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nutsnberries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 11:53 AM
Original message
Doctors & Prescriptions - can you settle something?
Can a doctor tell if their patient has their prescription filled or not?

I say 'no'. Once they write the prescription, the doctor can't tell if you have it filled.
My friend says 'yes' - the doctor can tell if you fill it, when you fill it, how many refills you went back for etc.

This all started because her doctor mistakenly wrote two prescriptions for the same inexpensive generic medication she takes. I mentioned that she could go to different drugstores and fill them both... she's not putting a claim on insurance for this, just paying out of pocket.

I figured there are DUers that would know the answer to this better than either of us...

thanks in advance!
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mainer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
1. The doctor would have to check with the specific pharmacy
Doctors don't follow up on whether patients fill their prescriptions. They don't have the time.
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nutsnberries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. that's one of the reasons i gave her but
she thought the doctor got notified of the fill by the pharmacy, not that the doctor had to go out of her way to check.
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SPedigrees Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 12:00 PM
Response to Original message
2. A doctor would only know if a script they wrote had been filled twice IF
1) Two pharmacies called the doctor with questions about the rx order, for instance if handwriting was illegible or type (capsules or liquid) of a particular drug was not specified.

2) If a doctor realized mistake and proceded to call all area pharmacies.

Neither possibility seems likely.
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haele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 12:02 PM
Response to Original message
4. The doctor never knows if we have the prescriptions filled -
Back when the kidlet was non-compliant, we'd keep getting scrips but not get any meds. We had scrips that were three/four months old that weren't filled.

The pharmacy doesn't bill the doctor, they bill you or the insurance company. And the insurance company doesn't care if you fill a scrip or not. Until they get the scrip from the pharmacy, they don't even know that the doctor has prescribed anything unless the doctor previously called to see if the medication he or she wanted to prescribe would be covered. They might not even know if the doctor gave you meds at the office visit, depending on whether or not the meds were billed (Laz's doctor does not bill B-12 shots when he needs them, nor does his Rhumetologist bill the occasional cortisone shot).

Haele
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Jokerman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 12:07 PM
Response to Original message
5. My doctor doesn't even remember what he has prescribed.
He whips out that pad and writes them so quickly that sometimes he doesn't even make a record of it.

More than once I've had the pharmacy call him to refill a scrip that he wrote only to find out his office has no record of the original.

I'm thinking seriously about changing doctors.
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. doctors here don't hand write scrips anymore
They type what they want into the computer and it is printed out and then they sign it.
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. or it gets emailed to the pharmacy of your choice
as happens in small town where I get medical care ::snort, if you wanna call it that::
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. You should, that's dangerous
My doc writes it down right in front of me, and that's the way it should be. I also tell him about stuff other docs have prescribed since the last visit.

It goes on his note and then it goes on the scrip.

It also helps if you go to only one pharmacy. Your pharmy will provide that final check to make sure you're not getting something you've reacted badly to in the past or will interfere with other meds. Unfortunately, we uninsured people often have to price shop.
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moondust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 12:24 PM
Response to Original message
9. Yes, absolutely.
Edited on Mon Sep-21-09 12:30 PM by moondust
I know from experience that it happens all the time.

For example, an ER doctor has to know if a patient has filled his/her previous prescription for a narcotic pain medication before he/she can write another narcotic prescription for obvious reasons.
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nutsnberries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. i think there should be a check on addictive meds &that's what got me thinking
that my friend might be correct, that pharmacies do send notice to the doctor.

The medication she takes does not fall in the addictive category. Maybe doctors can check but usually don't?
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moondust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. I think they only check
Edited on Mon Sep-21-09 01:56 PM by moondust
if for some reason they need to know. I think they have access to pharmacy records rather than the pharmacy sending out notices because typically it is not necessary.

Another example is anti-seizure medications. If a patient comes into the ER after having a seizure the ER doc may want to check to see if the patient has filled his/her prescription in the process of determining if the patient actually has and is taking the medication.


edit: Oh yes, usually a doctor can simply call the pharamacy during normal business hours and ask if a prescription was filled.
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nutsnberries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. thanks. my doctor seems to see a lot of info on her computer screen...
sometimes I wonder what she's seeing!
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SPedigrees Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Any drugs under DEA jurisdiction come with a unique set of hoops docs must jump through.
Edited on Mon Sep-21-09 12:49 PM by SPedigrees
I'm assuming the meds on the duplicate prescriptions in question do not fall into this category.
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nutsnberries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 12:56 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. that makes sense. no, these meds aren't in that category.
thanks.
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madmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 12:58 PM
Response to Original message
14. Nope I can attest to that. My doc did the same thing, I have to use a mail order pharm because of
insurance. They both went to said mail order pharm, I ordered both got both. This was about a year ago. So far nothing has been said or done.
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nutsnberries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. both went thru insurance? now that surprises me!
but i suppose they're happy to get your copay.
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madmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Yep, It kind of shocked me too but like you said, as long as they get their money.
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SPedigrees Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. It wouldn't necessarily arouse insur co suspicions.
Edited on Mon Sep-21-09 01:50 PM by SPedigrees
My shrink used to meet with me twice a year, and wrote several prescriptions for my anti-depresssant medication each time. Enough to supply me for the next six months. These scripts were marked with the same date, for the same medication. I doubt this was an uncommon practice.

Any chance the two scripts were written intentionally?

BTW the copay $ goes to the pharmacy, not to the insurance co. The insurance co is paying, not getting paid, for each rx.
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nutsnberries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. two scripts were written intentionally for my friend but
only because she had run out of the medication and hadn't received the prescription that the doctor had written in the mail after several days. She called and spoke to the doctor's nurse who had another prescription written (same doc or different doc - i'm not sure) and the nurse put it in the mail herself. My friend got the prescription the nurse took care of and got the other one that the doctor sent thru office channels a few days later.
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Freddie Stubbs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 02:01 PM
Response to Original message
19. It depends on the state
Some states maintain a database for controlled substances that are dispensed. This is to catch people who are 'doctor shopping,' going to multiple doctors in order to get duplicate prescriptions.
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