"I want a flu shot."
We hate those words. We DESPISE those words. Want to know why? Because flu shot season is added work for everyone in the pharmacy... and guess what, we don't get extra help for all the added work. The mantra for today is "Deal with it." So we do, but dealing with it is really nothing more than getting behind in the workflow and putting our regular patients' lives at risk by rushing our regular workload through the system.
Today a guy is at the PICK UP window asking for a flu shot. A seasoned technician would have taken the guy down to the DROP OFF window where we have a sign that says "FLU SHOTS START HERE" but this tech proceeds to type up his info at the PICK UP window.
One, two... then three people end up in line at the PICK UP window. Why? Because newbie tech is trying to get flu shot guy's insurance to work.
"I have a $25 co-pay," he says. "I know it is $25."
After several minutes I step up to help with the situation. The other people who dropped off prescriptions at the correct window will have to wait. This flu shot stuff is more important and the grocery coupon they're going to get is even more important. I ask the guy to come over to the DROP OFF window so I can work on the situation.
Which, by the way, WHEN was it that pharmacists and techs had to become experts on insurance? It's YOUR insurance. We bill it as a courtesy. It practically requires another degree to process claims on insurance now. Add to that the fact that very few people seem to understand that their Rx coverage is different than their medical coverage... that makes things worse.
Such is the case with flu shot guy. The newbie tech didn't know the difference and was trying to process a claim on his medical card. So once I get the correct card it goes through with no problem... or so I thought.
"Ok, I processed the claim. It is $26.15 on your prescription drug plan."
And after twenty minutes requiring two people to process and the needless back up of several other people, flu shot guy says, "I don't want it then."
I'm shocked. All I can muster out is, "Why?"
"It's supposed to be $25. I don't want it if it is going to be more."
So for all that happened, the time wasted, the people inconvenienced, getting behind on the workflow, and everything else, flu shot guy doesn't want the shot because it is $1.15 more than he was expecting.