I just had the unfortunate experience of making my second trip to our (generally great) pharmacy in two days.
I wanted to pick up Freestyle test strips to use with the OmniPod PDM. I am trying to convince Eric to use that as his primary meter as he always has it on him. He’s been lax lately about taking the Freestyle Lite meter out of the car and his Dexcom has been unreliable lately. So I’m searching for a solution. He felt the PDM wasn’t as accurate using the Freestyle Lite test strips. So I contacted our CDE, she went through the pre-authorization steps that United HealthCare requires. I am alerted both by the CDE and by Costco Pharmacy that the RX is ready for pickup.
First trip, they’ve filled the RX with Freestyle Lite strips. Nope, sorry, we need Freestyle strips. They have them, they run the approval and text me to come back to get the RX.
Round two, I arrive and while they have the strips they don’t seem to be approved to be paid by my insurance at all (and the RX was unfortunately written for 5x a day, which isn’t enough when using the meter and no CGM. But I don’t want to argue because I’m exhausted and just want the strips. I can argue next month when I have more energy.) So she reruns it and UHC bounces it again. The super nice pharmacy tech tells me to call United HealthCare, so I decamp to the Depends aisle to make my call.
After 23 minutes on the phone (with a wonderful, but limited by a very stupid system, RN who was helpful) I have found that our endo needs to call yet another number and speak with yet another human to get approval for more than 50 strips a month.
At which point I made it clear I wasn’t pissed at the lady on the phone but I wanted my ire recorded so hopefully someone who gives a hoot at UCH would realize that when you tell a person with T1D that they can test their BG 1.66 times a day your insurance company WILL wind up paying for complications.
And I know, I know, I can just go buy test strips over the counter. But I feel like if my freaking insurance company is going to approve and supply me with a pump with an included, built in meter - the option to have strips for that meter should be on the table!!!
So now I have to go back to Costco tomorrow, hopefully, and waste more of everyone’s time. And my CDE has to make another phone call.
And all because our healthcare system completely lacks any transparency. It should not take three people five separate phone calls to different numbers at one organization to figure out the answer to one simple question.