is way beyond the normal price, I mean waaaaay beyond, like "no waaay" man! So I called up Anthem Blue Cross and learned that they will only cover "reasonable" costs for procedures, and then said that quote was "shocking."

She said "We will pay a customary and reasonable amount only. Since I had a high deductible plan, I could be looking at anywhere from  $1100 up to $5850! I don't know what Anthem considers reasonable (they wouldn't tell me because they can't predict what "key codes" would be used by the billing department. Anthem recommended I get in touch with another facility that is nearby:

Universal MRI

They quoted me a cash price of, get this, $450. They use a GE 1.5 High Field MRI imager, anf though it's not a 3T, it's still got plenty of juice to get the job done.

Then I called Dr Chu to get his blessing on the switcheroo. Yessie also was astonished with Cedar's rate. She then told me Dr Chu also approves of the image quality at another facility, Mink Radiology in Beverly Hills:


Mink uses the same GE 1.5 but they charge $720. So I call back Yessie and ask if they both use the same machine does it really matter? She said, go for Universal but make sure you get the disc.

So here we are. For a common medical test, Cedars charges 22 times the price as another facility right down the street.

Given the enormity of this price difference, and your status as a non-profit institution, why is it that a for-profit neighbor is so much more affordable? Why is it that a facility such as yours with integrated services and economies of scale is not less expensive? As I was leaving Cedars last night, I couldn't get this scene from Pulp Fiction out of my head.

What does Marsellus Wallace Look Like? from David Neudorfer on Vimeo

In conclusion, I'd like to ask you the same question Jules posed to Brett:

What do I look like?

Yours Truly,

The Engaged Observer