Today, I'm going to blow off a little steam! For a week-and-a-half, I have been trying to refill a prescription at my local Wal-Mart. Suffice it to say that I got a little preview of what it might be like when government bureaucracy invades our healthcare system.
My blood pressure is rising and I'm getting increasingly frustrated at the incompetence. I finally talk to a pharmacy technician who expresses some compassion and offers to call the doctor's office. Finally, someone who cares! The next day I get a recorded message from Wal-Mart that my prescription is ready to pick up. I wait in a long line (by now it is the day before Thanksgiving and you can imagine that everyone is trying to get their prescriptions filled) and when it is finally my turn, I am told the prescription is not ready..... you guessed it! They are waiting on the doctor.
The young girl behind the counter quickly passes me off to someone at the Counseling window, who proceeds to give me an extensive list of excuses why it is not their fault and it is the doctor's problem. I finally convince her I will call the doctor's office myself, right then and there, and she can talk to them in person. She adopts a haughty attitude and calls them herself on the speaker phone and I'm privy to the entire conversation, in which the doctor's office (clearly frustrated themselves) tells her they did fax it. The haughty Wal-Mart employee asks what fax number it was sent to, and lo and behold, it is Wal-Mart's actual fax number.
When I asked why no one followed up with a phone call to the doctor's office, when they were aware that there had been multiple conversations back and forth, she answered, "We don't do that until the customer .....". And then she pauses. "Let me guess," I say. "Until the customer complains, right?" She just looks at me and replies, "We can't help it that your doctor didn't respond." What!!!! Did she hear the same conversation I did? The doctor's office clearly said they DID fax it back, and to the correct number!
She finally agrees to fill the prescription, but I would have to wait 20 minutes. Having another appointment, I told her I would have to come back. When I returned an hour later, I was told they only had 3 tablets of a 30-day prescription. Now another fact you need to understand is that I live 30 minutes away from this Wal-Mart, so now I would have to make another trip!
I tell you my little sob story because I want you to see the difference between dealing with a Corporate Giant and an individually-owned company. The small pharmacy valued my business and went out of their way to solve my problem. They took the extra steps of dealing with my doctor's office, and were courteous and respectful. Now, I understand that Wal-Mart doesn't care about losing my business; I am insignificant to them. But just imagine what it will be like when we get the Federal Government involved in regulating and supplying our health care. The indifference and apathy exhibited by that Wal-Mart employee will pale in comparison to how a bureaucratic employee will treat you. Get ready, folks!
I would suggest that you frequent local companies and small businesses whenever possible. They may soon be our last symbol of capitalism and private venture. And believe me, they will appreciate your support and treat you like a real person, not a name in the computer.
Psalm 71:23-24 "My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you— I whom you have delivered. My tongue will tell of your righteous acts all day long for those who wanted to harm me have been put to shame and confusion."
This is exactly why I do my business with the locally owned pharmacy, hardware store, etc. whenever possible. Even if they charge a little more, I usually make up for the difference in gas saved and peace of mind. The local owners are appreciative of my business and they know me and my family by name. Our family has owned several small businesses over the years, and I know how much we appreciated the business from our customers, and how many of them grew to feel like close friends over the years. The megastores will never care if we give them our business or not, and the employee turnover is so great that they probably will never know our names or faces.ReplyDelete
That is exactly what I've decided to do. As a small business owner myself (with my husband's art business) I am paying exorbitant insurance premiums for the two of us, but i have decided to pay the extra money out of my own pocket to the local pharmacy. Because if he goes out of business, I will be forced to deal with the Walmarts of the world. We small businesses need to stick together!Delete
Your blog is spot on! Working in the doctor's office end of this subject, I experience this on a daily basis. We send in a request for a refill, either by phone, fax and now mostly by e-prescription. We get a call from a patient..."they said you didn't send anything in". We double check. We did. And of course with electronic records, you would think none of this would happen. It does. All the time. It's a very transparent system, anyone in the office can look up a chart and see if the medication was sent in or not. The pharmacy says "oh, we never got it". And yes it is usually the big chain pharmacies. I much more prefer dealing with the small local pharmacies, even if something hasn't been done either on our end or their end, we can narrow it down and find out where the error is and get it corrected much more quickly. And yes it will get worse, no question about it.ReplyDelete
I have decided to continue to do business with the small locally-owned pharmacy -- and pay more than was at Walmart --- because I'd rather absorb the cost above my insurance and keep them in business. Between the government and the big chains, they don't stand a chance unless we support them. BTW, my nurse at my doctor's office showed amazing restraint in dealing with this situation; better than I did!ReplyDelete