Tuesday, September 17, 2013

FLU SHOT FRUSTRATION WITH CVS AND MEDICARE

At the beginning of the month, I saw signs at my pharmacy, CVS as well as many other pharmacies advertising flu shots.

Last year, I didn't get my flu shot as when I went to the doctor, I was sick and they don't give them if you are ill. And then when I got better my doctor did not have any at the time and everywhere I called they said either they were out or not giving them anymore. So I failed to get one and luckily I didn't catch the flu. I was not willing to take that risk again.

When I went to pick upt my monthly medicines a big sign was hanging from the ceiling in the pharmacy area as well outside FLU SHOTS TODAY. However, when I inquired about them the pharamcy assistant told me they were not giving them that day.

What?

I look at the sign again and reminded her what their signs said, FLU SHOTS TODAY.


She explained that the pharmacist who gives them was not in that day. I annoyingly (but tactfully) suggested they take the sign down. She offered to give me an appointment for the next day to make sure the pharmacist was there.

I accepted the offer although I thought if I can walk-in anytime why do I need an appointment?

The next day I promptly arrived at the pharmacy. They attempted to put it through my insurance, several times. It kept rejecting. 

There were 4 people back there, with different solutions to the problem. All failed.

The pharmacist tech turned to me and started giving excuses.

Maybe I can only get the flu shot at the doctor's office or a clinic.  OR

Because I am not 65 years of age or older, I have to go the doctor OR

Maybe I have to go to WALGREENS.

Wait....

What??

 Lets roll the tape back. Did she just say what I thought she just said?!

Yes, she did. She suggested I go to their rivalry? Is it me or was that just stupid? How many employers would fire you if you suggested your customer to go to the competition?

I had looked it up before I had gone and all her excuses were wrong. I told her so.

They attempted for 45 minutes and my patience ran out. 

I walked to my car and thought, this is not right. Why was it so difficult? (Besides it seems everything I try to do, is difficult)

You know when something just keeps bugging you and you know you need to do something? That was me. I knew this was NOT right.

I didn't feel like coming all the way home and then have to return later after calling Medicare to find out the issue. So as I sat in the hot car and called Medicare. 

Just FYI: I do pay for Medicare because I am on disability. I am not getting this 'free'.

I thought talking to CVS was bad, I had no clue how bad it could get.

I told the Medicare Rep my situation. It was confirmed that I could get it at the pharmacy and I didn't have to be any age. She said they were probably punching the wrong code. I told her they tried for the past 45 minutes.

Then she asked..

(drum rolls)

"Are you sure it is the time to take flu shots?"

I wanted to just bang my head on the steering wheel! Really People? 

I sarcastically responded, "HMMMM! Lets see, this is September, pharmacies and doctors are advertising, so you tell me if it is the time? Oh and wait I am talking to a representative of Medicare and you don't know when flu shots are given? Are you serious?"

She responds, "Well I am sorry Ma'am. Maybe it is different around the nation?"

"Bang head on window".

I murmured a remark about typical government employees at work.

I then took a deep breath and asked her if she could hold on, I was going to walk back into CVS and then I can have her on the phone to relay messages to CVS. She did.

I know the pharmacy employees wanted to run away when they saw me coming. But I really didn't care. 

I told CVS that I had Medicare on the phone and she said they were putting the wrong code in, probably trying to put it under Medicare Part D instead of Part B. I relayed messages for another 15 minutes.

They were both saying the other was wrong. I told both of them (I had them on speaker by then) that they were going to have to figure it out because I was not leaving without my flu shot. It was utterly ridiculous.

THEN...

Out of the blue, a pharmacist got it! She said they had been putting wrong code.

"EXPLETIVES"

Do I need to say I wanted to cross over and punch her?

I thanked the Medicare rep and hung up. The pharmacist tech told me to have a seat they had to draw it up. Mind you I was already there for an hour.

As I sat there was a gentleman sitting there. He had arrived right before me and he had been waiting for his meds. He said, "Wow, you are one persistent girl, aren't you?" 

I laughed and said, "When I know something is not right, I try to get to the bottom of it." 

He said, "Good for you!"

I inquired what was taking them so long with his meds? He said he didn't know. They had told him 30 minutes. 

So he gets up and inquires. CVS informs, "Oh its been ready for the past 30 minutes. We called you on the intercom." 

Confused, he said, "I've been sitting there since I gave you my prescriptions and did not hear it."

Pharmacy tech responded, "Well I called on the intercom."

He disputed as they looked at him dumbfounded. I chimed in backing him up because I never heard it either. I was humming to the music occasionally while I was waiting for them so I would have noticed. It was totally BS!

Of course, not in so many words, CVS said we were mistaken.

Anyway, the man and I just looked at each other in resignation. He thanked me, wished me a good day and went along his way.

You just can't win battles when your opponents are dimwits.

I sat...

and waited.

10 minutes later I walked up and said I still needed my flu shot. The pharmacist said she was drawing it up. I told her it didn't take that long to draw up an injection.

She opened her mouth to say something but I did not want to hear another excuse.

My patience had finally disappeared. 

I interrupted and said I was a nurse and gave flu shots so I know it doesn't take that long to draw up a flu shot. I could have drawn up and given 10 patients if not more, in the time I had been waiting.

After 1 hour and 20 minutes I finally got my flu vaccination.

I did write to the corporate office. They said they turned it over to the manager and it will be taken care of. 

Time will tell.

I just hope with all the confusion they had with me, it doesn't happen with another customer. 



2 comments:

  1. I read this ages ago, and I guess I forgot to comment, but I was feeling your irritation and did not know how to explain myself. : (

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No problem in forgetting. I do that often. Thanks for your empathy but just saying that helps me. Thanks.

      Delete

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