Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Medical Supply Drama

I don’t get it.

I just don’t understand it.

Why is it that I cannot find a medical supply company that will just do what it’s supposed to do and when it’s supposed to do it?


Miles gets about $1,200 worth of stuff every month in medical supplies alone. That’s big money coming in for a company and yet he’s not a priority.

I was using a company out of Houston that sent his supplies by UPS. It was a great company called Medco. I used them for quite a while, but there was a major problem between the company and Miles’ pediatrician. Every 6 months all the supplies had to be resubmitted to the insurance company which required lots of paperwork done in a very particular way. For some reason Medco and Dr. Wiley’s office never could get all the right X’s signed so Miles went without several times.

I liked the company but decided that I needed to switch to a local company so if all else failed I could go to the medical place in person or the doctors place in person to make sure all was signed correctly.

I decided to go with Hendrick Medical Supply because it’s with the same hospital as Dr. Wiley. This seemed to be the logical choice. Before I did anything I called Hendrick Supply and told them everything that Miles was getting from Medco. I asked them if it was possible for them to order the same things. “No problem.” Okay, then I asked them about their communication was between them and Dr. Wiley. “No problem.” As a matter of fact they said they had a liaison that went back and forth to offices to make sure all paperwork was signed just right so that wouldn’t be a problem. The lady I talked to was so nice and helpful. She was positive that all would be easy and taken care of.

So, I made the switch. I called Medco and told them that our weekly phone chats about “Where the hell is my son’s stuff?” was over. Of course I didn’t put it that way. I let them off gently like, “It’s not you. It’s me.” No, not really. I told them the complete truth. They tried to keep me, but I had made my mind up.

It’s a good thing that I made the switch when I did because less than a month after I called them to cancel Miles’ stuff the hurricane hit in Houston. There’s no way that he would have been able to get anything from that company.

So anyway, there I was excited about the prospect of a smooth sailing local company that knew Miles’ pediatrician personally and one that seemed to have it all together.

Well, I’ve been dealing with this company since the end of last summer and it’s not been all love and bliss like I thought it would be.

Every single month there’s been some kind of glitch. I don’t think there’s ever been a time when all his supplies were delivered one time without something being left out. I know they haven’t ever come without me calling them to ask, “Where the hell are my son’s supplies?” Of course I didn’t say that…YET.

On the phone and in person the people at Hendrick Medical Supply are so nice. They’re pleasant to talk to and they promise to send supplies, or call back or check on whatever you’re asking them to check on, but they never come through. There’s no follow through. They don’t send supplies when they say they will or if they do then the order is not complete, they’ve never called me back when they said they would and they do not check on what they say they will check on.

I’ve called and talked directly to the person who is supposed to be in charge of Miles’ account. I’ve gone up there with Miles so they could be wooed by his charm as I explained why I need these supplies on time. I’ve called them monthly a few days before his supplies were to be delivered to inform them that we will be needing everything. I’ve gone up there to pick up the supplies myself, but the complete order was still not there.

I don’t get it. There’s no surprises on what Miles will need. They have the list. The list doesn’t change unless it’s been added to by the doctor and gone through insurance. It’s the same main supplies every month and they do not keep them in stock. Why? As a $1,200 a month patient I would think they could keep his supplies pre-ordered.

I’ve thought about switching companies again, but it’s such a pain and there are no guarantees. Am I going to have the same monthly headache with another company?

Here’s what Miles gets every month:
10 packages of Huggies size 5
4 Right Angle Feeding tubes 18 French
1 Suction canister
2 Suction tubing 18 inches
30 Top fill bags for night feeds
1 Nebulizer mask
2 Packages of underpads
4 Bolus feeding sets 18 French
2 Suction tubing 6 inches
1 Nebulizer kit
1 Yaunkauer tapered bulbous suction handle
2 Packages of cleansing cloths
1 Decompression tube 18 French
8 Syringes 10 cc
8 Syringes 20 cc
120 cans of Pediasure with Fiber

To get this accurate list I had to compile 3 partial lists that I’ve received from Hendrick Medical Supply. I’m not sure what to do. I’ve been nice and professional with them, but I’m so aggravated that they can’t seem to get their stuff in order.

Any suggestions?


Anonymous said...

Wow...I especially liked the idea about taking Miles with you so they would be wooed by his charm. I have no idea why that didn't work! I'm not a great person to seek advice about confrontation...because I usually am a wuss. But, I think you should find the most superior person in the med. supply place and have a nice long talk with them about their issues as a company. Maybe schedule an appointment. I don't know. That's all I've got.

Amanda said...

I agree with Cherith. Schedule an appointment and be honest with the person you meet with, let them know you're considering a change if they can't get it together. I'm sorry you have to go through this every month!!!

Rachel said...

I agree. . . go higher up. . . then threaten to go to the media!! That should work! ;)

I'm sorry you're having so much trouble. Doesn't seem like it would be hard at all . . . same thing every month. Hmmm



High in Demand said...

OMG...it's so crazy!

I've talked to Hendrick medical 4 times in the last 2 days and Miles still doesn't have what he needs.

I've been promised twice that the supplies would be delivered and they weren't.

I'm at a loss of words.

Jennifer said...

Here's my plan: Gather all the ninjas you know. Then, go in there with nunchucks, ninja stars, indian burns, and the last John Tesh album. Demand the paperwork to be done correctly or you will play the John Tesh album over the intercom nonstop for the next 72 hours at full blast.

trish said...

Maybe try another company? There are several. If at first you don't succeed- try try again. Or Maybe we could open a medical supply company and you could provide your own supplies to your son?!?