The Pharmacy Chick

Flying the coup in retail

A deck of cards

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 9:42 pm on Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Nobody likes loyalty cards less than the Chick, but they keep coming in and I suppose its better that I get the sale than having the Dr hand out samples by the bag full.

Not only do the reps hand out cards to the doctors, but now they hand them out to me to use with the rx’s I get.  Honestly, I don’t mind the one-timers that I use and pitch.  I am not a big fan, however, of the ones that can be used monthly. I have resorted to telling the customer that if they have a multi month split bill then THEY need to keep track of it and verify its billed. If I remember, great, but if I dont, do not get pissy with me.

What I dont understand is why some PBM’s (including one huge one)  do not allow cards. What difference does it make to them if the customer gets money off their copay.  If the PBM doesn’t want to cover the drug, then don’t cover the drug. What the hell do they care if their member gets the copay marked down?   Likewise, I think is a shame that the Medicare D enrollees cannot use them.  Again, if the plan doesnt’ like the drug, then dont cover it, but I dont see it fair to accept the claim, charge the patient an exhorbitant copay and then deny them a way to get it cheaper. After all, its this group of people who could best benefit from this savings.

To the Chick, it seems rather obvious.  But hey, I dont write the rules. 

I like to eat out, and I like to dine out with coupons.  It seems that more and more restaurants offer dining discounts from a few dollars off all the way to free entrees.  Imagine if I owed $30 for a meal and I put my Visa card and a coupon on the bill-tray and the server comes back and says “You can’t use the coupon if you pay for it with a VISA, Visa has a rule that prohibits it.”  Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it.  Well, thats how it sounds to a patient when I have to explain that their insurance cards prohibits any coupons on their copays.

It makes no sense to the Chick…..



Comment by CT

March 25, 2009 @ 10:55 pm

Wow, some plans prohibit it? I knew Medicare/Medicaid doesn’t allow vouchers, but I’ve never heard of private plans stopping them. Medco.

How does one know if a plan doesn’t like it? How can they even tell?
when you split bill the original billing info goes with it apparently. I don’t know the dynamics…


Comment by Josh

March 26, 2009 @ 10:26 am

I personaly think its great that medicare/medicaid does not allow vouchers to be used they often promote expensive medications that the patient really just doesn’t need for example I had a medicare patient with some 30 dollar off amrix coupon. I told them I couldn’t bill it with medicare but I could try and call the doctor and just get him to go with some normal cyclobenzaprine that they just take twice a day and save 250 dollars that helps them stay away from the donut hole.

Now I do understand there are some times an expensive brand name only needs to be used and coupons could help there but for most part I think they just encourge use of expensive medications that aren’t needed.
Josh, I understand their rationale, but I still feel that IF they decide to cover a drug, then they shouldn’t deny the person the ability to use a loyalty card. It all falls under the anti-kickback statute that prohibits the offer of any financial incentive to use the benefits of somebody covered by a govt entity. So I understand the reasons WHY they dont, but if they really want to make a dent in the costs of the meds, dont cover these offensively expensive entities in the first place and let the loyalty card stand on its own.


Comment by Jade

March 26, 2009 @ 10:45 am

I don’t know why Medicaid does not allow vouchers. I remember going through pharmacy school in the late 70’s with assistance of WIC vouchers and attempting to use the newspaper store coupons to bring down the price to whomever was funding WIC. I was 22 at the time and it seemed logical.
Federal anti-kickback statute. Prohibits the offering of any financial incentive to intice a person receving govt benefits (medicare/caid, champus, tricare, VA) Thats why they cannot use gift card promos, etc. either.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>