Monday, July 24, 2017

There WILL be Consequences

The other day it was just the tech and myself as the only staff on duty.

At one point we were experiencing a high volume of pharmacy patrons. That's a nice way of saying the excrement hit the fan it and it was flying everywhere.

Amid the chaos, the tech has greeted a lady at the drop off window with a prescription. I'm desperately trying to fill three prescriptions for the three people in line at the register. There's no tech there to help them, so they just stare at me.

The lady at the window has THREE GoodRx cards... those little yellow nightmares that seem to be everywhere like AOL start up CDs were in the 1990s. She didn't download the app or go online. No, that would be too easy. Instead she's come down to the pharmacy during our busy dinner hour and wants to try EVERY SINGLE CARD merely to GET A PRICE on her medication and THEN to decide whether she wants it or not.

The tech does her best pounding on the keyboard to get the Not-so-GoodRx info into the computer. She sends off a claim. REJECT. She checks the ID number. She's a digit off. She fixes it and sends it off again. Then again, and again. POW! A claim is adjudicated with a co-pay to the patient of $12 and some odd cents.

"Well let me think about it," she says, slowing pulling the prescription out of the tech's hands. "I'll let you know."

Time wasted: 18 MINUTES

During that time I checked out over six patrons, filled five prescriptions, and typed up two others... and I did it all hurriedly because I was basically alone and trying to keep up with the workflow. I'm a seasoned pharmacist, but even the best pharmacist in the world can't keep up when it becomes overwhelming.
Those in support of Not-so-GoodRx will try to blame our system. They will say we should have more help. Yes, we should have more help, but NOT for the sole purpose of adding GoodRx crap to the computer all day long.

Here's a silly little video to illustrate:

Please read what I'm about to say very carefully:

Eventually, all this crap with GoodRx will lead to a serious medication error that harms or kills a patient. The family will be devastated, the pharmacist will lose his/her license and his/her will to live, and there will be lawsuits.

All for a few bucks of savings that aren't anywhere close to the "80%" advertised by GoodRx. Are those few bucks really worth it? Is it really worth endangering people's lives?


Anonymous said...

when someone tells me they want to just check the price, i tell them to come back in 20 minutes (or a reasonable time depending on how busy we are). i dont waste time typing their Rx when there is a line in any window.

Anonymous said...

(1) There needs to be change throughout the industry such that patient's can cost compare, so long as we maintain our current private for profit medical industry. For a patient with a high deductible, co-insurance or self-pay, the differences from pharmacy to pharmacy really matter. I understand that this would not fix your GoodRx problem.

(2) Have the authorities required you to keep the wait under a certain time? What if you went as slow as you needed to in order to keep everyone safe and let the lines pile up so the authorities can see what the lack of tech hours and the GoodRx issue is doing. Let them give out gift cards to unhappy customers. If you keep meeting unreasonable targets, the targets won't change because they will see them as attainable. You need an across the board agreement that everyone will do what it really takes, customer satisfaction be damned.

(3) When they stare at you, can you shout out "just have to finish your scripts here, just a minute" so that they know you saw them? With the privacy screens at my pharmacy, I can't always tell if the pharmacist saw me in line or not. A quick "just a minute" let's me know he did.

andrew sfachine said...

Getting a price is equivalent to getting a precription.IF you have a 10 minute wait on pending rxs then it is a 10 minute wait for a price.

Anonymous said...

Thought of you today...a patient who was visiting our area for an extended period of time from another country (in other words, can't transfer the script and no insurance coverage) did not bring enough of only one of their meds; short by 17 days. Of course it was one of those newer-type meds that doesn't have a generic yet and is expensive as hell. Still wouldn't consider GoodRx as an option. After the fact, went to the GoodRx website out of curiosity and looked up the discount - they would saved maybe 10%, so wouldn't have been worth the time and effort on the patient's part, on the pharmacy's part, etc. Fortunately, with some calling around and detective work on our part, we were able to find a better savings option for her that didn't inconvenience everyone!