Thursday, February 07, 2013

Granny Bird Award: CVS

This edition of the Granny Bird Award, given from time to time to those who go out of their way to harm the interests and benefits of elders, goes to CVS, the pharmacy chain which has gone into the Medicare business by offering a Part D benefit.  They roped in a lot of elders with their promises of lower prescription prices and then did a bait-and-switch on them.

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said in a letter to CVS' SilverScript subsidiary that its inability to process prescriptions correctly "poses a serious threat to the health and safety of Medicare beneficiaries."

The federal agency blamed the problems on "widespread data system failures" that have "created disruptions in tens of thousands of Medicare beneficiaries' access to prescription medications."

SilverScript handles the drug requirements of about 4 million Medicare beneficiaries.

In Shapiro's case, she told me that she'd ordered a 90-day supply of an estrogen pill that was supposed to cost $85. Instead, SilverScript sent her a 30-day supply running $70.61.

Shapiro said she got the runaround from three separate CVS supervisors until a company representative finally insisted that she had to take what she was given and pay the amount CVS was demanding. ...

Medicare says it received 2,340 complaints about SilverScript in just the first two weeks of January — a rate four times greater than for all other Medicare-approved drug programs combined.   [Emphasis added]

Go read all of David Lazarus's column (link above) to see the lame excuses being offered.  Then write the White House and urge that they push to remove CVS from the approved list of Part D providers. 

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