Drug Seeker for BP Meds?!


Here is an unfortunate review of an urgent care encounter on one of the popular review sites:


 [quote style=”boxed”]DO NOT GOHERE! This business, not doctor’s office, is out for money.  It was obvious within minutes of treatment.  The receptionist actually turned a sick patient away because they didn’t have identification.  The PA that treated me was worried about filling a non-narcotic prescription that I have been taking for 3 years.  Her advice:  call the doctor you saw in another state 6 months ago and see if they can give you your blood pressure medication.  After $114, I feel more like I was taken advantage of in a business deal instead of actually being treated by a medical professional.[/quote]


It is normal operating procedures to provide urgent care services for travelers, coming or going, out of town guests or just traveling through and needing care.  OK, yes, there are certainly drug seekers who “forgot their wallet”, don’t have id, method of payment, etc.

But BP meds?!

Could this be a noncompliant patient jumping around from doctor to doctor to get BP refills just to avoid having to go for that stress test or ECHO recommended by their primary?  Sure.  But if this is the first encounter, give the patient the benefit of the doubt.  If the story is they’re traveling through, visiting relatives, etc., and ran out of BP meds, isn’t that what we do?

So do an exam, check the BP, make sure they are not having any signs of decompensation.  Call the primary if need be and coordinate a follow up plan.  Make it clear to the patient you are happy to assist them with their refill, and you are coordinating a follow up visit for their convenience with their treating physician.  Give them a copy of the encounter to bring to their physician, or send/fax/e-transmit to their doctor directly.

Create an exceptional patient experience by being as helpful as you can — think how you’d want to be treated if you were in that predicament.

What’s your policy for providing refills for chronic conditions?

Image credit: <a href=’http://www.123rf.com/photo_11454644_blood-pressure-measuring-doctor-and-patient.html’>kurhan / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

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3 thoughts on “Drug Seeker for BP Meds?!

  • JoANn

    If the patient actually got in to see the PA it was an appointment whether the client was satisfied or not. That is a chagre. However, I would have checked with the pharmacy and or PMP to see wht was going on. IF they are visiting, give enough until a few days after returning home. If they need to see the PMP ro get a new script, make an appt and rx enough for until the next appointment. If they are new to town, make them your client, sign a release and get moving. When we are so rigid that a client never pulls one over on us we are burned out. If it happens all the time we need to smarten up. HOwever, we are not giving enouigh info to know what truly happened. As anyone of us could be the one this client is mad at we need to be more sensitive to other professionals until we have all of the information.
    The patient saw a provider. They should be billed. Other than that we don’t know anything.

    • Lawrence Earl, MD Post author

      Joann, we certainly don’t have all the information, and we can’t condemn anyone without all the facts, you are absolutely correct. But it has spurred some positive dialogue about we should try to handle this type of situation to provide excellent service whenever possible.

  • Lois Iepson, MS, CNP

    Even a Pharmacy would provide an emergency supply of non narcotic medications if the patient had an empty bottle. Yes, her Physician could be contacted as well to verify. How can there be charges if NO service was performed? Something sounds “fishy.”