BigTexRex

Prescription Renewals

46 posts in this topic

My wife is on Medicare and even though we are full-timing we won't be wondering around until March of next year. Her doctor stated he needs to see her at least every six months for prescription renewal. None of the medications are narcotics, just standard everyday type medications. I don't mind coming back to our old town once a year, but twice? Has anyone else solved this problem? Maybe it's a Texas medical licencing law?

Edited by BigTexRex

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I see my GP once a year and he gives me scrips for the year. What reason does your Doc give you for requiring twice a year visits. Does he expext a change in health or other conditions that require close monitoring. Maybe get another opinion.

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I get my prescriptions written for a year too, a 90 day supply plus 3 refills. Unless you have some reason you must see the doctor getting appointments more often is just a way for them to get paid more.

 

Even if you need blood work, to monitor a drug reaction for example, the doctor can write a prescription for a blood draw and you can get it done anywhere and the results sent back to the doctor.

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Lab work on the road is no big deal. I would question your doctor about why he only writes 6 month RX. Seems to me he is lining his pockets..

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My doctor also writes my scripts for six months; three month supply with one refill. However I just call into his office and he renews the script for another six months. Check to see if that would work with your doc.

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My doctor wanted to see me every six months to monitor my blood pressure and related meds. Once she saw that I was competent in taking my own BP and had reliable testing equipment, she agreed to periodic check-ins by phone or email. I still see her for my annual physicals, and occasionally if we happen to be in the area near the six month point. I usually just let CVS request maintenance prescription renewals when needed.

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I don't think its part of any medical law in any state, but I've also run into docs who prefer to see you every 6 months when writing scripts. I saw it more as a cover your *** preference, more so than a requirement. Sometimes its just a matter of explaining to them that your new lifestyle will not allow seeing them in person every 6 months. Most will work something out to accommodate you, like a phone consultation when you need a script renewed. But if not, its easy to just go see any doc or clinic, wherever you are and explain you need a script refilled. Unless its one of the narcotic type drugs, I've never had a problem getting a script written by any new doc after a brief visit. I rarely see the same doctor every year, even in the towns I return to seasonally. Doctor, dentist, mechanic or repairman; I just use whoever is available when & where I need them, and then move on. Unless you've got some serious condition that needs regular monitoring, and dosage adjustment, I don't see any benefit to returning to the same one every year. For routine checkups and everyday scripts, its just like getting a haircut, you might have a favorite but anyone will do in a pinch.

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Her doctor stated he needs to see her at least every six months for prescription renewal. None of the medications are narcotics, just standard everyday type medications. I don't mind coming back to our old town once a year, but twice? Has anyone else solved this problem? Maybe it's a Texas medical licencing law?

It isn't a Texas law as we have been TX residents since well before we began to travel fulltime and Pam has had chronic medical issues since well before we left Ft. Worth and we only returned annually for renewals of prescriptions and physicals. We did on occasion have to visit a lab along our route to have tests done that were then sent back to her TX doctor. Over the years some of the issues have reached a point where it is no longer practicle for her to do that as she now has some degenerative issues that the doctors involved want to see her more often in person. A great deal depends upon the doctor and the medical problem that is being treated.

 

I suggest that you start by both visiting her doctor or doctors and discuss what you wish to do as a lifestyle and ask them why she needs to come there in person every 6 months and ask if she could just visit a lab along your travel route and have the result sent back to him/her. There are medical conditions that do justify a visit to the doctor more frequently and in such case you do need to return to the same doctor who knows the medical history for the best care.

 

It may also just be her present doctor's practice so it could be that you might be able to convince him to be willing to write her prescriptions for 90 day, three refills situation as is typical for most of us on the road. But that could mean a change of doctors so needs your wife's agreement. We have found that the younger doctors of more recent medical school classes tend to be more inclined to have the patient involved in their own care and medical choices. Pam's doctor gave her guidance on getting a blood pressure device that will take it accurately and record it, which allows her to then share the history with her doctor by email and that might be helpful to your wife as well. Today there are many different things that one can self monitor so bring that possibility into your conversation with doctors.

 

This is not a simple question with one answer that will fit everyone as the twice a year visit might be a part of her doctor's income maintenance plan or there may be a real medical issue that requires more frequent examinations. Start the process by getting both your wife and her doctor/doctors involved in the conversation.

Edited by Kirk

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I have been in conditions where I was to be examined by the doctor every 4 months. The requirement was the examination, not the doctor. I managed to use clinics on the road for the examinations with the results sent to the primary doctor.

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Getting prescription for a one year time is the norm. If she needs lab work you can to to many facilities as you travel - LabCorp, Sonora Quest and many hospitals will also do it. The results can be sent to her doctor to monitor things. Good luck!

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There are certain narcotic meds which Federal Law will not allow prescriptions for more than 6 months, without a revisit to the doc, and I think that they require a paper script, no phone in's allowed.

