More Strands of White Hair

The other day, someone called in who wanted to know the price of a med.  Fine, that’s what I do.  (That’s what I… That’s what I…)  Then I asked her what it was.  She said “It’s new.”  I said “Okay, great, and if you can give me the name I can look the price up.”   She said “It’s probably not even covered.  My plan doesn’t cover new medications.”  I offered to check just to make sure.  Turned out she didn’t even know the name of the thing.  Before you think I’m making fun of some lovely creaky old lady who mmight be confused, know this frightening fact… this was a practicing nurse in her fifties.

Then a doctor’s office called.  They wanted to send us an electronic prescription.  I told them that it would work better to find us using our fax number as a serach term because it is unique, unlike our name.  This took about four increasingly simple explanations to get across.

We aren’t immune either.  I could have strangled a fellow rep who didn’t know what a benefits office was.  For folks who don’t work with insurance, the benefits office is the place that provides the benefits – like HR at a company if you work there, for example.  This agent had been though a six week training and had at least a few months on the floor and still didn’t know this extremely basic fact.  They thought we, the pharmacy, were the benefits office.  I sure wanted to give them a wall to wall coaching session!  The capper came when I closed out the call.  I said to this agent “is there anything else I can help you with?”  They said, and I quote, “you’re welcome, no problem!” and hung up.

Here’s one more that just happened.  A person callied, mid forties, wanting a refill.  He seemed pretty on the ball… at first.  Not heavily medicated, on just one or two things.  Problem: he called to refill when he had one pill left.  He knows we’re mail order.  He should also know why mail is associated with snails.  Next problem: This med is meant to be taken once a day.  His bottle said no refills.  That means you allow a little extra time for the doctor to get back to us.  Yes, the refills can be seen on the label.  Next problem:  He hadn’t ordered this med since LAST YEAR, August 4th.  I write this on April 13th.

I had to know what was up.  I asked “you should have run out months ago, have you been filling this locally?”  He said “but you sent ninety pills…”

Yes.  We sent ninety pills.  Charitably speaking, 250 days ago!

Don’t be him.

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