January 7, 2009

Email eases some prescription pain

Wow. I leave Michigan for a few months and come back to find out my doctor now emails prescriptions in. Now, if only I coud figure out a way to get appointments and refills by email. Or better yet know in advance when I will
need medical help.
I tried the natural way of getting rid of the achy, can't talk or breathe or hear crud by drowning myself in sleep and liquids. But I gave up and slipped into the doctor's walk-in line after learning the first available appointment was in 8 days. I was shocked that I was seeing a doctor less then 30 minutes after I signed in! The next shock - right after the sting of a few shots - was learning prescriptions on paper were no longer routine.

Actually, I think emailing the prescriptions in is a good idea. It should cut down on misread prescriptions and missing pads. Plus, this way I could go straight home (more sleep) and ask my husband to pick up the drugs later.

I do hope the practice extends to nationwide - especially if the doctor sends the requests directly to the drug plan's mail order place. Think of the paperwork that can be saved on behalf of senior citizens whose only hope of avoiding the Meficare Part D donut hole is using the mail order option.

On the other hand, I feel sorry for any doctor with patients enrolled in a Medicare Part D plan. I finished out my year comparing 52 plans in my mom's ZIP code in the annual gamble of trying to find the one plan that will cover the most drugs she may take in 2009. The fun is starting with a list of 8 drugs she is currently taking. The chosing is a gamble because first you can't really know what drugs are needed and second, the company can drop at time any drug.

Imagine the pain of the doctor's office, though, that needs to keep track of which of the 52 plans each patient with. (oh yeah, seniors get to choose a new plan, effective Jan. 1 every year).

Medicare Part D has become an annual end of the year ritual for me. This year, I only helped with 2 plans and that was enough. The choosing is almost as painful as breathing right now.


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