Hey, wanna look at the math on my butt??

By Mir
August 11, 2004

Number of days I am supposed to wear each hormone patch: 3

Number of hormone patches I am prescribed as a monthly supply: 10

Number of hormone patches that come in a single box: 8

Number of hormone patches I should receive as a 90-day supply from the mail-in service: 30

Number of hormone patches I actually received as a 90-day supply from the mail-in service: 24

Number of boxes that was: 3

Number of people I spoke to at the mail-in service on the phone today: 4

Number of times those people told me that my insurance company will “only” authorize a maximum of 30 patches as a 90-day supply: 8

Number of patches that would come in 4 boxes: 32

Number of patches over the approved maximum that would be: 2

Number of times I told those people that I am not asking for more than the maximum; I am asking for the allowed number, which I was prescribed: 8

Number of times I was told that since they come 8 to a box, I was only allowed to have 24: 2

Number of times I asked if it made any sense to them that I was being shorted necessary medication not because the HMO said no, but because the packaging didn’t fit their math: 2

Number of times I had to explain this comedy of errors to the customer service rep at the HMO before she fully grasped what had happened: 3

Time at which I called said rep: 4:53

Number of times she said “you poor thing”: 5

Number of times she went over the math again and laughed: 2

Number of memos she drafted to the medication standards review board to alert them to the scintillating news that Vivelle Dot comes 8 to a package: 1

Number of faxes she sent on my behalf regarding this matter: 3

Number of times she warned me that rather than increase the maximum to 32, they will probably decrease it to 24: 4

Time at which the HMO rep finished up: 5:17

Statistical chance of the eleven things she did actually fixing this: 1%

Number of times I thanked her, anyway, because she was a coherent and kind human: 6

Number of freebie patches I will continue to receive from my doctor’s office in the wake of this train wreck: More, please.

Number of times anything medical in my life turns out to be straightforward: 0


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