Saturday, August 24, 2013


I posted about a month ago about how happy I was to find out that my Medicare Prescription Drug Plan had a Specialty Pharmacy Division and that after much time on the phone, we determined that everything I needed to resume at home instillations was covered. I was assured all that was required was a FAX to my doctor, his sign-off on all I needed and we'd be done and my medications and supplies would be shipped.

Cut to a month later and I still don't have everything. It took several weeks and ONE of the medications was delivered, but where were the other three meds and the supplies? Time to make another call to the insurance company where I was assured that the next box was to be delivered in a day or two with everything else I needed. OK; that seemed reasonable.

Cut to several days later and the box arrives. I'm excited and open it up like a kid at Christmas (can you tell I love my instillations!) and start taking out the contents. One med; check. Second med; check. Third med; check. Needles to withdraw meds from vials; check (& free). Last item - drum roll - 60ml syringes. Uh, NOT check. They sent me the wrong kind. If you've ever had an instillation you know that once it is mixed, you need a 60ml plastic syringe with a catheter tip that goes into the funnel opening of the catheter so you can push the instillation into your bladder. I got sent a 60ml syringe with a Luer Lock tip (one that screws into some other thing). It absolutely will not work for doing instillations.

Time to make another phone call to the insurance company; spend about 40 minutes on the phone re-explaining what I need and what they sent. Woman assures me she understands, they have it and they will ship it immediately. OK, seems reasonable. Where have we heard that before?

A week goes by, no box is delivered. So yesterday, guess what, time for another phone call. Ugh! I spoke with a great guy who was very kind and helpful, but had to put me on hold to speak with their pharmacy to make sure they had what I needed. Uh, I've been told several time you do, you already have the prescription from the doctor with EVERYTHING needed on it, so no you don't need a prescription for this item - you sent me the WRONG thing. The right thing is on the prescription; you just need to get it and send it to me. Puts me on hold; 25 minutes into being on hold the phone goes dead! My call has been disconnected! Blood pressure going up!

Call back, have to re-explain to someone else and try to get to the guy who was helping me and knows what I'm talking about. They can't get him; they'll have him call me back. By now I have to go to the bathroom and of course, I miss his call back. Call the insurance company again and go through entire process again of trying to reach the nice young man that has been helping me. The woman I was speaking with looks in my records and basically blows me off and says, yeah it's in the computer and it will be shipped today. I said, that's what I was told the last time. I want to speak with the young man who has been helping me since he knows what I need. Again, must leave message.

Finally, he returns my call and we go over everything. Yes, they have the catheter tip 60ml syringes; Yes they will ship them overnight delivery so I get them on Saturday; Yes, Saturday delivery is available in my area. Assures me if there is a problem, he'll get back to me but I should expect my box on Saturday (today). 

Later yesterday afternoon, my phone rings and it's the number for the Prescription Drug Company and I think, oh sheesh - he said he'd only call if there was a problem. But in fact, he was calling to reassure me everything was shipping as promised; they did have what I needed-100% sure and I would most definitely get the box on Saturday. I thanked him very much for the follow up. That just doesn't happen these days and it really was reassuring and I appreciated it.

Last night, I get another phone call from the insurance company wanting to talk about the item I called about last week that was wrong (yes I made that call as I said above). But they tell me they have some item that I've never heard of, don't know what it's for, don't need it and now I understand why I never got the promised item that I did need. I explained this - again - to this person and told them whoever I spoke with last week to explain what I needed, who assured me she understood what I wanted, clearly did not and messed this whole order up. I asked that they make sure that this mystery item get taken out of my record, please do not ship it or charge me; make it disappear. I explained I have been speaking with someone, almost all day long, and I have been assured the problem has been resolved. They apologized and said they would remove this item from my record and I hung up. Now to wait and see if my box would arrive on Saturday and if it was REALLY the right item.

About 20 minutes ago, the UPS truck pulls up and I go down to meet the delivery man. Said to him "can you tell I was expecting you?" - he laughed. I took the box, opened it and - VOILA - it's the right thing!! YAY!

I'm exhausted! But sometimes the effort is worth it. I am so happy to be able to do my instillations at home once a week to supplement what I get at the doctor. 

It wasn't easy, it took a month, but I got it done! It took many phone calls and there were problems as you can see, along the way. But being persistent paid off. I now have everything I need and going forward it will be much easier to refill as all is correct in the system now.

Big sigh of relief!



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