SPRING BREAK AND MY MEDICINES ARE MISSING--GIVE ME A BREAK!
By: Randy Gerber, Esq., Founder of Pacient.care.
Happy Monday, I hope you have a memorable week!
In the spirit of Spring Break, I thought I would share this true story that happened over the weekend. The names have not been changed to embarrass the innocent--just kidding.
Andrea is travelling with her family to sunny Florida. As she unpacks her suitcase she realizes that her toiletry bag carrying all of her prescriptions is missing. The prescriptions are for Andrea and her kids. What to do?
[I assumed she wasn’t carrying with her a list of her prescriptions, including drug name, prescription number, dosage, or a paper prescription from her doctor just in case].
Two problems to solve: 1. Replace the prescriptions ASAP; and 2. Consider whether there could be a problem with the theft of her medical information (known as medical identity theft).
I suggested she do the following:
If she fills her prescriptions at Walgreens, Rite-Aid or CVS (as examples) go to the same local pharmacy in Florida, assuming they have one;
Ask the local pharmacy to call her pharmacy and have her prescription transferred;
Have the local pharmacy fill her lost prescription. Problem Solved!
If her home pharmacy does not have a store in Florida, I suggested that she:
Go to the local pharmacy and ask the pharmacy to call her doctor. If Andrea’s doctor can be reached and gives over-the-phone approval, the problem is solved.
And if it’s the weekend and neither doctor nor call service is answering the phone?
Go to a local doctor or urgent care center to get a new prescription; or
Ask the local pharmacist to provide an emergency supply of your meds.
And finally, a couple of other thoughts: If the medicines were stolen rather than lost (particularly if there are narcotics involved) call the police and file a police report. This will help her down the road with reimbursement of the cost of the new drugs.
And don’t ask a friend (or someone you don’t want to get in trouble) to send pills through the mail, particularly narcotics, unless of course she wants to see her “friend” wearing orange.
Before Andrea hits the beach, there is that other issue of identity theft. Stealing information off of her prescription bottle is fraud and can lead to all sorts of problems. This information can be used to get more drugs, medical services and other unauthorized purchases. What to do?
Contact the Federal Trade Commissions Fraud Hotline. Or call 1-800-447-8477.
Keep a close eye on the medical services listed on your Explanation of Benefits (EOB) for services you did not request.
Get copies of your medical records to confirm that the medical services listed are those you have actually received.
Okay, time to head to the beach and enjoy Spring Break!
Any questions or comments. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Randy.
See related Pacient article entitled Tips for Traveling with a Disability or Medical Condition.