Monday, February 18, 2013

breast pumps: the empire strikes back

i've been putting off writing a follow up to my previous breast pump rental post because i still don't have a resolution and whenever i think about it i get SUPER angry. i blame it on pregnancy hormones. so let's see, where did we leave off? oh yes, i had been referred to another "approved vendor" for hopefully a breast pump rental. that didn't work out so well:

  • 4 days went by, so i finally called CareCentrix and they said they had referred me to one of their vendors 3 days before. Reminder: CareCentrix is a benefit manager- not an actual provider. so they are contracted through my insurance, and THEY refer out to THEIR approved vendors who actually give me the pump. or so they say.
  • I call said vendor, who tells me they are in San Diego and they can't do business outside the San Diego county line. they had called CareCentrix back 3 days before and told them this. Thanks, but no thanks.
  • I call CareCentrix back and they say whoops, the person the vendor left the message with didn't make any notes on this incident. Ok, can you refer me to someone who IS in my network?
  • Another 3 days go by and still no call. I call CareCentrix back- where is my referral? Oh, we referred you to Comfort Care 3 days ago. Gimme their number please!
  • I call Comfort Care- no one answers and there is no answering machine, etc.
  • I call CareCentrix back- is this a real number? They call Comfort Care and say yes, they are there and will call you in 20 minutes.
  • 1 hour goes by, I call Comfort Care and someone finally answers. They tell me yes, they got my referral for a breast pump purchase. Wait, a PURCHASE? my insurance doesn't cover a purchase, only a RENTAL. Oh, we don't have any rentals.
  • This is about the point where i start bleeding tears of frustration. this is getting ridiculous. A number of phone calls back and forth with my insurance and CareCentrix, who assures me that now my insurance approved me for a purchase finally gets me talking to someone who says that since my insurance didn't realize how hard it was to get a rental, they are now covering up to $190 of a purchase. victory? maybe.
  • I call Comfort Care back who has since shredded my paperwork because they thought i wasn't going to purchase anything. We discuss pumps and i finally pick out a Medela. oh, those are extra, you have to pay me $100 on the side, otherwise Comfort Care doesn't make any money. Excuse me? I just got off the phone with CareCentrix who told me never to pay a vendor directly, and you sound SHADY. 
  • I call CareCentrix back and ask for a new referral because i don't feel comfortable working with this vendor who has been unprofessional from the start. They can't reassure me that i will get a new referral because breast pumps are in high demand right now. but i could get a call within 5 days from a new vendor.
  • alright, that's it- no more CareCentrix because you have AWFUL communication and are starting to make me feel like you're shady too. 
  • 2 days later, i find a new vendor, Edgepark Medical Supplies and it seems as if victory has been achieved. their process seems reasonable and they do all the contacting of my doctor and insurance. they even have the breast pump i want and confirmed my insurance works with them. if i have to pay a little extra to them, that's fine by me.
  • 3 days later, i get an email from UPS telling me i have a package coming from Omega Health solutions. What the heck? I call my insurance and see if they approved something from them and they have no idea what i'm talking about. I call Omega and they say, yes, it's the single Medela breast pump you ordered? EXCUSE ME? i have NOT ordered anything of the sort and thanks for calling me and asking me if that's what i wanted! Well, we got your referral from CareCentrix. ahh, i had almost forgotten about you CareCentrix. Omega- please cancel my breast pump- i didn't order that.
  • I call CareCentrix back and inquire about said breast pump and ask if it's normal practice that both they and the vendor never contact their patients, because it's happened to me 3 times now. they say no, of course not. i tell them i don't appreciate them ordering something on my behalf and to remove me from their system forever. breast pump has now been rerouted back to Pennsylvania.
  • i check back with Edgepark via their online system, and now it looks like my breast pump is out of stock due to a nationwide shortage. figures.
i'm PRAYING that my order was processed before this shortage happened because this is the last straw. i will gladly fork out the $275 to buy my own at this point. the stress of saving money was NOT worth it!

1 comment:

  1. WOW! That's horrible! My husband's employer switched to CIGNA from AETNA a month before our baby is due. I had everything settled with the former insurance company and now I just know I'm going to get screwed (since I could not get the breast pump before the change). Thank you for your post though! It will at least help me mentally prepare for the BS I'm about to encounter!