So take what I am about to say with a grain of salt. Oh, and I have purposely not named names to shield myself from any venting fallout.
A Really Slow Process
One of the things that is really bugging me right now is how long it is taking to get my Hepatitis C treatment drugs. I saw my hepatologist on January 10th and I learned from the support staff (see below) that he didn't write the prescriptions until January 20th. Then it took my call on January 24th to finally get the prescriptions faxed to the pharmacy.
Unbeknownst to me, my primary insurance information got deleted from the hospital computer system, so my prescriptions got sent to a private specialty pharmacy that bills Medicare, my secondary insurance. I'm not sure how that happened, since I verify that information every single time I come in to see my doctor.
Getting the Ball Rolling
As I mentioned above, I called two week after seeing my doctor since no one had contacted me like the doctor said they would. During my first conversation with support staff, I got a "song and dance" about how it takes 2 to 3 weeks to get things going. It was after that lecture that we got to the business of checking on the status of my prescriptions and discovered the deletion of my primary insurance information. I then went on to inform the staff of the details of my prescription benefit coverage, which is a separate entity from my primary health insurance.
I thought we ended the discussion with the staff person saying my prescriptions would be re-routed to my prescription insurance's specialty pharmacy.
A day or two later I got a call from the private specialty pharmacy saying that they couldn't find my Medicare drug coverage. So I called them back telling them that Medicare wasn't my drug coverage and that I had private prescription insurance. I told them the prescriptions were sent to them in error and were being re-routed to my prescription insurance's specialty pharmacy. Then this past Tuesday, the private specialty pharmacy called me again wanting my private prescription insurance information. I called them back once again explaining that the prescriptions were sent to them in error and asking them to please forward them to my prescription insurance's specialty pharmacy.
I then called the support staff at my doctor's office since I was getting the distinct feeling that things were not happening the way they were supposed to be.
Doing Things Their Way
Sure enough, the staff did not send my prescriptions to my prescription insurance's specialty pharmacy. No, I was told that working with my prescription insurance was a "nightmare" and they would rather use this private specialty pharmacy than deal with my prescription insurance directly. When I told them I called my prescription insurance and was told the Hepatitis C medications would only be covered if they came from their specialty pharmacy, I was told that I was given incorrect information.
Yeah, O.K., whatever. I'm not going to argue. I figured that their private specialty pharmacy would be told the same thing when they called my prescription insurance. No sense in belaboring the point when it was clear the staff was persistent in doing things their way and perceived my phone calls as "getting more involved than I needed to be."
Prescriptions from the Barrio?
I decided I wanted to learn more about this private specialty pharmacy the staff is so in love with. So I Googled the number they called me from and the first link was to their website--which was down. So I went back to Google to search the other name the staff used for the pharmacy and this is what I found on Google maps:
|My prescriptions are coming from "Rx Farmacia"?|
Where is the front door?
And is that crime scene tape on the street in front of the pharmacy?
What Should I Do?
In all seriousness, I feel incredibly uncomfortable with my medications coming from here. I mean, I have seen other private specialty pharmacies and none of them looked like this. I am praying the my prescription insurance gave me the right information and will deny coverage because I admit the look of this pharmacy conveys the messages "counterfeit medications," "money laundering" and "fly by night."
I mean, I hate to admit this, but based on appearances I trust my prescription insurance's specialty pharmacy way more than this place. Plus I did some more research and discovered that my prescription insurance's specialty pharmacy can have my medications delivered to my local chain pharmacy location. The pharmacy pictured above is in East Los Angeles, which is nowhere near where I live or could get to on my own. So they have to ship my medications and I have to wait around to receive them so I can get them into the refrigerator ASAP.
This all begs the question: if you were in my shoes, what in the world would you do???
I can't wait to read your answers...
ADDENDUM: 6:01 am--After I posted this, I called my prescription insurance's specialty pharmacy and I am happy to report that they received my prescriptions for Hepatitis C treatment. Not sure if they came from the private specialty pharmacy or the doctor's office; either way I don't care! I am so pleased with this outcome! I am now eagerly awaiting a call from Brittany who will facilitate the process. Because I am worried about the "nightmare" comment (see above), the first thing I am going to do is ask Brittany to call me every time they need something from my doctor's office so I can keep in top of them.