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I have the DR. write out my Lab slips and we find a Lab Corp about a month before we are due back for the DR. visit. We get perscriptions for a year with four 90 day supplies.

 

The biggest problem is getting the idiots at Optum RX to send to the right address as we move about. WE have tried online as well as on the phone to get the current address, yet they will send them to a previous address or even to the Escapees mail address. We have to fight the address issue about once a year.

 

Ken

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Only when we are in Mesa for the winter do we do a temporary address for our meds, otherwise we have Express-Scripts just send the to our Escapees address - they send me an email when the package arrives and I schedule mail delivery for our next weeklong stop.

 

Barb

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We had the address battle with Express-Scripts for many years most of the time successful. Recently(last year or 2) Express-Scripts updated their system to be similar to Amazon and allows you to choose an address where you want your prescription sent to. Haven't had any problems with the new system at all.

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Looks like something we'll have to solve. Worst case, change GPs.

You aren't the first to have this issue and neither will you be the last so if you will, come back and share the solution that you work out. In most cases there is a workable answer an often it depends upon the doctor understanding your new lifestyle.

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The biggest problem is getting the idiots at Optum RX to send to the right address as we move about. WE have tried online as well as on the phone to get the current address, yet they will send them to a previous address or even to the Escapees mail address. We have to fight the address issue about once a year.

 

Ken

 

 

Although I hesitate to call them idiots, we too have had similar experience in trying to get Optum RX to deal with our changing addresses. At times they even seem to make up addresses, I assume to fit some format that they have in their computer system. We actually got the last order, even though it was shipped to an address of their own design. For simplicity sake I think I will do as Barb suggests and just have them ship to our escapees address and pay the extra shipping just to avoid possible screw ups.

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We had the address battle with Express-Scripts for many years most of the time successful. Recently(last year or 2) Express-Scripts updated their system to be similar to Amazon and allows you to choose an address where you want your prescription sent to. Haven't had any problems with the new system at all.

That's good news because we'll be using Express-Scripts.

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The Express Scripts website can be very slow, confusing and aggravating, the good news is you can call in and get most things done with minimal wait times.

 

As an example today I wanted to remove a prescription from the automatic updates program as I haven't taken all of the pills I have on hand. I figured I'd just schedule the refill manually once I'd taken most of the pills but the website has now locked the prescription for 90 days for no reason that I can see. No big problem as I'll just call in and get it taken care of when I need more but frustrating.

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We found that the auto-refill worked too well and we ended up with a surplus of meds. Several friends of ours have had the same problem. With traveling it is better not to be on auto-refill so you can control when things are more or less sent. Our plan also has vacation refills so before we leave we get vacation refills for everything so we don't need to worry about getting meds on the road until we are someplace for a while. One of my meds is a "specialty" med and needs to be shipped overnight. Never had a problem receiving it on the day promised. Only problem we have ever had has been UPS did not deliver it on the promised day and we had to chase it down, driver came back and dropped it off.

 

Express Scripts is very good about sending reminder notices for refills etc. I wouldn't want to depend on them, I like more control and check at least once a month to see what is due for renewal. Sometimes I will call them and move up the shipping to accommodate our schedule but I try not to have meds shipped when traveling. Just a hangup of mine.

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The four meds that I currently take I will be taking forever so the surplus of meds that I have

are not bad for me. They are cheep meds and they come mail order via Welldyne. My doctor

provides four 90 day prescriptions although I must see him two time per year, pacemaker.

They want to send meds mail order and they will unless they are one time meds and then they cam be picked up at Walgreens or CVS.

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We have found Express Scripts to be greatly improved in most ways recently

You can log on and ADD a temporary address. It can be chgasnged at will. That's the one thing we NEVER had an issue with

We found auto refills don't work. We like controling exactly when to have them shipped works best

 

They even have a phone app that works pretty well and is being continuously updated

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I agree that the auto refills really create a problem. We've had some trouble with the temporary address, mainly in that one of our physicians in Mesa keeps getting our winter address listed as our main address. Seems like Express Scripts has that worked out now, so we keep it simple, just use our Livingston address for when we travel, and our Mesa address for the winter.

 

Barb

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I just buy a years supply at one time at Costco. I pay out of pocket. It is cheaper than using my Federal Health plan.

 

Last time, they did ask they the doctor specify a years supply on the prescription when she calls it in. I cleaned them out last time, since they did not realize I was not doing 90 days.

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We could use some advice on this topic. My wife's doctor has written prescriptions for her maintenance meds for a year in the past, but this time, at the end of her checkup the doctor informed her that she would no longer write for a year. She said my wife would have to find a doctor where ever we are near the end of six months and get them to write her new prescriptions.

 

Because of this, when we are in our winter stay next year, she will be changing doctors.

 

However, we're already into this situation: prescriptions written, meds ordered, good to go for six months.

 

So my question is this: how difficult will it be for her to make an appointment with a doctor somewhere out on the road in a different state and as people just traveling through, and get them to write at least 6 month prescriptions?

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