Red Tape

I shouldn’t be surprised by the complexity of getting some prescriptions filled, but even so, it shouldn’t be as difficult as it is. When we were trying to get Eli discharged from the hospital last Friday, July 30th, the only thing holding us up was getting a prescription filled.

We had been transitioning from a bunch of short acting meds to twice a day long acting meds while he was inpatient. Unfortunately, the extended release meds are significantly more expensive than the short acting ones, even though they are the same basic medication, just formulated differently. Our insurance wouldn’t cover the name brand version (not surprising, since a 30 day supply was almost $700), but the hospital’s pharmacy didn’t have the generic equivalent in stock until Monday.

We tried getting it filled at one of our insurance’s preferred pharmacies nearby, but even though I called ahead of time to make sure they had the generic med, they ended up filling the prescription with the brand name and claimed not to have the generic in stock.

Between all the phone calls and coordination with the doctors and various staff helping out, we spent from about 1pm to 8 pm, and a cracked phone screen, getting that one problem solved (the hospital ended up providing a voucher for the name brand so we could take it home that night). It was nice to finally get home.

Another issue that has been finally resolved is with the wheelchair I had requested almost two weeks ago. Because of my back issues and tendonitis in my hands, plus wanting greater maneuverability for Eli, I requested a lightweight appropriately sized wheelchair. It turns out that this combination doesn’t exist in a way covered by our insurance. Ultimately, we were provided a wheelchair today by a Ability Found. They provide mobility equipment and supplies to those without health insurance 🙄 (and those like us who have insurance that is usually good at covering what we need, but sometimes is incompatible with our needs). Thank you to our friends and neighbors whose suggested donations on Eli’s behalf covered the cost of labor. It was easy to get in and out of the van and easy for Eli to roll around unassisted.

The current challenge is trying to get another specialty prescription filled. The pharmacies keep quoting me $500 for a two month supply, even though our benefit handbook caps our specialty med copay at $115 for a 30 day supply. So, I’ve been on the phone with various people trying to get that figured out.

Meanwhile, we are at the hospital daily for radiation this week. We will also go one day next week, then we will probably transition to hospice. We hope the radiation will help with some areas of pain, but it takes a couple weeks to show results. We will begin a chemo med, too, which may keep things stable for awhile, but we won’t know until we try.

Heather was the mastermind behind the Nerf war, which I neglected to post last year, so check back here for the link.
Lisa of the hospital school room ordered this book for Eli and it was shipped to our house. I guess I was too busy dealing with wheelchair and pharmacy issues to realize that she would get it for him.

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