Saturday, February 28, 2009

Weirdest. Day. Ever.

Yesterday was so strange. I hope we never have a day like that again, even though it was mildly entertaining.
Paramedics were called to the store 3 times. A kid fell out of a cart and hit his head on the floor. A lady had what we think was a heart attack. The 3rd person, I don't know the story, but when I saw the medics, they were getting a backboard ready.
We spent most of the day trying to find out if someone was dead or alive. Yup, you read that right. We had faxed a request to a doctor to change a prescription for a product we couldn't get. The doctor's office called us and said that the patient had passed away on January 7th. Looking at the profile, we knew something was fishy, because all of her prescriptions had been picked up regularly since then. One was a controlled substance (which sent up red flags), but none of the others were. She was on Medicare, which made us think of Medicare fraud - but what were these people doing with her insulin? So, we started making phone calls... Back to the doctor - "How do you know she died?" "Hospice notified us" OK. Call hospice, using the phone number the doctor's office provided. They never heard of her, but apparently, there are multiple home health branches of that company. Leave a message at one. Call the person who signed for the scripts (but try not to let on we think she's dead, in case there is some sort of fraud going on) - she is the patient's caregiver, and she speaks of the patient in the present tense. Call the local AND state health departments, check to see if there's a death certificate on record. No such luck, but converting from paper to computer records can be delayed. Back to the doctor - "Are you sure hospice told you she died?" "Yes. We even sent a sympathy card to the family. They never called us to say it was wrong." Odd, you would think if she didn't die, the family would ask why the doctor sent a card. FINALLY, nearly 6 hours later, we hear back from the hospice company. The patient was released from hospice to an adult family home. Call that number... "She's not dead. She's sitting right here, want to talk to her?"
Alrighty then... Call the doctor's office back. They're happy to hear she's alive, agreed to change the script.
So. How did this happen? We figure that hospice told the doctor that the patient was no longer on hospice, and the office just ASSUMED (we all know what that makes us!) that it meant she died. You know, sometimes people do get better. What I still can't figure out is why on Earth the family didn't question a sympathy card sent from the doctor's office....

1 comment:

Pharmacy Chick said...

You know, I can understand that postiion. Hospice is usually the end of the road...terminally ill. There aren't many people who are released from hospice in an "alive" state. Thankfully, OUR hospice has a place for the indication of "deceased", and the date.
Once tho we had a patient who had died but her sister cleverly hid her passing. She didn't have insurance and she was on some serious narcotics. Because the Dr had given her refills on her pills, Sister 1 filled everything for about 2 months after the patient had died and was careful not to tell us. We caught on when sister 2 came in. We asked how so&so was doing and she said "She died 2 months ago". We told her about the rx's and she discovered her other sister's deceit and subsequent drug abuse.