For those of you out there that are unfamiliar with the process that happens behind the counter at the pharmacy (although I doubt anyone but pharmacy people read this), I'm going to go through a step by step guide to how it works.
1. You hand me the prescription. This is pretty simple stuff that 99% of people understand.
2. I look at the name on the prescription and ask "Have we filled for (name) before?" There are only two answers to this question.
1) "Yes." 2) "No."
A third possible answer, "I don't know," is not what I am looking for, but I can understand if you really do not know. That's ok.
If you answered "Yes," or "I don't know," skip down to #4
3. I will ask, "Do you have insurance?" This is always a tricky question, because some people will just say "Yes," and about 90% of the time it's "Yes, we have MA." They then stare at me until I say, "Well, can I see the card?"
This is when you have your first opportunity to either be a pain-in-the-ass customer or a good customer.
If you say, "No, I don't have the card on me, don't you have the number from when we checked in?" I will want to punch you. No, we do not have the number. My computer system is completely different than the clinic's system. I will then direct you out to the clinic to obtain the number from the receptionist. She will not be happy.
Of course, if it isn't my state's or any neighboring state's MA or BCBS number, you're fucked. There are too many different processors and BIN numbers and especially group numbers to keep track of them all. Go find your card and come back.
If you say "Yes," and hand me a card, I will not dislike you.
Skip to #5.
4. I will pull up the patient's profile; if I see we haven't filled anything for that person this year, I will ask if your insurance information has changed since then. If it has, you better hand me that card.
5. Once I have the profile all set up, I will ask if there are any allergies to medications. Do not tell me "pollen." We do not dispense pollen in my pharmacy.
6. This is all the information I need. I will tell you it will be a few minutes. Take a step back, sit in a chair, and wait. Do not hover around the drop-off area. I will be able to feel your eyes on me, and while it does not make me nervous like it did when I first started working in a pharmacy, it does make me want to choke you.
7. Once the prescription is entered and successfully made it through insurance, I will then fill the prescription while the pharmacist checks to make sure it is correct.
8. If everything is peachy-keen, the pharmacist or I will ring you up, get you through HIPPA, insurance signatures, and about 1/3 of OBRA 90 (maybe 1/4). You are then free to leave. Please do so.