Friday, November 8, 2013

Patients Testing my Patience

A dentist calls in a specific medicated toothpaste for a patient.

I attempt to process it, but his insurance is expired. It's not expensive for cash, so I cash it out. It's less than $10 for a month supply.

The patient comes in and after a discussion the technician calls me over to the register.

"He says his prescriptions should be free," the new tech says, too afraid to stand up to him.

"Your insurance is expired. Do you have your new card?"

"My insurance is NOT expired, and NO, I don't have the card with me. I never have ANY trouble when the other guy is here. It's always free."

"You mean no co-pay to you?"


[I swear if I have to educate every single American on this I will do it one at a time!]

"Well I just tried to process it on the same insurance that we did for your other prescriptions a couple of months ago. It says your insurance is terminated."

"My insurance is current. The other guy never has any problem."

I've been through this scenario enough with other people that I don't fight it anymore. I bag up his toothpaste and hand it to him. I say, "Next time you're in, bring in your new insurance card and we'll put it in and if there is a co-pay you can pay for it then. Otherwise it's about $10."

"It's always free. Where's the other guy?" He looks over my shoulder like Mickey is hiding behind me.

[So much for trying to educate the masses]

"Mickey is not here. He'll be here next Monday at 1pm."

So the guy takes off. After it slows down a little I call the two insurances we have on file for the patient. maybe something changed or they can direct me to the new provider. Nothing. Nada. One insurance expired in 2009. The other insurance at the END of LAST MONTH. And it's very obvious at this point that the patient knew this and was lying about it when he was in. So I pick up the phone and call the dude. No answer, so I left a message:

"Yes, this is Crazy RxMan at Goofmart Pharmacy. I called your insurance. It expired last month. You no longer have active coverage so you need to come down at your convenience and either bring a new insurance or pay the $10 for the prescription. Have a GREAT day!"

I admit I was a little sarcastic with the last sentence.

The next morning he brings BACK the toothpaste. He says he doesn't want it because he wanted BRAND. The technician tells him that brand will be more expensive. Then he changes his story again, "Well, I can't afford it" and he walks off, disregarding the fact that he owes us for a medication he picked up.

What is wrong with people? Do they honestly think we can magically make their medications free? Do they think they can lie and that their lies have no consequences? What is WRONG with the world now?

And just so you know, no kitties we harmed while writing this blog.


Hildy said...

I utterly sympathize. I spend a great deal of my day explaining to people that I can't give them technical support for free, yet they insist that it's just a "quick question" (translation: something that will take half an hour) or--worse, they find out what a support charge will be and hang up PO'd. I totally understand how being confronted at every turn with the need to pay for something is upsetting. If a retailer does me a favor and doesn't charge for something he could charge for, I show my gratitude by making sure that the next time I need what he has, I get it from him even if it will cost more. But still...we ALL have to make a living. Why don't people understand that?

Anonymous said...

I'm helping in Canada with the "its not free, someone is paying for it" education.

Anonymous said...

In our pharmacies medicines for residents are free so the lies never comes with the bills. It comes with loss of prescriptions on their part and then they say they left it with us at the pharmacy or when they collect their month supply of meds and then show up a couple of weeks later saying we failed to give them a.month supply that we miscounted. And they would insist that I was the one who dispensed it (for example) while it was another who did and them not realising that whoever dispensed would endorse the prescription so we know if we did or not. That's just two examples of patients' dishonesty I've encountered. But we try to stay professional and keep our cool hoping that not all patients have that attitude.