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American Diabetes Month 2015: Day 10 - Ordering Supplies

Day 10.  33.33333333333333333333333333333333% of the way through this month, and I feel like I could probably post more every day than I come up with on a single day, but then I'd have to have more time in the days.  Today, I want to talk about supplies.  This includes supplies for my insulin pump, glucose meter, prescriptions, all of it.

I've been rocking my new insulin pump for nearly three months now which means it's time to re-order supplies.  Previously, when I would get insulin pump supplies, I'd get a three-month supply plus an extra box, so that I can wait until the 3-month point for the supply reorder.  With my new pump, I did not get this extra box, so I have to open my order earlier.  The issue with ordering and getting insurance to cover the cost is that there is always a problem (at least for the first re-order after getting a new device).  While there have been a lot of improvements in this process, there have still been many systematic issues with the process that I've gone through, most notably the lack of communication in the extremes of situations.

The top reasons my orders get help up are as follows:

The top reason an order gets held up is because of insurance.  At the beginning of the year, this tends to be the reason why I'm stressing about orders of pump supplies.  While it's not a huge deal as long as I'm on top of everything, but when I'm stressing, it's a fairly large annoyance.  Once I have a comfortable relationship with the company where I'm ordering from, to get an idea of how to cope with the system.  The worst systems require me to call for someone to click a button and I have no option to trigger this in any other way.  This issue happens to be just a click of a button on the ordering side, but requires a call to get this taken care of.  A stale order usually doesn't cause a notification on the end of the medical supply company.  Something that I wrote about yesterday is that software organizations need to eat their own dog food, but I think this goes double for companies who work in the customer service business.

The second reason an order gets held up is because of a prescription.  This is something that you can avoid a BIT by notifying your physician prior to ordering/re-ordering, but that issue usually just means that someone is out of the office.  In some cases, the medical supply company or pharmacist is sending the prescription request via electronic message or fax, but doesn't confirm that the request made it to the destination.  This could be fixed with a bit more customer service (at least until the system improves) where there's a call to confirm the capture of this request, especially with a faxed request.  The most frustrating thing for a diabetic patient (or any chronic illness patient) to deal with is having to make calls to get something completed that should be a one single call to complete.


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