The letter said my patient's prescription authorization was expiring next month, and that I needed to fill out and resubmit the forms to get it covered for another year. Okay, I do that a lot, too.
But this letter, in the interest of protecting patient privacy, didn't give me their name. Or the medication. Or their diagnosis. Not even an ID number or birthday. Zilch. Zip. Nada.
In fact, across the top of the letter it said:
And I must admit they were right. The only name on the letter was my own.
So what am I supposed to do? I want to help the patient, but a quick look at my computer says I currently have 1,043 active patients. At least 278 of them are on a medication that requires me to re-authorize once a year. I can't start calling all of them, either. Ones who are coming due in the next 2 months? 44 per my machine. That's still too many for a random guess.
No easy answer here.
Sadly, the way these things usually play out is I'll only know who it is because they go for a refill and are told the medication is no longer covered because uncaring Dr. Grumpy never bothered to do the authorization. So they call and yell at me because they're not going to get their medication "AND IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT!" (my kids love that line, too).
I'm a big believer in patient privacy. I work hard to protect it. But when information about a patient, and a potentially life-saving medication for them, is kept secret from the very doctor who's prescribing it... We've reached a new level of insanity.
|Franz Kafka (not my patient)|