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Monday, July 31, 2006

*sigh* Meds are expensive, yippee...

So this morning, there is a message from my doctor's office manager, telling me only to "call her back". I do, and get her voice mail... an hour and a half later, she still hasn't called back, so my husband calls. After 3 calls in, and insisting that no, he cannot "hold", he finally gets to "someone" who says that they "no longer do prior auths". At all. In fact, they want to change my meds, now that we've found something that works. Um.... why didn't they mention med changing when I was there on Wed? Why, if they want to change them, did Randy write a new scrip for what I'm already on? DH gets frustrated, pissed off, gives up on moronic office staff, and goes straight for the insurance company to file a formal complaint. Meanwhile, I'm emailing our kids' pediatrician, who is absolutely awesome, to see who he recommends for a family practitioner, because we can't deal with this situation anymore. DH gets the address for sending in a formal complaint, and the woman from UHC that he's dealing with is really helpful, which is great. It doesn't fix anything immediately, mind you, but it's a nice change from the useless morons at the doctor's office. She faxes some form to the doctor's office, which they are supposed to fill out and return, which means my meds will be covered about 24 hours after they send it back.... IF they bother to fill it out at all. I went to the pharmacy and bought 1 weeks worth of pills without benefit of insurance coverage ($35, for 7 pills... yay.), so hopefully we can get it straightened out before I run out again. I just couldn't swing the $150 it would have been for the whole 27 pills, even with the likelihood of reimbursement from the insurance company.
The pediatrician wrote back with a recommendation, and he takes our insurance, and they even answered their phone on the FIRST ring (with an actual person!!).... but they're not accepting new patients until September. They did say that if it was urgent, they could fit me in... so I'm going to call tomorrow and see what they can do.
I dunno if it's the fact that I didn't have my meds Saturday or this morning, or the stress of the whole mess, or some combination, but I just want to curl up into a ball, hide, and sleep for about 2 months :/

Saturday, July 29, 2006

ARGH! Doctors! And Insurance Companies! They all suck.

Well, okay, probably not ALL of them. At least, I hope not all of them, because I need to switch doctors and I'd like to find a non-sucky one to switch to. I've been on an anti-depressant for a little over 2 years. (Well, I've been on several different ones, for much longer than that, total... but this particular one has worked the best, by far.) It has nasty side effects if you stop taking it cold turkey. I still have 3 refills left on my prescription, so Tuesday I took it to my pharmacy to get a refill. I had 1 pill left, for Wednesday morning, but the pharmacy only takes about 10 minutes for a refill. (I know, I shouldn't have cut it that close, but we were out of town for the weekend.) I got a phone call Tuesday afternoon that my insurance company had suddenly decided I needed "prior authorization" from my doctor's office in order to cover my prescription, even though there were still refills left. The pharmacist had faxed my doctor's office, who replied that since I hadn't been seen since September, I would have to come in to the office for them to authorize it. So, grumbling and gritting my teeth, I call the dr and get an appointment for Wednesday afternoon. I see the PA, who is completely useless, but all I needed was an authorization, which I figured was pretty simple. (He wanted to put me on cholesterol meds while I was there, when my cholesterol is 30 points LOWER than it was last time they tested it, but that's a separate rant.) He wrote out a new prescription. I took it to the pharmacy, and they said..... no, that won't help, they have to CALL the insurance company to tell them it's authorized, a new prescription won't cut it. ARGH! So the pharmacist calls the dr's office, leaves a message, and gives me 3 tablets to get me through til they can fill the prescription. I hadn't heard anything, so this morning I called the pharmacy to make sure it was ready so we could go get it.... and the doctor has not even called the insurance company yet!!! The pharmacist says there's absolutely nothing she can do until the dr calls the insurance company.
I call the dr's office myself, go through a maze of phone menus, and discover they have NO after hours answering service, the ONLY thing you can do after hours is leave VOICEMAIL! (This is the main reason I'm going to switch doctors now, that's just completely ridiculous.) I left a scathing voicemail in their "General Delivery" mailbox with the doctor's name on it, but somehow I doubt it will do any good.
So, I tried calling the insurance company to see what else they can do, if anything, since I have only 1 pill left. I went through 2 menus, gave my account info so they could look up the records, went through 3 more menus, and was THEN told "Sorry, we're closed, call back during regular business hours." WHY couldn't you have told me that 4 menus ago??

I'm beyond livid, but I'm stuck til Monday, so I'm saving the one pill I have to take tomorrow (I've missed a single day before with no noticeable effect.)

At least venting on here seems to be somewhat therapeutic. Thanks for reading, if you got this far without your eyes bleeding. ;)