Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Takes One Visit and 4 Calls To Get Prescriptions

OK!  Here’s the skinny!  I thought things had really gone according to plan when I went to the doctor to get my check-up and get my blood pressure prescriptions rewritten.

Well, I guess it didn’t go as well as I had thought.

My examination went just fine and he said he would call in the scripts. I said, “You don’t write them anymore”?  He said “No, we’ll fax them”.  I said, “Great! That will be much quicker”!

Nope, it wasn’t quicker.

The next day I called the pharmacy and the scripts had not been called in.

I called the doctor’s office, left a message to please call in the scripts.  I only had one pill left on one of them.  The nurse called back and said she would call them in.

Later in the day I called the pharmacy.  They said all of the scripts had been called in except one and that I needed to call the doctor and have him call the pharmacy.  Guess which one didn't get called it.  You guessed it - the one where I only had one pill left!

So, this is a 3rd try to get my blood pressure scripts.  By the way, my blood pressure isn't doing all that great by now!!!!  

I call doctor's office again, left a message for the nurse to call in the script…….. I’m still waiting!!  Maybe I'll get a call before I have a stroke!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Let's Charge Doctors for the Minutes We Wait

OK! So here’s the deal. 
I took my elderly parent to the doctor this week (just like he had told me to do).  All I wanted was (1) her prescriptions rewritten (2) and a script for a ‘transport wheelchair’.  That doesn’t seem so difficult does it?  Well, guess again!

The 1st thing that happens is that when I call to make the appointment I get this automated voice that says if I want to make an appointment press (#), so I do.  Then I wait forrrrrrrrrrrever while I’m required to listen to it tell me all about a new doctor that is in their medical system (not their office mind you, just their system) and I don’t hear nearly as many accolades regarding his medical expertise as I do his family, hobbies, kids, etc. – SO, WHO CARES – NOT ME – I JUST WANT AN APPOINTMENT!

Finalllllly. I get to the part where I can request an appointment for 3:00 p.m. So that’s good.  Well, ‘NO’, not exactly!

While trying to make the appointment I get yet another automated message that I should arrive 15 minutes early and bring list of the following: picture id, SS#, all insurance cards with phone numbers, address, group#, my phone number, and a list of all medications, dosage, amount required, plus the medications themselves. Now keep in mind – We have been seeing this primary physician’s group for over 15 years and all of that material had been furnished just several weeks before. But, anyhow, I created a ‘neatly’ prepared Excel spread sheet with all of that information on it and arrived 15 minutes early.

When I arrived I asked the lady at the desk if she needed my ‘neatly’ prepared list of requested information.  She said ‘NO, give it to the Doctor’.  So, OK that’s good. Well, ‘NO’, not exactly! I’m there 15 minutes early (2:45). WHY!

But 3:00 arrives and I’m still sitting there with a 92 year old parent. 3:30 arrives, we’re still sitting there, the temperature outside is 98 degrees, but I’m getting hotter by the minute.  Ah! 3:45. they finally call her name and I’m feeling better already.  We go back.  The nurse comes in and I ask her if she wants my ‘neatly’ prepared list. “No, why did you bring that”. I say “The nice computer voice on your phone asked me to prepare and bring it when I called to make the appointment”.  She says “I don’t know why, but it’s really good information.  I’ll put it in her file”.  Then the doctor comes in. He asks what we need today.  “Refills for her medication and a script for a Transport Wheel Chair”.  He asks, “Do you have her medication with you?”  “Yes, plus I have this list”.  He looks at the list.  “Why did you bring this?” Again. “The nice computer man on the phone asked me to prepare and bring it with me.”  He says.  “I don’t know why, but it’s good information.  You have mg and everything.  I’ll put it in her file” and I’m thinking “great, now there are 2 copies of my ‘neatly’ prepared form in your files”. 

So, finally I get the scripts, my yellow copy of the visit, and the $65.00 charge fee for the visit which took approximately 15 minutes.  It wouldn’t have taken that long if they had known why the nice computer voice on the appointment phone had asked me to bring my ‘neatly’ prepared patient information sheet.  But anyhow, I was feeling much cooler after our 1 hour wait time and 15 minute doctor visit. However, it was still 98 degrees outside!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

What Prompted This Blog?

Well, it all started the first time that I got sick.  Doesn't matter when.  It's always the same. I get sick.  Go to the doctor, he detects/or doesn't detect the problem.  He prescribes medication - generic allowed. I pick up the generic drug. Swallow it.  Have a major reaction to the generic. Insurance company refuses to pay 'UNLESS IT'S GENERIC'. I protest.  They deny. Doctor writes a protest.  They still deny.  I end up paying $100.00 up for primary medication.  The fact is - insurance companies and drug companies are crooks – but, I wonder.

Are they the only ones?

I constantly wonder "who is in whose pocket" and who is really 'The Keeper and protector of the Sick"?

Most of us live on a budget. When we spend money, it's usually for something that we want to get, or something that we want to continue to have. Those of us who can afford it, however, are spending quite a large sum of money on things that we hope we will never need. One of those is "Health Insurance".  For our parents and some of our friends, much of that money is spent on 'Medicare part D' which is a supplemental insurance for medication - and that's where the 'rubber meets the road'.  That's just the beginning of where the insurance company and the government share the 'same pocket'.

All of a sudden you are hit with the realization that, not only are you not in control of decisions regarding your own health, but neither is your doctor. Although he prescribes what he considers to be the best solution to your problem, the ultimate decision maker is 'your insurance company'.  If you cannot afford the 'primary drug' that the doctor prescribed because he knows there is a likely possibility that you may die if you take the 'generic' that the insurance company requires you to take (or they will not pay for your medication), then you cut back on other necessities for the primary drug or you take the generic or nothing at all and possibly DIE.