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Monday, May 6, 2019

Good Rx - Good Phor Patients, Bad Phor Pharmacists

I was on a Netflix or Hulu binge recently and saw a GoodRx ad. Normally my blood pressure elevates only slightly during these ads but this one made my blood boil.
Phine. GoodRx helps patients save money. Not against that.
Phine. If pharmacies want insurance contracts we have to accept GoodRx. K.
My issue with this particular ad was in the way the actualisation of the savings was portrayed. People believe what they see with their eyes, not what knowledgeable, credible, professional people tell them. This means that after watching this ad, patients will make the assumption that the scenario portrayed in the ad is a mirror of real world practises.
It's not.
Phar phrom it.

What happened in the ad to ruffle your feathers, CP?
The patient approached the pharmacy counter and was told/shown a price by the pharmacist of $67.00. As the patient's look of shock took root, she realised she had a phone which she pulled out, found a price on GoodRx, then showed it to the pharmacist. The pharmacist, at the register, waved the phone in front of the register and the price on the screen magically dropped to $8.90.

Did you see it?
It instantly changed from $67.00 to $8.90. . . AT. THE. REGISTER!
(Yes. I realise it is a 30 second commercial. This does, however, reinforce the false belief that changing a copay and getting the discount is like handing a cashier a coupon at the grocery.) #ThatsNotHowItWorks!

Why is this bad, CP?
First, it trivialises what we do.
Second, it encourages bad behaviour in patients when it doesn't work exactly as shown in the commercial.

GoodRx is NOT a credit card.
GoodRx is NOT a register coupon.
In order to use the GoodRx discount (or any other pharmacy discount card, including manufacturer coupons) we have to change how we billed the prescription. This means we must edit the prescription and either add the new coupon or reverse the claim to your insurance and bill only the GoodRx plan. This is completed in the data entry system, not the register.
Once completed, the pharmacist must then reverify all of the information, including checking the prescription and the medication dispensed. (Sometimes the GoodRx coupons are for different quantities and now we must change what we dispensed.)

How does it work in reality, CP?
Patients can expect a wait.
Can I redo the prescription in 5 minutes? Sure.
Should they expect it each time? No.
Are they the only person who needs something done right now? Definitely not.
Their prescription gets put in line along with everyone else's.

How can they expedite the process?
Call ahead.
Call for the price BEFORE coming to the pharmacy.
When you check GoodRx online, call back with the billing information BEFORE coming to my counter.
This will allow me to process it when I can and run a smoother workflow in my store.
It's also not fair to other patients waiting on prescriptions for you to expect yours to be redone ahead of theirs. Sure it was finished, but you changed the completed order. (Imagine finishing placing your order at Arby's, sliding on down to the pickup window then deciding to change your order. You can't just sidle on back to the order window, cut in front of the line, and expect the staff to redo your order ahead of those waiting to place orders. Or maybe you do expect that which is why you suck.)

Either way, please complain to GoodRx that even though they have cheapened prescriptions for patients, they don't need to cheapen our profession along with it. We can handle that quite well on our own, TYVM.

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