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Author Topic: CVS Caremark won't ship until they confirm I "really" want my meds?  (Read 2647 times)

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Offline pittman

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Due to my insurance, I have been using mail order for my meds, CVS Caremark for the last two years.  It has always been smooth, on time, and refilled automatically.

Until now.

I have been playing phone tag with CVS for a couple weeks. Some robo call that says to call back with some long string of numbers, which after all finds of verification (no live person) it routed me into yet another automated message that merely said I should call some other number for more important information. (seriously!?)

So I called them, and got through an endless loop of voice menus that did not apply. I figured I was calling to late to get live people, so kept trying back. Today, I final tried just saying "operator" and it switched me to a rep.

i explained the mysterious message and the two weeks late on delivery, and after a few minutes of "reading" my file she said that they were calling because the order was expensive, and they wanted to confirm I really wanted it. She then said was going to look up the amount, and then gasped and told me it was a few bucks short of $2,000 for the order.  I said of course, that was just my insurance and it was what I had been paying since my company moved to a high-deductible plan last year.  She then wanted to make sure that I really wanted the meds, and that was what they did when they were going to charge the patient that much. (She was honestly in shock I think.)

Now it looks like I have to reassure them each time I have to pay a high copayment or deductible and no longer benefit from the supposed auto refill. The only site still says it's on hold to boot, so who knows when or if this will go through, as they never did this to me before.

Has anyone else had this happen, especially those using CVS Caremark?  if so, this will be a real pain, and I wonder if their specialty pharmacy would be better, it looks like HIV is one of the conditions they list for that.


Offline wolfter

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Re: CVS Caremark won't ship until they confirm I "really" want my meds?
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2014, 02:16:58 AM »
I've had mostly positive experiences from CVS's mail order process.  I get the robo call every time I'm due for a refill.  I always dial the same number and instantly hit "4" as a live person always answers.

They are also great with communicating with my doctor if there's an issue. 

Have you considered picking them up at your local CVS pharmacy? I have the option and always decline as I LOVE the convenience of mail order.  OH, and I had to switch to them because I had terrible issues with the previous mail in place.  So maybe switch to a better fitting pharmacy that's available within your plans?

Relationships with pharmacies is a tricky road.    It takes a while to make the best fit....kinda like dating.  ;)

best of luck

Wolfie
Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

Offline pittman

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Re: CVS Caremark won't ship until they confirm I "really" want my meds?
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2014, 09:08:58 AM »
A call each time? Wow, I was really hoping that was just a fluke this time.  I suspected that if I used the Pick Up Locally option it was still a mail order just shipped to a local store. Seems like that would be the same and just add one more level of inconvience. Did you ever try that at all?

Seems to me that their auto refill program was designed for those on long term maintenance drugs. However, forcing you to fight with some robo call system to get to someone just to confirm that you are fully aware of the money you're spending kind of takes away from the efficacy. (Salt in the wound even!)  My payment history would already show I understand.  Anyway, no malice involved, they just want to make sure I will pay them.

They are the only one I can use due to my employer's plan. The only other option looks like maybe their specialty pharmacy as it is still part of CVS. I hesitate to go there though as it looks like they require you to pill count and tell them how many you have left before they will ship the refills.  For me, another annoyance, rather than a benefit. I just thought they may be more sensitive to how important actually getting the meds in my hands would be, and make sure it happened.



Offline RapidRod

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Re: CVS Caremark won't ship until they confirm I "really" want my meds?
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2014, 09:24:51 AM »
I've always had CVS Caremark since being on meds and in 8 years only had one problem where it was sent my mail instead of Fedx or UPS and it was corrected overnite and it was delivered on a Saturday by UPS.

Offline Ann

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Re: CVS Caremark won't ship until they confirm I "really" want my meds?
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2014, 09:29:43 AM »

The only other option looks like maybe their specialty pharmacy as it is still part of CVS. I hesitate to go there though as it looks like they require you to pill count and tell them how many you have left before they will ship the refills.  For me, another annoyance, rather than a benefit. I just thought they may be more sensitive to how important actually getting the meds in my hands would be, and make sure it happened.


If you can currently order your meds well in advance of running out, perhaps you could build up a month or two stockpile before switching to the specialist pharmacy so it's not such a worry about running out. Of course this wouldn't help you much down the line if you have to change your combo.

If you stockpile, make sure you always use the meds with the oldest use-by date first.

