Thursday, August 25, 2016

Yes, I'm sure that's it

Mrs. Baked gets Fentanyl patches every month from a pain clinic. I don't get to see Mrs. Baked very often. Mostly I see her husband, usually in the middle of the day on a weekday. I know Mrs. Baked doesn't work, you know, because of her debilitating illness which requires her to be on the patch and other associated medications for breakthrough pain, etc.

The whole point of Medicaid is to help people out until they can get back on their feet again. Or that's what I thought, anyway. With the Baked family, this appears to be taking a long time because they've been in this situation since 2008. Somewhere along the way Mrs. Baked became out of sync with when the insurance will pay for the patches and when she gets the new script from the doctor. So every month it is a fight and a prior authorization process and Mr. Baked coming down to the pharmacy every day (in the middle of the day when most people are working) to check on the status.

This month Mr. Baked is especially nervous about when he can get his wife's patches. When I inquired as to the unusual "extra" urgency, Mr. Baked tells me that they need them because they're going on vacation. Well, that's nice, isn't it? So to entertain myself further I ask: Where? O where art thou vacationing, my Lord? 

As it turns out, the Baked family is going on a cruise ship traveling to the Bahamas for two weeks. So the next day Mr. Baked comes in again and why yes, Medicaid has once again approved another thirty day supply of patches. And there, as Mr. Baked picks up his wife's patches with only a signature, I noticed two things. The first was a large Starbucks beverage of some kind. You know, the ones that cost at least $5. The second thing I noticed was that he was holding one of the new iPads that Apple company is selling.

Now I know all you liberals are just going to tell me not to jump to any conclusions. Yes, I know, it's all just in my mind: Mr. Baked works at night, that's why he's there in the middle of the day. His income is really low and with his disabled wife they qualify for Medicaid. And sure, the vacation was a gift from a family member to help them to deal with all the stress And of course, the Starbucks was paid for with a gift card from yet another generous person, and he's just borrowing the iPad from someone else.

Yes, of course. I'm sure that's it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Clean Freak

We have a patient that lives on the other side of the city. She sees a physician half way between our Goofmart and where she lives. For some unknown reason she has chosen our pharmacy to come get her monthly supply of Adderall, Oxycodone, and Amitza. There's probably 100 pharmacies between her physician and her home, but no, she decides to double her travel time and come to us. Medicaid pays for her meds and the taxi -- your tax dollars hard at work, folks!

She insists that we dispense the Amitza to her in the original, unopened bottle. We get odd requests all the time, but this time I couldn't help but ask her why that is important to her.

"Because I'm a clean freak," she responds.

This lady is definitely a freak. She looks like Priss from the movie Blade Runner with Harrison Ford, and is just as grungy. I would seriously doubt she's had a shower in at least two days and smells like it as well. Her finger tips are dirty, her hair is messy, and her handbag is covered with cat hair. The scripts she dropped off today are grungy as well. She doesn't strike me as any kind of "clean freak."

I'm not aware of Amitza being a drug of high value on the street, but perhaps she has found a market for it somewhere. She's quite fine with her Adderall and Oxycodone in amber vials, so this one is just a mystery. Oh well.

Monday, August 22, 2016

"But I'm Out!"

Ring... ring...

"Goofmart Pharmacy, may I help you?"

"This is Larry Lateagain. I was calling to see if my doctor refilled my prescription."

"Not yet, Larry. We haven't received a response from the doc."

"But I'm out!"

Those three magical words:

"But I'm out!"

The three words that are the trump card for any pharmacy situation. It doesn't matter if you don't have a new prescription or a refill authorization.

"But I'm out!"

It doesn't matter if the physician can't be reached. None of that matters.

"But I'm out!"

It's as if saying those words magically makes things change in the pharmacy... like somehow, somewhere, a fairy sprinkles some magic dust to make the fax machine spit out a refill authorization... or somewhere, a little angel pops up on the shoulder of the physician and whispers "Larry Lateagain needs a refill on his medication."

"But I'm out!"

Oh, now Larry could have called the pharmacy to request a refill when he had three tablets remaining in his bottle. We would have zipped off a fax to the physician, received a reply, and had a fresh new bottle of medication waiting for him. But no, Larry Lateagain waited until his bottle was empty to ask for a refill.

He's out. Out of medication. And out of brains. And we're supposed to scramble around like fools since it's an emergency... because...

He's out!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Let's Ask em Twice!

This has happened so many times I've decided it has to be me because I'm just not getting it:

A patient calls...

"Hello, Goofmart Pharmacy."

"This is Barbara Askemtwice. Is my Lipitor ready for pick up? You had to call the doctor for a refill."

I fiddle diddle on the computer.

"Yes, it was refilled yesterday with two additional refills. It's on the shelf now, ready for pick up."

"So they authorized a refill?"

<sigh> "Yes, with two additional refills."

"And it's been refilled?"

Bigger <sigh> "Yes."

"So it's ready for pick up?"

Eyes roll. "Yes."

"So I can come get it now?"

Holding gun to my head. "Yes."

What's the deal? This has happened so many times I can't keep track. What is it about the words "It's on the shelf now, ready for pick up" that is so confusing? Seriously. Are these people impaired in some way? So bored that they want to turn a 30 second conversation into a five minute one? What is it about my delivery? What? What? What?


Friday, August 19, 2016

Here I am...

Thinking I posted something really cool
on this blog or Twitter

but no one likes it