I'm all for saving a buck or two. But these prescription discount cards are popping up everywhere, and they're annoying.
Here's a scenario for you:
6:30pm ~ All techs are gone for the day, but it's still busy. Phone is ringing, people in line, scripts to fill.
Rupert Dagnis is at the register to pick up his Adderall generic. It's been filled, but he's not happy with the price. It's $2 more than he paid last time. The horror!
With the phone ringing non-stop and other people staring at me, I have to go through the tedious process of trying to figure out which discount card was used the last time he filled it. Our software is weak and I have to painstakingly submit a claim on all of the possibilities until I find the correct one that's $2 cheaper.
Time wasted: 8 minutes. Customers annoyed: 100%
The scenario listed above happens all the time. And then there's the people that wait until they're ready to pick up their medication when they say, "Oh, I got this Cheapo-Rx card in the mail. It says I can save 80% on my medication."
We know it won't, but we have to tediously put in the information, submit a claim, tell them their medication isn't part of their "80%" and resubmit the previous claim. This happens a lot.
Rarely do I see one of these cards actually save the patient significant amounts of money. These cards add a lot of time to the process. And when you have patients that have two or three cards and want you to try them all... then it gets insane.
The other problem is that what the discount card tells them they will pay and the price we get after putting in the info is never the same. Some of these cards have a smartphone app. The patient puts in (what they think) is the correct drug and quantity. They get a price, run down to Goofmart, and then get mad when we put in the correct information about their medication and get another price.
I don't know a solution to the problem. I imagine the big chain pharmacies tell people they don't accept them. Perhaps it is time the smaller outfits do too. Or better yet, why doesn't the Cheapo-Rx card work through pharmacy chains instead of patients? All this could be done behind the scenes without hassling every pharmacy at the register.