Dad's AL charges huge fee if meds in bottles not in blister pack but Insurance won't pay. Why dictate when they use chart to mark dosage?

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My Dad's insurance insists on Walgreens and pill bottles, he pays only $2 out of pocket per prescription. My Dad's AL Memory Care charges a fee for med administration that is higher if the meds are not in blisterpacks. I don't see why blisterpacks are any better, since the AL's are required by state law to document on a chart when the doses are received anyway. My Dad is only on 4 medications and is charged $21/day even though there is a "med tech" on duty every day. I am concerned because at least this place give the optio for nown, some places insist on the blisterpacks which would raise my Dad's costs astronomically. I would like to see this trend stopped. When my father was in rehab they used blisterpacks, and the nurses (Rn) made mistakes on doseages even with them. I am concerned that the blisterpack trend is just an expensive fad. There is only one pharmacy that fills these orders and our local AL's are starting to all insist we use them-- I am concerned about the cost and it seems like a monopoly on the business for no reason.

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Blister packs are used because the day is marked on each tablet and it can be instantly checked to see if the dose has been given. Mistakes of course can still happen and unfortunately do. During my days as a student nurse blister packs had not been invented long long ago and all patients received their medications from a single bottle. The difference was that we did not have med techs in those days. Two nurses did medicine rounds one of whom was a RN and the chart was read the pill taken out of the bottle and the medicine dose and time were recorded in a drug book and each line signed, the patient was then supervised taking their medication. It still was not a perfect system but there were few mistakes and any that were made were treated very seriously. Pill bottles do take longer to use and there is more room for mistakes. For example if the patient takes two little white pills the tech. may forget which one he or she just put in the dose pot and accidentally give a double dose but with a blister pack there is less room for error. I don't know why the charge is so high but like everything associated with health care facilities try and make money on every little thing. Blister packs are definitely safer and an increasing number of drugs are being dispensed this way. personally I hate them for my own use but that is just me. they seem to pop out all over the place
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You know what I would do, I'd start calling the med-aids at OTHER assisting living places and ask them what their protocol is. If the other places will use bottles with no extra charge, then I'd bring that to the attention where dad lives, and tell them you want the extra charge stopped. If on the other hand it IS protocol and IS the normal operating system, then at least you'll know you're not the only one out there dealing with this. I would be interested however if the other AL places charge extra to administer meds via the bottle tho.
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