What a nightmare - you have my empathy.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline mitch777

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Re: CVS Caremark won't ship until they confirm I "really" want my meds?
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2014, 09:31:29 AM »

 I just thought they may be more sensitive to how important actually getting the meds in my hands would be, and make sure it happened.

Yup, you would think so.  :(

Sorry you are going through this. Really!!

After my experience with Express Scripts, aka. Acreedo, aka. Curiscript, and I think aka. Medco, I have come to the conclusion that their "procedures" take priority over common sense. I often felt like they thought they were shipping vitamins.

I hope for your sake that this month was just a fluke.

m.
32 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline Buckmark

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Re: CVS Caremark won't ship until they confirm I "really" want my meds?
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2014, 09:36:53 AM »
CVS is the pharmacy I have to used under my medical insurance, and I've had good experiences with them.  I stopped using mail order, because I didn't want my meds sitting in a hot mailbox (I live in Texas, so 100+ degrees F isn't unusual in summer).  Plus, after years of be "required" to used another mail order pharmacy (Medco) I like the convenience of being able to go up the street to my local pharmacy.

CVS does have that auto-refill program.  I suspect the pharmacy may not be able to re-use medications that customers really don't want, especially via mail.  I can see customers pitching a fit if they got "used" medications.  Given the high cost of some medications like those for HIV, it would make sense to double-check.  But it should be a very simple process, unlike what you described above.

Cheers,

Henry
"Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things:
     One is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell.
     The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should save it for someone you love."
- Butch Hancock, Musician, The Flatlanders

Offline pittman

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Re: CVS Caremark won't ship until they confirm I "really" want my meds?
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2014, 09:49:43 AM »
If you stockpile, make sure you always use the meds with the oldest use-by date first.

What a nightmare - you have my empathy.

Did and done, which makes this merely really annoying rather than the nightmare it could be.  :D 

If I ever do change drug regimens, I'll see to it that someone will still benefit from any I had on hand. 

Years ago I worked for Stadtlanders which was a mail order pharmacy that came into existence because they saw the problems transplant, cancer and then HIV customers were dealing with! and tried to set up their service for just them.  They were long ago bought out multiple times (eventually by CVS!) and have ceased to be what had made them special as the bigger corporations couldn't replicate what they did for customers.

Offline RapidRod

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Re: CVS Caremark won't ship until they confirm I "really" want my meds?
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2014, 09:55:44 AM »
Pittman, I know what your are talking about with the phone instructions. Here is what you do to bypass it. When it says questions on billing press that number and then let that customer service rep transfer you to the proper person it's faster.

Offline pittman

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Re: CVS Caremark won't ship until they confirm I "really" want my meds?
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2014, 10:11:49 PM »
So this evening I got yet another robo call telling me to call CVS Caremark.  Went through that rigmarole again, less a few menu steps thanks to RapidRod's hint.

Seems like they somehow lost track of the fact that I already called in and "acknowledged" that I have to pay a lot for my meds. They wanted to have me do that yet again.

The guy that took the call looked and confirmed that I had called in already, said the last person must have not clicked the right field to indicate my acknowledgement.  I explained how continued delays can lead to endangering their customers, and that this really can't keep going on. He said he fixed it and will overnight the meds due to the delays.

We will see if this works, but I also asked if there was any way to opt out of this so called high copay warning process. He "made a note" he said, though usually such things have to be part of the system programming as a flag on the account rather than some note in a comments field.

I'll cross my fingers but won't hold my breath. 

Offline ARMANDO

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Re: CVS Caremark won't ship until they confirm I "really" want my meds?
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2014, 08:06:31 AM »
are you not using any co-pay assistance cards provided by the drug companies?i started using cvs specialty mail order and a week later cvs called me with co-pay card numbers and they told me to call the specialty group and  co -pays would be taken care of

Offline pittman

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Re: CVS Caremark won't ship until they confirm I "really" want my meds?
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2014, 08:21:45 AM »
No, I figure that I earn too much. Even if I did have copayment assistance for the drugs, my office visits would then be costing enough that I still would hit my annual out of pocket.

btw, they did final lye get me my meds, but no express shipping as promised. they got to me 6 weeks late.

Offline RapidRod

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Re: CVS Caremark won't ship until they confirm I "really" want my meds?
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2014, 08:47:09 AM »
I've used CVS since being on meds and yes they call each time you are ready for a refill and they go over all the shipping info and a few other questions, if you aren't there to answer the phone or you haven't called them to reorder then your shipment may be delayed. I've only had one problem when it was miss-shipped and they overnighted my shipment for a Saturday delivery.

