Making Sure You All (Co)Pay Dearly

, , , | Healthy | November 22, 2017

(I work at a long-term care pharmacy. We bill prescriptions monthly, and always get angry phone calls a few days after statements go out.)

Me: “[Pharmacy], this is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Angry Man: “What kind of scam are you all running out there?”

Me: “Sir?”

Angry Man: “Do you think you’re going to get away with charging these outrageous prices? I should report you for robbery!”

Me: “If you have questions about any charges, I’d be happy to explain them to you.”

Angry Man: “As a matter of fact you can! I’d like to know why you’re charging me $50 for a month’s worth of [medication]!”

(I pull up the claim and go through my normal spiel of how we submit a claim to the insurance company, they respond with how much they’ll pay and how much of a copay we need to collect from the patient, and how we have no influence over the cost of the copay, as this is determined by the plan, etc.)

Angry Man: “Well then, how come I can go to [Other Pharmacy] and get three months’ worth for $150?”

Me: “Sir, that’s the same price.”

Angry Man: “You’re trying to tell me that $50 and $150 are the same thing? How stupid can you be to have your job?”

Me: *remembering to be professional and not sarcastic* “No, sir. I’m telling you that $50 for a 30 day supply and $150 for a 90 day supply is exactly the same price.”

Angry Man: “I can’t pay $50 every month for one prescription! I’ll go broke! I’m going to be using [Other Pharmacy] from now on so I can get more for a decent price! And I’m going up to [Nursing Home] and telling everyone there that you’re robbing them!”

Me: *slowly losing professionalism* “You have the right to use whatever pharmacy you like. If you feel the need to tell them that, I can’t stop you. But if they can do basic math, they’ll realize that copays are no different with us than they are anywhere else.”

Angry Man: “I know the tactics you people use to try to confuse me. You talk over my head hoping I’ll give up and pay your ridiculous price! You’re not going to fool me. I’m no dumb-a**!”

(At this point I was contemplating whether it would be worth the complaint I’d get if I said “Well, sir, you certainly could’ve fooled me,” but he slammed the phone down, making my decision for me. People are unbelievably dumb!)

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