M.N. asks from Fort Myers, FL on April 11, 2010
Questions About Adhd Medication
I apologize in advance that this might be a little long, but I really need some help from other moms in the area.
A little background....My daughter was diagnosed w/adhd last May. She's been taking concerta and it's really helped her focus. Until about a couple of weeks she had no issues swallowing it. After trying everything I calledf the Dr and she switched to a different time release pill that we could put in food. Because her medication is a controlled substance, I have to pick up a prescription every month and then take it to get re-filled , which is kind of a pain. A couple days ago I got a bill in the mail and on it were 3 charges for the 3 times we've picked up the prescription this year. I discovered that they'd been doing this about 2 month after she started on the meds, I complained and I know that I was not charged the next month. Last year I was on a different insurance and everything went directly to them so I assumed that it was all taken care of after that. So I looked through all of my records and sure enough they've been charging me $45 a month just to pick up a prescription all along! My husband and I are furious that they've been charging us to pick up a piece of paper!! So my questions, is this normal procedure? also, is it normal to have to sign for adhd meds that are labeled a controlled substance? We love our pediatrician, but I'm not going to continue to pay $45 a month on top of the cost of the medication, just to pick up the script. Do you have a pediatrician in the McKinney area that you love? (preferably a woman b/c I think it'll be easier as she starts puberty in a few years) also, I recently heard of another time release adhd medication that is not a controlled substance called Stratera. Does anyone have any experience with this medicine? likes, dislikes?
Thank you so much your help mommies!!
S.L. answers from Dallas on April 12, 2010
any controlled substance is a monthly prescription. i pick up my son's Concerta monthly. a pain? sure. but worth the results! do i pay for the prescription? heck no! that i would kick up a fuss about.
S.S. answers from Santa Barbara on April 11, 2010
Hi, my son is also on Concerta. Yes, I have to pick up a prescription every month, but no, I don't have to pay for that prescription from the peds. My ped has even offered to write me 3 months worth in advance, because we have to drive an hour to his office. I cannot get them filled all at once because the insurance only allows 30 days at a time (controlled substance). I would think twice about switching up medication because it's inconvenient. If your daughter is having success on Concerta with minimal side effects, count that as a blessing. If you are serious about looking at new medication, there is a great Facebook ADHD page where you can ask others about their/their children's success on Stratera or other meds. It's a pretty tight community and people are very vocal. Much like this community... ;-) I would also see if there is a new medical biller at your peds office. She might be charging when she shouldn't. Some medical billers are incentivized by how much $ they are able to recover from clients and insurance companies.
K.K. answers from Dallas on April 13, 2010
That is ridiculous. Absolutely not, I would not pay it. That is like telling a teacher they get paid for filling out report cards; seriously---it is part of the job. Insurance companies only require a copay if you SEE the doctor, but still, I am sure your copay is not $45. That is crazy. Never heard of that before.
I love my pediatrician, but she is in Frisco. I HAPPILY drive to Frisco from McKinney.....she is holistic and incorporates alternative with medical....best of both worlds for us.
S.B. answers from Dallas on April 12, 2010
Actually I have heard that some physician offices are charging to write prescriptions (especially for controlled substances) and to fill out paperwork when they do not see the patient (when an office call can be billed). They are still required to pull the chart, review the chart to make sure the medication is still warranted and when it was last filled, write the script and in the case of a controlled substance, keep track of the prescription. I don't know the specific FDA rules that apply, but recordkeeping is required and physicians can be fined if they do not meet all of the steps.