Thursday, November 29, 2007

Endo Office Screw Up.


I was running out of test strips. I have a doctor's appointment on Tuesday. I knew I couldn't make it until then to get another prescription for my strips, so I called my doctor's office to ask them to call in some test strips. I didn't recognize the lady I spoke with. I'm not sure if she was new or just not someone with whom I normally deal. Either way, I gave her my name & told her I needed test strips called in. She said she would have it done.
"No problem," I think to myself.
Several hours later my phone rings. It's my drug store. I recently transferred to a new drug store, so they don't have any of my old prescriptions on file. They called to ask me what kind of meter I had. "Strange," I think to myself. But I tell them and they say they will be ready soon.
When I got off work I had a friend in to visit from out of town. We made a quick run to the drug store. When I got there, the pharmacist tells me there are lancets and alcohol pads in the bag also. I told him I don't need them. He said, "They called in testing supplies, so that's why we added them. We will take them off." He was very nice. I should have suspected something when he said that. But I took the bag and paid my money. I was in a hurry and excited to have friends visiting and I made the ultimate mistake: I didn't look in the bag.
About 3 hours later, as we were settling in for the night, I opened my bad and found inside..... (imagine suspenseful music playing here): two boxes of test strips. Total test strips: 100. I test 10 times per day minimum. This will last me for a total of 10 days. I nearly had a mental breakdown at that point. I was yelling and saying lots of things I'm not exactly proud of.
Here are the things I know: my insurance won't pay for anymore strips for 30 days. That means I have 20 days of strips that I will have to pay for out of pocket. 20 days x 10 strips = 200 strips x $1.00 per strip = $200. Right before Christmas. I can't afford that when it's not Christmas. Let alone now.
After I calmed down I got to thinking. The lady with whom I spoke on the phone obviously didn't look at my chart. She just called the drug store and said "testing supplies". The drug store just did what they were supposed to do. They filled for the average recommendation of testing per day, which is 4 times per day. They were most certainly not at fault. I was partially at fault for not looking in the bag before I left. The lady at the doctor's office was really at fault for not pulling up my file to see what to call in.
This morning I made a call to the drug store to ask them if anything could be done. The lady I spoke with there was very helpful and told me that she would call my doctor's office and confirm my number of tests per day and then call my insurance company to get an override to pay for more strips. My only worry at that point is that I pay a $40 co-pay on my strips since they are non-preferred on my insurance. Am I going to have to pay another $40 because my doctor's office screwed up?
Basically I have decided that when I go to the drug store, if they ask me to pay again, I am going to have them hold the strips until Tuesday afternoon. At that point I am going to go to my doctor's office and ask for 200 strips. We know they all get sample strips. I am not going to pay for something that they were at fault for.
I will find out something in the morning about the strips when I call the drugstore. Hopefully, all will have worked out.
This is just frustrating. Part of me will be glad when Medtronic changes their meter that goes with the pump from BD to OneTouch. I like the OneTouch much better and they are preferred strips on my insurance, which means only a $20 co-pay. I also wonder if I should say something to the office staff when I go into my appointment on Tuesday morning.
I hate dealing with insurance and doctor's offices and co-pays and premiums and other insurance related and diabetes related stupidity.

4 comments:

Paige said...

Frustrating! We had something very similiar happen about a month after O's diagnosis. I appealed to everyone for help and eventually our endo helped straighten it out and got us our strips. I hope they do right by you!

Donna said...

Cara,
Oh how irritating! I hope your endo gets it's all straightened out for you. Good luck!

in search of balance said...

:( I hope you get that fixed soon! Now is NOT a fun time of the year to have money worries. I'll be thinking positive strip thoughts for you!

Bernard said...

Cara

If you're using BD strips, drop me an email.

bernard(dot)farrell@gmail.com.