Private programming weaknesses

October 22, 2013

I think I could probably write one of those running counts of a particular phenomenon people often post online — mine would be about bugs and defects in computer programming in the private sector.  Over the weekend it was programming involving a private university and a payroll company.

Today’s entry involves a private medical practice, a pharmacy, and a private insurer.  The doctor wants to send the prescription refills to the pharmacy electronically during the appointment with the patient.  But if he does that, if it’s not time for a refill to be processed, the insurer will reject the prescription, and the pharmacy, apparently, won’t be able to file the prescription for later use.

The doctor suggests calling him shortly before the refill needs to be filled instead.  The patient and their family suggests just giving them the prescriptions printed on paper, which can then be taken to the pharmacy at the right moment.  That way we all avoid problems such as the doctor being on vacation or absent due to illness or accident, and communication glitches.

Progress?  We’ve moved beyond, at least, it seems, what happened to me ten years ago, when I spent a day in my husband’s hospital room on the phone with this same medical practice and this same pharmacy, trying to get prescriptions filled at the end of the month’s supply.  I swore I would try my best not to be put in a similar situation ever again.

In any case, these technological glitches have nothing to do with the government or with Obamacare.  They are easily found, in my experience, in the private sector.

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