Tuesday, May 31, 2016

I'm Holding it to my Ear for Warmth

Some people are so completely annoying that you can't help yourself from wanting them to just go away. 

Gretta Ann is on the top of that list. She is new to our pharmacy. We've only filled scripts for her a dozen times or so.

She's a complete mess. If she calls on the phone she goes into a long, drawn out speech and continues for at least three minutes before you ever get to say anything. She's one of those people who just won't stop talking even though she asks questions. Then if you do get a chance to say anything she'll cut you off and go on about something else.

I really hate phone calls like that. I'd rather peel skin off my arm rather than listen to this lady.

So when we see her coming down aisle eight we know we're in for a special treat. Today is no exception. Here she is with a script for Vyvanse (maybe that explains her inability to shut the hell up) and another for Oxycodone. 

The tech sends her away, telling her it will be 20 minutes, before actually processing the scripts. We've all done this and we all regret doing this when something goes wrong. But it's just too tempting to send a problem patient away rather than listen to them yammer while you're trying to type.

Gretta Ann wanders off. The rest of us are madly filling scripts and helping patients as Flynn finds out that it is one day too early on both scripts. Insurance is not going to pay for them until the following day.

In about 12 minutes (so much for 20 minutes) Gretta Ann gets in line at the pick up counter. She's on her cell phone and is loudly discussing something about her bank account... and her loud, rattling, annoying voice is bothering EVERYONE around her, including the lady in front of her that is picking up her medication.

Gretta Ann, deep in her conversation, ignores all the signage about privacy and cell phones and steps up RIGHT NEXT to the lady I'm helping. The lady looks at me. I look at her, then to Gretta Ann. I'm annoyed, the lady I'm helping is annoyed. Somewhere in the forest a tree has fallen and it is also annoyed. 

I reach over the counter and point to the sign that says not to use your cell phone at the pharmacy counter. Gretta Ann continues talking and steps back in line about four feet, all the while yapping away about her bank account. She completely missed the message I was trying to give her.

I finish the transaction and step over to the lady that is behind Gretta Ann and ask her how I can help her.

Gretta Ann belts out, "I'm NEXT!"

"You're on your cell phone. When you're done, I'll be happy to help you."

"I'm NOT on my cell phone," she says to me, HOLDING the cell phone to her ear

I'm not kidding you. Seriously, that's exactly what she said.

"Your scripts are too early anyway. We can fill them tomorrow," I say, hoping she'll go away.

"Give them back to me! I'll go somewhere else!"

I couldn't stop myself. The words left my lips, "I couldn't be happier about that."

Gretta Ann storms off. Secretly the techs and myself are all cheering inside. We're as happy and gleeful as can be! The most annoying patient we've ever had is gone, gone, gone! Praise the old gods and the new ones, Gretta Ann is gone!



But the gods play with us. Gretta Ann came back the next day and filled her scripts with the other pharmacist. I wasn't there, but I'll bet she was on her cell phone the whole time.



Monday, May 30, 2016

Stopping the Nazis

A tall, muscular dude with tattoos steps up to the drop off window. He has a script for Oxycodone 30mg.

"Your store down at Bedlam and Fastway sent me over. They said you have Mallinckrodt brand."

Oddly, that store had called about 15 minutes previously and asked if I had Oxy 30. I had told them no.

"We're out. We've had trouble with the paperwork with our supplier lately. We're waiting for an order to come in tomorrow," Flynn tells them.

Meanwhile, I'm starting to get angry. I'm wondering why the tech or pharmacist (that called about our Oxycodone supply) still sent the guy to see me. 


"It's those damn Jews on Wallstreet," the guy spits out, like he has some inside knowledge as to our supply issue. He reaches up to scratch his head and I can see a swastika tattoo on his arm. He's a Nazi thug.



NOW it dawns on me... the ladies at the Bedlam and Fastway Goofmart sent the thug over so I can deal with him. 

Thanks, ladies.

<cue Indiana Jones Music>

Now at this point I'd like to say that a scuffle occurred and there were many bruises and bloody lips. 



I'd like to tell you that I beat that Nazi thug but good while the crowd the formed at Goofmart cheered me on. Most of all, I'd like to tell you that Karen Allen was there to make out with me after the fight.



But instead I can only tell you that the guy just walked away.

<Indiana Jones music ends, abruptly>

Saturday, May 28, 2016

It Starts with an "M"

"Where's your mouthwash?" she asked.

"It's on aisle eight," I reply, "On the left."

"I was just there. I didn't see my mouthwash. I can't think of the name of it. It starts with an 'M'."

"I'm sorry, I don't know mouthwashes, and I'm not good at Scattergories."

<blank stare>

I step to the computer and type in "Mouthwashes that begin with M" into a Google search. I find a website that lists about 20 different brands. I start asking her, going down the list. And none of them start with 'M'.

<blank stare>

"I'm sorry, maybe someone from the front of the store can..."

Lady walks away. Not a word, not an insult, nothing. She just walks away from me before I can finish my sentence.

I feel inadequate now. Someone please hold me.


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Expired Insurance Breeds ANGER

Dick Heis comes to the pharmacy with a prescription for Adderall. He's not a new patient but the last time we filled for him was six months ago. I type it all in and attempt to adjudicate.

Coverage Expired


I tell Dick about the result and ask him if he has his new card. He hands me a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Somewhere card and I check on the computer. It's the same information I have on file. I tell the patient his card is expired.

"No, it is NOT!" he responds, angrily. Somehow, anger seems to be the usual response in this scenario.

I turn the monitor around and show him the reject on the computer screen.

"I have active coverage," he says.

"I believe you," I respond, "but this isn't your active coverage information."

"I just came from <competitor across the street>. They told me the same thing!"

"That's because the information on this card is outdated. Perhaps you have a new card at home?"

"This IS the CURRENT information!" he says in anger again. "Why don't YOU call the insurance and verify that?"

If I had any waiters or anything pending I would have said no, but it's been quiet and I decide what the heck, I'll give it a whirl.

After playing the little game with insurance for 3-4 minutes (I love answering "Yes or No" when the system asks me to answer "Please say Yes or No") I finally get to a representative and explain the situation. She gets the information needed and tells me that the patient has no active coverage.

I tell this to the patient.

He's really angry now and proceeds to get on his cell phone immediately.

Thirty minutes later he comes back with a NEW ID number and group number for the same BCBS. 

"For some reason I have a new ID number," he says, not looking me in the eye... sheepishly... but without any apology.

I put in the information. This time it comes back with a reject:

May fill on <future date of 28 days>

"What does that mean?" he asks. The anger is back.

I tell him that it must have been filled somewhere else recently.

"I did NOT fill it somewhere else!"

Here we go again. "You said you were at my competitor. Did you get it filled there?"

"They were having the same problem you had, so I brought it here."

Essentially, what Dick Heis is telling me that he went to my competitor and when they told him his insurance wasn't active, he argued with them, probably asked them to call his insurance (which gave him the new card info), and for whatever reason he ended up at my pharmacy thinking somehow the same issue wouldn't come up again. Instead, however, he has wasted the time of two pharmacies and two pharmacists because of his belligerent inability to accept reality. 

A quick call to the competitor, a reversal, and then a filled Rx at my pharmacy... and Dick Heis is finally happy, but never once apologized for running us all around like Chef Ramsay's cooks for no reason at all.

PEOPLE: We're NOT lying when we tell you that your insurance information isn't correct. We MAKE MONEY by filling prescriptions. I PROMISE YOU that we're not going to lie to you about this. 

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