I am in the middle of some serious issues with a medical supply company. (Not the one in this story. I am not recommending this company since I have never dealt with them).
Since I have had so many problems, I thought I would run this article and (hopefully) save some other patients some problems. (And learn from my own mistakes).
I had one company I was using the doctor’s office placed me with initially for my insulin pump and supplies (without telling there are options). My orders and Explanation of Benefits my Insurance carrier sent me showed extremely exaggerated prices. When I called the insurance fraud line, they told me to contact the company directly. Apparently it is common practice to inflate prices because, as my insurance company told me; they pay by previously arranged agreements, and not by what the company may have submitted. (Make sure your supply company HAS previously arranged insurance agreements!) The problem begins with the second company I ordered from. They submitted similar prices; however, they were NOT a preferred provider. which they conveniently failed to tell me. I am now waiting for reversal of the charges through the insurance carrier so I can order my supplies from the first (more reputable) company. The clock is ticking and the supplies are thinning while I wait. (Or I could pay the $5,000 the company claims are the costs of my supplies).
Selecting a Medical Mail Order Supplier
Tips for Choosing a Medical Mail Order Supply and Pharmacy Service
Mail order medical supply and pharmacy companies can save consumers time, money and hassles. But with hundreds of mail order providers offering the same products at the same prices, it’s hard to know where to shop. One key to selecting the right mail order supply and pharmacy partner is to ensure the company is reliable and reputable.
Marc Wolf, founder and CEO of Diabetic Care Services (www.diabeticcareservices), a leading mail order provider of diabetic supplies and prescriptions, offers some basic tips for selecting the right mail order partner.
Product Offering: Before you commit to a particular provider, make sure they sell all of the items – including the specific brand names – you prefer. One of the major benefits of mail order is the ability to do all your purchasing from one source, so it is important they have all the things you are looking for.
Specialists vs. Generalists: Some mail order companies focus on servicing consumers with specific conditions or diseases, while others offer products for a wide range of health needs. Diabetic Care Services, for example, focuses solely on diabetes care. This specialization allows the staff to be completely versed and committed to helping consumers with a specific disease or condition. On the other hand, a full-service provider offers products for more conditions, but is less likely to offer personalized service.
Private Insurance or Medicare: Most mail order providers accept private insurance and Medicare, and they will often handle all the paperwork. Contact the companies you are interested in and ensure that your insurance is accepted. If not, ask the customer service representative to contact your insurance provider to find out if the insurance company will add the company as a preferred provider.
Pharmacists: Not all mail order supply companies have a pharmacy. Ask if the company has a pharmacy; and if so, ask how many pharmacists are on staff and if they are available to talk to customers.
24/7 Customer Service: Check the company’s hours for both their customer service and pharmacy. Learn how your call is handled when you call after hours, and if you can order supplies or medications online.
Free delivery: Many mail order supply and pharmacy companies offer free delivery anywhere in the country. However, some have stipulations. Read the fine print and have a clear understanding if and when the shipping will be free.
Personal Service: Inquire about customer service and learn how readily available and knowledgeable customer service representatives are. Are customers assigned dedicated customer care and billing representatives, or are they always talking to a different person? Some providers encourage the development of relationships with their customers. Some do not.
Automatic Shipment: Automatic medication shipments can save consumers time and eliminate the hassle of calling in to reorder. Inquire if the company has an automatic shipment program and the process for removing the automatic shipment feature if you move or go on vacation.
Delivery Time: Most mail order supply and pharmacy companies have perfected fast delivery; however, make it a point to discover how quickly you can expect your order on your doorstep. Delivery time may very depending on how close you are to warehouse locations.
Satisfaction Guarantee: Learn what the company’s protocol is for replacing and/or returning medical supplies or medications you are not satisfied with. It will help eliminate frustration and panic should an issue occur.
About Diabetic Care Services
Diabetic Care Services, headquartered in Cleveland, is one of the nation’s leading mail order durable medical equipment suppliers dedicated exclusively to diabetic supplies and prescription medications for patients with diabetes. For both Medicare and private insurance customers, Diabetic Care Services delivers one-stop shopping, 24/7 personalized customer service and free doorstep delivery on more than 1,000 brand name diabetes supplies and prescription medications. For more information, call 800.633.7167 or visit www.DiabeticCareServices.com