Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Dear CVS Caremark, its me again

Good Afternoon -
Just me again. I wrote you a few months back re: the nightmare that is reordering my sons monthly prescriptions. I appreciate your having someone call me to get me what we needed in time for our trip, but as evidenced by a phone call I received earlier today, the bigger issue remains unresolved.

As a refresher, my son has Cystic Fibrosis. He takes a number of oral and inhaled medications several times a day, every single day, to keep him healthy. Once a month, at a totally unpredictable time, my phone rings and it is a robot telling me that it's time to refill one of his medications that I am required by our private insurance to have filled by you instead of the pharmacy where we have his other 7 prescriptions filled without incidence every month. This robot asks me a couple of questions and, if I answer appropriately, promptly connects me to a customer service rep who has exactly no idea why I have called. I didn't call, remember? You did. Anyway, in the chaos that is any house with young children, I only occasionally get directed to the clueless customer service rep, as the screaming children in the background is sometimes interpreted by the robot into "I'm all set and need no further assistance". It would be more appropriate if he called the police based on the sheer volume of the chaos as its more likely that I'm being robbed or assaulted than needing no assistance. I digress.

After spending probably 2-3 minutes on the phone with the robot on the occasions where I do get through to a person, I then spend anywhere between another 5-10 minutes answering questions and making arrangements to have this medicine delivered and signed for at a time that's convenient for me. It's funny that you use the word "convenient". You "conveniently" offer delivery between 9am and 7pm any day that I'd like, but "not-so-conveniently" require that I be home in the aforementioned time frame to sign for my package. Unless one of my children has broken an arm off or is running around with a stick in their eye, I wait for that package to come. I rarely go out, but to drop off and pick up kids at school. That window of time you give me is simply unreasonable, therefore making a signature requirement unreasonable. You're not delivering a narcotic. As far as I know, this drug is only useful to people living with Cystic Fibrosis and a select few who may have serious sinus disease. Meet me half way here.

So here's what ruffled my feathers today. I got "the call" right around lunch time. I shoved enough food into my kids mouths to shut them up long enough for me to get through to the clueless human. After about 10 minutes and one period on hold, I was informed that my prescription was expired. Huh, that's funny because last month when we went through this process you informed me that it would be expiring and that you would contact my doctor to ensure that there wouldn't be a hiccup such as the one we're currently experiencing. In case it's not in your notes, you're not sure what happened and you are going to get this taken care of by calling my sons doctor after we hang up. I beat you to it. We hung up, I called them, they will call you, and I will call you back tomorrow to make sure his medication is actual going to ship as you said it would so that I can appropriately plan my Friday at home waiting for his medicine.

My problem here is your complete unreliability and the time burden you put onto someone who does not need anything extra to fill her time. You do not do what you say that you will. There have been times when you have no record of our calls and conversations. I answer the same questions for you over and over, wasting my time and yours, and spend WAY to much time fighting with you about all of this stuff. It's like I'm stuck in a bad relationship but divorce isn't an option. So I'm offering you a solution. I haven't thought it through completely, but I have faith in the project and I have faith that by working together we can make this relationship work. What I'm suggesting is getting involved with the C3N Project. Consider it a counselor who can help us to repair our relationship. We share ideas with each other and others who have walked in our shoes and we work together to find a better way. It's being used with doctors and patients, so why not you too? You're a huge part of the chronic condition world and you should care enough about your patients to want to lessen the burden of living with a chronic disease, even if that means simply freeing up the time spent on one ridiculous phone call every month. We have enough going on.

The C3N was piloted with IBD but we're bringing it to CF and other chronic conditions. This is an invitation for you to be a part of the future of medicine and disease management. Together we can improve outcomes for both of us. Let me know what you think. I can't do this again next month. Check out the C3N website, or watch this video about its practical use and lets work together to see where you fit in. I'm sure we can find a place!


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