August 1, 2011

Duane Reade pharmacy people are...not smart

For the third time in a year, I've been handed someone else's medication. The first time, I didn't catch it 'til I'd gotten home, as the copay was identical, the bottle size identical. Only the pills were a different shape and that clued me in. What if I'd taken them by accident?

The second time, I discovered the error in the store. The higher copay tipped me off.

This time, I was well into being unhappy with the way things were going before I discovered the error. When I went to pick up my pulmozyme, I gave the woman my name and SPELLED IT OUT. Then stopped her from searching the small bins, saying it would be a box and was probably on the bottom shelf. She goes searching and comes back saying my insurance denied the refill and shows me the denial slip. She said if I wanted to pay for it myself, it would $215. I was not happy about this; I am not prepared right now to shell out that much for a single medication.

I was puzzled because this was a new prescription, not a refill. And though it was for the same medication as the previous script, that script had long expired. So what the dealio? I didn't recognize the 800 number on the denial notice, but called anyway and got connected to Medco. That seemed odd, so I hung and checked the number. There was an 866 number listed for patient helpline, so I called that - and got connected to United HealthCare. This is where bells began going off. I was with UHC when I worked for NYU, but that was eight years ago. Were they called some old numbers still hanging around in the system? That didn't seem right.

Then I noticed the patient name. Robin Do-something. The stupid lady had only looked at the first two letters! What if that woman's insurance hadn't denied her refill and I'd ended up taking it home? Another day would be lost as I was already out of Pulmozyme and the Robin woman wouldn't have her medicine either! This is INCOMPETENCE.

So I have the pharmacy girl on the hunt for MY meds and find out they never filled the script! "We don't have enough." I know that, I said, and thought I'd made arrangement when I dropped this off seven hours earlier - WITH THE SAME PHARMACIST ON DUTY - to take the one box they had; a partial fill. Apparently, since I wasn't going to wait on it, it was forgotten about. Goddamn it. So they grumbled, but I got my box of Pulmozyme. They owe me two more boxes.

On the plus side: two thumbs up to MY insurance, which is not only covering my meds as usual, but is now not charging a copay, either, as I've hit my catastrophic cap for the year.

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