I’ve been driven to this blog this evening, due to the idiocy of various members of the health care industry. I shall begin at the beginning. It all began in January of 2009 when my husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Since then, bits and pieces of health “care” have been building up to this evening, when I lost my temper in public.
These bits and pieces started dribbling out at Rite Aid pharmacy in Capitola, ‘way back when. I’d drop off a prescription for David and be told it would be ready later that evening or tomorrow or whatever. I would duly return at the appointed time and wonder of wonders, the scrip wouldn’t be ready. I was given different reasons each time. This one’s my favorite.
Them: The insurance company said it was too soon to refill it.
Me: But it’s a brand new prescription. How can I refill something I’ve never gotten before?
Them: Well, you must have or they wouldn’t have said so.
Me: Would you call them and check again please?
Them: We don’t do that.
Me: You do now. Call them or get me your pharmacy manager.
(The call was made.)
Them: Gee, I’m sorry. This isn’t a refill. I was reading the notes for someone else. But we’re out of this now and won’t have it until next Monday.
Me: He has to take this for a procedure this Friday.
Them: There’s nothing I can do.
Me: I’d like to speak with the manager please.
Them: I am the manager.
You see what I’m up against here. So I switched pharmacies when we moved from Pleasure Point to Aptos. I went to the Rite Aid down here. I won’t bore you with those details. I switched again, this time to CVS.
I like CVS. The people are pleasant, busy, competent and seemingly genuinely interested in helping you feel better. They too, however, must deal with the insurance companies. Now I’m not really bitching about the insurance company in general. Just in this particular part of their procedures – that of filling prescriptions. Truly, the insurance we have is excellent and while it’s ridiculously expensive (and yes, I have to pay for it via COBRA because I was laid off from my job and find myself with no insurance unless I cough up the big bucks every month) it would be far more costly if we didn’t have insurance at all!
Today, the entire crowd conspired to give me a headache, which is why I’m here ranting at you lot.
I broke my back when I was 18. I have been in regular and increasing pain ever since. Daily. Never a break. It’s gotten to the point where there are days when I can’t walk without a cane and sometimes I can’t even get out of bed. Those days are few and far between, but they are there. So I take these magic pills from the doctor. They kill the pain. I requested a refill this past Tuesday. On Wednesday I hobbled into my local CVS to pick them up but they weren’t there. I called them today and the doctor still hadn’t called in the refill. Odd. So I called the doctor. First I held the line for close to 10 minutes to be told that I’d have to hold while the matter was looked in to. I was calling from my office and had to hang up because more calls were coming in and I couldn’t just tie up the line. So I called back a little while later. Happily, they had the answer this time. Doctor approved the refill on Tuesday and they called it into Rite Aid.
I asked a simple question.
Me: Why, if CVS requested the paperwork, did you fax it to Rite Aid?
Them: I don’t know.
They said they’d call it into CVS. I thanked them and called CVS later in the day. Yes, they had the prescription. It would be ready by 5:30 this evening. I thanked them and drove over to pick it up.
CVS was quite crowded. It took about 10 minutes to get to the counter and indeed I reached it at 5:30 on the dot. I asked for the scrip and the counter girl came back and said that the insurance company said I was only allowed to refill every 30 days and I’d just gotten this two days ago.
Ah ha! Rite Aid! I asked if they still had the insurance company on the line, would they see if they could cancel the Rite Aid order and switch it to CVS, my pharmacy of choice. Couldn’t be done. The insurance company didn’t trust me to not sneak over to Rite Aid and get an extra bottle of goodies.
I told the lady at the counter that I understood and would collect the drugs from Rite Aid and left. Before I did however, I turned to the 18-20 people in assorted stances of waiting and said, “Who here is against health care reform?”
You could have heard a pin drop.
“Okay,” says I, “how many of you are for a change in the current health care system?”
I kid you not, there was laughter, a certain amount of mild cheering and a smattering of applause from all concerned – including the pharmacy staff!
So rather than go to Rite Aid, or as we call it here at home, Wrong Aid, just to stand in line for 10 minutes and wait to be attended to by people who are rude, stupid and slow – I came home, fed my husband and myself and will now – having unloaded on all of you – spark up a joint which will not kill my pain, but will make it so I don’t mind it as much.
And yes, I have a prescription for that stuff too.
It strikes me, that it the people conducting the polls on health care reform would hang around pharmacies and get the opinions of the poor slobs who are out here in the main stream, trying to get by day to day and having to fight for every damned pill, they might find that closer to 85-90% of the citizen’s want a change. I don’t know if this current legislation the Dems put forth today (10/29/09) will do us any good – I don’t know if it will be better or worse – but it sure as hell will be different.
Right now, I’m all for different; Bill Ritch’s rantings notwithstanding – somethings got to change.