Offline ARMANDO

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Re: CVS Caremark won't ship until they confirm I "really" want my meds?
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2014, 07:13:35 AM »
i also use CVS SPECIALITY mail order now.I have it set up that they call when the order is ready to ship out.IT will automatically ship out unless i call with a change of address or something else.MY first order was for a 30 day supply but my second order was for a 90 day supply

Offline RapidRod

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Re: CVS Caremark won't ship until they confirm I "really" want my meds?
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2014, 07:21:28 AM »
i also use CVS SPECIALITY mail order now.I have it set up that they call when the order is ready to ship out.IT will automatically ship out unless i call with a change of address or something else.MY first order was for a 30 day supply but my second order was for a 90 day supply
  Depending on your insurance if CVS will do an automatic refill shipment. All my meds are insured and require a receiver signature.

Offline bocker3

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Re: CVS Caremark won't ship until they confirm I "really" want my meds?
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2014, 07:59:12 AM »
  Depending on your insurance if CVS will do an automatic refill shipment. All my meds are insured and require a receiver signature.

Mine are on automatic refill too -- but I have mine delivered to a CVS retail store, 1/2 mile from house.  Then I never have to worry about being here to sign for it.  I simply walk into to the store, go the Pharmacy and they hand me my box of meds.  They all know me by sight now.  Very convenient.

Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2013 691/31% <20

Offline hope_for_a_cure

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Re: CVS Caremark won't ship until they confirm I "really" want my meds?
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2014, 05:08:04 PM »
I've had mostly positive experiences from CVS's mail order process. 

Same here.  Its nice to have the meds delivered to my door by Mr. UPS.  At first I was not too sure about this whole having to call every month thing.  There was some comfort with picking up my Atripla at the pharmacy but hey, its never been late and I have not had any issues in the two plus years of dealing with CVS Caremark.

I always call and speak to a real live person though.  That may be why I have not had any issues with them.  The place I deal with is in Monroeville, PA.

Offline Ann

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Re: CVS Caremark won't ship until they confirm I "really" want my meds?
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2014, 08:04:47 AM »


I always call and speak to a real live person though.  That may be why I have not had any issues with them.


I'm surprised these mail-order pharma companies haven't yet outsourced their call centers to foreign lands as have banks and a lot of other places.

[rant]

I've got nothing against people who don't speak English, but when the person I talk to about my overdraft (for example) can only speak English to the extent of the script in front of them - and don't really understand what they're saying or what's being said to them - it can  cause major problems. It certainly has for me. I've been down that rabbit hole too many times.

One phrase they really need to be taught to understand and respond to is "May I please speak to your supervisor?" Or maybe they just don't "understand" that phrase on purpose. Or maybe my polite use of "may I" and "please" throws them off. ::)

[/rant]

Sorry about the slight off-topic hijack, but it won't surprise me if we start seeing people complaining about their mail-order pharmacy call center people not being able to communicate with them. I hope I'm just being cynical/pessimistic and it doesn't happen, because it will be a nightmare if it does.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline hope_for_a_cure

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Re: CVS Caremark won't ship until they confirm I "really" want my meds?
« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2014, 08:13:32 AM »
I'm surprised these mail-order pharma companies haven't yet outsourced their call centers to foreign lands as have banks and a lot of other places.


Prolly just a matter of time.  I sometimes get the same familiar voice when I call them.  They even offer to transfer you to one of their pharmacists if you want to discuss possible interaction issues or changes in how you are feeling. 

Offline AusShep

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Re: CVS Caremark won't ship until they confirm I "really" want my meds?
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2014, 10:34:48 AM »
I'm surprised these mail-order pharma companies haven't yet outsourced their call centers to foreign lands as have banks and a lot of other places.
...

I wonder if HIPAA has something to do with it?  I've worked in other compliance areas and things get screwy fast if you try to use offshore people.

I really liked mail order with OptumRx spec. pharmacy, the staff were all great and way above what you'd expect.  After OptumRx took over all of UHCs business, the operator pool got much larger and wasn't as good, but still in the US for sure.  The thing I liked about mail order was that it was easy to refill at 26-28 days every time and get a month of meds in reserve over a year.  Now at CVS the refills are 30 days on the nose but since I have some reserve I don't have to run to store when I'm out of meds or worry about a refill due when I'm out of town.

 


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