Friday, January 16, 2009

Mail Order Pharmacy -- We're Here for You -- Not.

I get a sense of satisfaction when a patient decides they are fed up with mail order and decide to have their prescriptions transferred back to an actual face-to-face pharmacy. I was reminded of why today when I had to call a mail-order pharmacy to transfer one simple prescription. This company is called "NextRx", apparently run by Wellpoint.

Of course, the 1-800 number on the patient's bottle is just there to taunt us. I navigated a lengthy menu to get to a customer service agent. When told I needed a transfer, they put me on hold, then came back and told me they were transferring me to Mason, Ohio, where the pharmacists are (I guess.) Again, another lengthy menu. I finally get a person who takes the information I need (verifies patient, date of birth, my name etc etc -- I'm getting giddy because I'm almost there !!) then tells me they are transferring me to a pharmacist. I waited on hold about 10 minutes. Now, by this time, I'd like to hang up but I am already vested in this process -- you know the feeling ---- I've got THIS far, maybe it will just be a minute longer. And I plan to bitch to someone, just to make myself feel better. But the pharmacy got busy, and I'm the sole pharmacist, so I had to hang up.

Now I am really determined to get hold of someone, if only to ask them one question: WHAT THE HELL KIND OF BUSINESS ARE YOU RUNNING ???

I call again, repeat the steps above, tell another person my story and let them know I've been on hold forever. Give the same information again. Get told they are transferring to 'the pharmacist.' I wait on hold and listen to music for at least another 10 minutes and finally give up.

Now, I'll end up calling the patient's doctor myself just to get a new script. I can do that. But this NextRx outfit obviously has a system in place to get a transfer, but I'd like to inform the people at NextRx it ISN'T WORKING. If there is NO chance that someone will take my call within a few minutes, just tell me and stop wasting my time.

I can only imagine the living hell your customers go through if they actually have a question on their medications. Good GOD is all I can say.


Anonymous said...

Do you take a small 30-minute break for lunch? Where I work when there is just one Pharmacist, we close it down from 130-200pm.

Anonymous said...

Ha...Will you ever learn?

I just tell my patient's "Sorry, but we cannot transfer from mail-order pharmacies, they don't allow it. Just contact your physician, let them know you are switching back to the retail pharmacy, they will send us some new Rxs for you!

Anonymous said...

I can understand why this is so annoying. I worked at a mail order pharmacy and after a certain time, There is only one pharmacist. So this could contribute to the hold time, a lot of companies are also outsourcing overseas these days (cost less to employ them), which could also be the reason why you had to speak to more than one person. Alot of the overseas companies are not able to dial out so they just connect to the USA que, but it still does not help. I can understand your frustration!!