Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Calling the Insurance Company

Suppose you go out to dinner. You have a magnificent feast of grilled beast. The waiter hands you the check. You reach into your pocket, pull out your wallet, and you don't have your credit card.

You call the waiter over. "Call my bank for the card information to pay for the bill."

Honestly, people, how long do you think that's going to go over? Do you think the waiter is going to get that information? And if it were actually possible, why would it be the waiter's responsibility to do that?


If you're in a pharmacy, it is NOT the job of the pharmacy to track down your insurance information to pay for your prescriptions. Let me repeat that. IT IS NOT THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PHARMACY TO GET YOUR PRESCRIPTION COVERAGE INFORMATION.

I know there's some techs out there that don't mind doing this as a courtesy for patients. That's ok for you, but not for me. What you're doing is creating a sense of entitlement among patients that we handle that. WE DO NOT. 


We recently had a prescription come up "coverage terminated" and listed a coverage end date a few months ago. My tech was trying to provide good customer service but ended up on the phone for 30 minutes while I raced around the pharmacy trying to take care of patients that dutifully have their payment information. That isn't right. Why should other patients' safety be put in jeopardy for the prescription payment information of one patient?


I don't expect anyone to make my car payment for me. I don't expect anyone to buy my clothes for me. I don't expect anyone to make my house payment. Whatever means I use to make these payments is MY BUSINESS. I don't expect anyone to have access to this private, personal information and it needs to be the same with prescription insurance.


If you're a pharmacy giving good customer service, GOOD FOR YOU. But it stops at insurance. Stop entitling your patients. Stop making it our job to do their job. Prescription insurance IS NOT our job. It's the patient's job to provide payment, and that includes insurance information.

So whoever you are, out there, that keeps doing this, STOP. Stop it now. You're ruining it for all of us.



Anonymous said...

My mentor used this example on some of our worst customers.

Ok, so you walk into your bank the day before payday. You 'need' your money? Are you going to 'die' without it? Ok, fine, may I have your account information? Don't have it? How about your debit card? Don't have that either? What about some ID? Goodness, how am I supposed to know who you are? Oh wait, you get your money every week? But I need your paycheck and your account information. You're going to go to another bank?

Crazy, right? Now think about what you're doing now with your insurance information.

Half the time, customers would just grumble and walk away.

And here's the crazy part. Not one single complaint. Ever.


Anonymous said...

Its like going to a store and whining like a little bitch when you realized you forgot your credit card and telling the manager.

"But I come here all the time! Just look me up in the system!"

Anonymous said...

It's all so interesting to me! I think some RPH's get into the habit of spoon feeding patients! Anytime I've had an insurance issue (PA mostly) they always want to take care of the insurance for me! I've always told them it's my responsibility!!! I thank them & than begin the arduous task of jumping through insurance hoops! I do wish, though, someone would teach me a trick! There's no excuse that will make me believe that their not hoping I gave up the fight & than they (insurance) don't have to pay! I will say, when they do pay, the coverage is great! To only pay $50 for a month of a med that would cost me $2500 w/out insurance is not something I should be complaining about!

Anonymous said...

And in imaging departments, we cope constantly with people showing up without their requisition. The requisition that says very clearly on the bottom that they must bring it in to their appointment.

"It's on the kitchen table"
"My doctor faxed it over" (Yah right.....)
"Why do i need it"

For some reason, it is our fault they don't have it. I used to say -- would they show up to get drugs without a prescription, but after reading this blog, I think they would!

Unknown said...

I get this as a nurse in a psychiatric outpatient community health center also. Seriously, do they ALL feel entitled or do they just lack ANY intelligence?

Anonymous said...

Do you want to be my patient?