Friday, February 12, 2010

An insurance override I'd like to see

Between the end of last week and the start of this week, there has been a considerable run on the pharmacy by people wanting to get stocked up on their medications. My pharmacy is in a small town of 15,000. A majority of my pharmacy's customers live in the outlying towns and villages or out in the country.

Since we are not near a major metropolitan area, the state highways don't receive the greatest attention. In fact, the county highways were in better shape than most of the state routes during this most recent snow event. Most of my patients live either on county roads or township roads (you know, those roads that are slightly bigger than a goat path). These roads might be buried for days or weeks after a major winter storm. In the summer, they are inaccessible due to flooding.

So when a major weather event is known to be on its way, the people run to town to get supplies for the next couple of weeks. They don't know how long they may be cut off.

When a little old lady comes into the pharmacy as the storm is getting started, it would be nice to be able get an over-ride for an early refill so that Mrs Johnson can get her heart medication. That way our local EMS crews won't be risking their lives to run Mrs Johnson to the hospital because she just had a heart attack in the middle of a blizzard.

I'm just saying that maybe the insurance providers should implement a system to allow early fills in these situations. Base it off of the patient's postal ZIP code.


Anonymous said...

Some insurance companies did that for us last year (we had major flooding) so it is possible. It was nice because on the reject screen it said what override code to use if the patient was affected by the flooding.

Phathead said...

Do things really get so bad that people are stuck for longer than a week? Most insurances (except for some evil evil plans) allow a script to go through on day 23 of 30 meaning they have 7 days left. If they are swinging in for the 'storm' and its still too early, that means they have more than a weeks supply.

I hail from an even smaller town, 1100 people, so I understand that that's like, but I don't think it would be too much of a problem. Then again, I'm in a pessimistic mood today lol