Magazine article Drug Topics

Don't Shoot the Messenger!

Magazine article Drug Topics

Don't Shoot the Messenger!

Article excerpt

Often (even daily), pharmacists must tell patients that their new $125 prescription is not covered by their insurance. Shopko pharmacist Mark Jacobs has found a way to deftly step out of the role of middleman, while letting patients know he's on their side.

"Rather than say what we can't do-or, 'You're rejeced'-we like to tell patients what we can do for them," he explained. And what he and other R.Ph.s in Shopko's Beloit, Wis., store can do is put patients in touch with their insurance company right there in the pharmacy. It takes a plan, a firm voice, and having the patient just a phone cord-length away (with just a dash of acting thrown in for good measure).

"If we find it's going to be difficult to relay to them that something's not covered, and they start to become angry, we've learned to step back and assume that we know nothing. And that's very hard to do, because, as pharmacists, we need to make quick decisions on a daily basis, based on our knowledge, and they have to be accurate or the consequences can be serious," he said. …

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