Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Joys of Going to a Military Medical Clinic and its Pharmacy

The biggest thing I am probably looking forward to with my husband retiring from the Navy in less than a year (besides his not traveling so much), is not having to go to the doctor on base and use the base pharmacy if that doctor gives me a prescription. While I am aware there are also issues with civilian doctors, you can usually change to another doctor within your insurance system. Trying to do this within a small military clinic, that will most likely not even be in existence within 5 years, is extremely difficult. Our clinic is now down to two groups of doctors with only 3 doctors in each group, and two doctors in pediatrics. Most of them come here when they are ready to retire. They have very little time for their patients since there are so many of us and so few of them. The Commanding Officer has a lot to do with that problem since numbers show better on paper. I have a couple of issues that I need dealt with. I am not asking that they be fixed tomorrow, just that it at least looks like they are trying to help. I am still pushing for information. I have another appointment next week. Did I mention I have to be there 20 minutes early? I just to want to feel like I am more than just a number.

Couple this with the inefficiencies of our pharmacy. If they were a single pharmacy that relied on their pharmaceutical services to survive, they would go under. If you have a new prescription, you have to take a number. There are three levels of numbers: A) active duty in uniform, B) new prescriptions, C) called in or internet refills. Even if you have just come from the clinic, your prescription will not be filled until you have gone up the first time to request it. In other words, they do not fill the prescriptions sent over from the clinic. Apparently they do not see those prescriptions until they bring up your name. It may take you 45 minutes to get up there to request your prescription. It will most likely be an additional 30-45 minutes to get your prescription. Unacceptable, but they refuse to change anything.

Now, when I see a civilian provider (my neuro or psych), I get a paper prescription and get it filled at Giant. I pay $3 for each one. They are efficient. My scripts are ready within 20 minutes (this includes line waiting to hand them my script). I then get my nasty gram from the military insurance system telling me I only have so much money left to get scripts from out in town and I really should use the base pharmacy. Umm, no!

I am so sick of this. I know where I will be going already. The practice has one of the doctors I used to see on base, before she got forced off by the current C.O. I will be glad to see her again!!

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