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Friday, October 10, 2014

One Prescription Equals One Prescription

How long does it take to fill one prescription? From start to finish?
How long does it take to process it?
To type it and bill the insurance?
How long does it take to count it?
To label it?
How long to check it?

Assuming nothing is wrong with it that needs fixed, how long does it take for one lousy prescription?

I know there are companies out there that, if a technician is not allowed to count the prescription (CIIs), then these are not included in the totals used for tech budgets. I call shenanigans.

The big problem I have is not including prescriptions put on file.
They still need scanned.
They still need typed.
They still need checked.
They often still get billed to insurances (often e-scripts sent that may be a few days too soon or that the patient had filled at mail order or any of the myriad reasons for us to try to process the claim). These often take longer because we have to process them, get a rejection, research it, call on it, or send a prior auth for it. Either way, at least as much work goes into one of these as a regular, filled Rx for which we receive credit.
They still need checked by the pharmacist.
The only real difference is the missing step of "just putting pills in a bottle".

One day recently, we filled over 400 prescriptions. On the same day, because I counted them, we processed over 40 prescriptions that were put on hold. This means my numbers would have been improved by 10% for my staffing if these prescriptions, which require just as much effort to process, had been included in my totals.

While I realise we do not get any payment from anyone for prescriptions not actually filled and picked up, it does not change the amount of work that we the people need to perform.

We want people to get shingles shots.
They want to know how much it is.
We process their prescription. We bill their insurance. We get a label. We tell them it is $50.00. They balk at the price because next year they are switching Medicare D plans and it will be free. They don't want it. Now you back out the claim and put it on file. How long did it take? How much did you make? Do you get credit for the time it took away from processing something else?
No. You get nothing.
It IS your job to process these. We have a lot of prescribers in our area who send e-scripts for an entire patient's profile with the note: "Please hold. Do not fill until patient requests." This is great. It means we do not waste our time filling them only to have to return them in 13 days. However, I still have to do most of the same work just to file them.

When corporate bosses ask why your numbers are down, you cannot point to all the scripts you filed and almost filled. (I understand we will get credit when we actually fill them in the phuture.)
If you are going to base my pharmacist and technician hours on the amount of prescriptions we DO it should include the ones we PROCESS and NOT just the ones we fill.
Just because WE don't COUNT doesn't me THEY shouldn't count.

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