Monday, May 16, 2011

Just Another Day at the Salt Mines

Guy come in and plops down 4 med bottles from a mail-order pharmacy, and wants to transfer prescriptions to my pharmacy. Wants to wait for them --- doesn't want to stop back, because apparently he doesn't live close but his doctor is here. I already see that one of the prescriptions is for 480 tablets of something I don't have, because I've got no one on it.

I take a deep breath and try to keep an eye on everything else that's going on, because the phone call to the mail-order pharmacy is going to be at best, a 15-20 minute ordeal IF all goes well.

Oh yeah, and he's got new insurance. He's going out of town, leaving on the weekend. When does he choose to present me with this little project? Three o'clock on a Friday afternoon. (GOD, I'll never understand this.)

The call to the mail-order pharmacy goes surprisingly well, but still takes about 15 minutes to reach the appropriate person and do the transfers. While I'm on hold, I manage to check a few other prescriptions that are waiting. Amazingly, the mail-order customer's prescriptions still have refills available. We run the first one with the new insurance.... it's not covered.

I explain that there are some generic alternatives available and those will probably be covered. He doesn't understand why I can't just call up the doctor and get that prescription right now. His other 90-day prescriptions are covered, but with pretty high copays. I don't have enough of another medication to fill the whole thing.

The guy's been waiting awhile now, and starts to get a little pissy about the prices, and about the one med not being covered. I'd like to get a little pissy with him too and in my silent soliloquy say the following:

1. Don't get irritated with me, sir. In case you hadn't noticed, I'm trying to juggle half a dozen other customers here.
2. Why in the HELL did you wait to fill these 3-month prescriptions, with NEW insurance, on a Friday afternoon, just before you are leaving town?
3. I don't set the prices. You're on some expensive stuff. I can't write you new prescriptions. We both know who has to do that.

And most importantly,
4. PICK UP THE PHONE AND CALL AHEAD. If you had called me yesterday we could have had ALL of this straightened out and ready to go. The doctor could have been contacted, the drugs ordered, and you would be in and out.

And to the other customers, this is yet another example of why your prescription takes so damn long to fill.


Grumpy, M.D. said...


Anonymous said...

30 years of this for me, feel like I can't stand another day. At least the Dr. Grumpy gets it.