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Monday, January 16, 2012

Welcome 2012

OK so I am a slacker. Well...WAS a slacker. It is a new year and I must write more. We all should. Big N Tasty-this is practically your blog but we have writers so let's all help her out, OK??

So big news! I no longer work retail. I work for a hospital now doing a fun, creative, new project that is going well. More details to follow but here are some observations:

1. Hospital gowns are not fashionable nor do they cover enough of the nether regions. That is TOO bad bc I like fashion (kidding) and I really am NOT used to seeing so many balls and tits just hanging free. Oh well. In a perfect world...

2. Residents may be hot but not all are smart. OMG did you really just send over an order for multi-vit with fluoride for your 92 year old LVAD patient??

3. Nurses are messy but I like it! Plus they are way fun to socialize with. They have some nasty stories. Why did I ask what "code brown" meant?

4. Hospital food isnt so bad after all. I just so happen to work at a place with a natural food store. Amazing!! Plus so many options at the cafeteria-gluten free, curry a day, fish of the day, a mile long salad bar. No excuses for being a fatty if you work there. OH wait! I forgot to mention the pie case...sigh

5. I work at a teaching institution. Fabulous!!

6. Do NOT leave food out in the open in the breakroom. This is free game for nurses, CNA's, etc. They will gobble it up in no time.

7. Patients are just as demanding in their private room as they are in public. That is OK bc I am no longer ringing up their KY jelly, handheld mirror and a bar of soap (yes-that was a real purchase I rang up years ago) nor listening to their whining about multiple non-pharmacy related BS.

8. I miss my vacation days!! I have to accumulate them now. OMG their goes my 21 days in Spain!! sigh...you must wait you young, handsome Spanish men. I will arrive some day!

9. I still dispense meds just not 350 a day. I spend a lot more time being a pharmacist now. so strange...but SO good.

10. NO MORE THIRD PARTY ISSUES!! yippee!!! pee in my Myla panties!!

Please don't get me wrong-I liked, at times, being a retail pharmacist and they are some of the smartest people I know. I just had a tough time with my retailer cutting things left and right and people's jobs were dropping like flies and I just felt like a zombie after work somedays. This is refreshing change but the lure of more vacation time and sick days pulls at me. I just wish I could do a more hybrid job or win the lottery! LOL

Happy belated New Year to all of our LOVELY readers, especially the methadone crackheads that are still sending me love/HATE letters. You all rule too!



Saturday, January 14, 2012

New Year's Day: The Scriptpocalypse Begins

Football has March Madness and Christmas has Black Friday but retail pharmacy has New Year's Day. NYD is a magical time when practically all prescription insurance copays go up, people forget they have a massive deductible or their insurance completely changed and they conveniently have no who/what/when/where/why/how knowledge of their new insurance provider and an ID card has not shown up in their snail mail box. These are the worst of times because pharmacy employees generally become punching bags and the root of all evil when it is no fault of our own.

An extra special addition for 2012 is the fallout from the ESI/Walgreens divorce. I am floating and have witnessed very sad partings of long time patients having to leave because ESI suits are a bunch of money hungry douche bags. Okay, all suits are money hungry douche bags, they can't help what they are... I have even witnessed patients change insurance or start using their spouse's insurance because they are on a first-name basis with their store's employees and are treated like family. Why would you walk away from that if you don't have to?

This all began many many months ago when Walgreens acquired a small chain known as Duane Reade. Mergers require the review of all financials for both companies. In this review Walgreens found that the "best reimbursement rate in the industry" they were getting from ESI was deplorably lower than what DR was getting. After figuring out how much money Wags was losing on each ESI rx they asked for a match of DR reimbursement rates. ESI would not budge and has been bashing Wags ever since.

What ESI has not been letting the public in on is that ESI itself is a corporation. A corporation that has its own set of highly compensated suits, thousands of employees who get insurance, holiday pay, sick pay, retirement plans, etc, and a larger set of shareholders to answer too. The main goal of any corporation is to be as profitable as possible. ESI figured if all of its maintenance rxs are required to go through its own mail order service it no longer becomes a middle man, it becomes "the man" and keeps at least 75% of the money it would have been reimbursing other companies with to itself. I don't hate them for that but I do have a problem with limiting a patient on access to medication when noncompliance is a huge issue. I also have a problem with any company that would limit medication access to the people who defend and die for our freedom. The primary point is any medication therapy no matter how effective and patient specific will fail when the patient is not taking the medication for whatever reason.

Walgreens has found other ways to retain as many patients as possible and I found it funny that Wal-Mart, who has its own pharmacies, dropped ESI so their employees would have access to meds at any pharmacy any time.

Aside from all that nonsense, finding new coverage information for Medicare Part D patients has been an unholy nightmare for all pharmacies......sooooo many plans......sooooo many patients..... I am also going to add "Rx Transfer Specialist" to my resume because I'm super proficient at it now as many of you will be too! So welcome to the Scriptpocalypse and all the joys it brings. I will be celebrating tonight with a gut-busting delicious multi-course dinner with pharmacy friends at The Melting Pot. Yum yum! (***this meal is definitely not recognized as part of any diet unless you are on the "See Food" diet which entails eating everything edible you see)