My mother just left the hospital last week after being diagnosed with a UTI and had great care. The hospital now has her in a rehab facility which I have extended for 1 more week and then she is coming home. She is 88, has dementia/Alzheimer, COPD, Parkinson, and at this point is confined to a bed unless she has a lift take her form the bed to a Geri chair. I care for her at home and have been her caregiver for 5 years and doing it 24/7; but was told by the doctor that if she cannot come to the office they can no longer authorize future prescriptions and this is her primary physician. To make matters worse, she is now going to be required to get all prescriptions via mail order by July 1 or she will be required to pay full price for her medications. This cannot happen as these are required to keep her alive. What options do I have here as I am at my wits end? She has good medical insurance with Medicare and Blue Cross; but if the doctors are not going to budge, what do I do? We are located in Ulster County in New York. I am sorry about the urgent tone of this but I adore this woman like no one else in this universe and the amount of tears this past couple of weeks would fill all the oceans.

You find a doctor who makes house calls. Or a doctor who has a Physicians asst or nurse practioner who does home visits.

You also want this new person to be a geriatrics doc. Not a general internist.

Have you considered getting a hospice eval? That might be the answer to all of these questions.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn

There could be a legitimate reason, depending on which meds she's taking. Periodic monitoring might be required for some meds which have side effects.

My experience is that the doctors will prescribe for a given number of refills but generally won't extend after the refills options are used. They want to ensure that the meds are still needed, in some cases, or check for side effects.
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Reply to GardenArtist

As an interim solution, will the physician at the rehab center write a script for her on-going meds? Tell him/her what Mom's MD said.
As an aside, my employer went to mail house prescriptions several years ago. Like you, I wasn't happy about that. (Do any of us truly embrace change?) NOW, I LOVE it! I have it on automatic refills. I never run out! If I somehow wind up with too much of a med, I call and take it off automatic refill until I need it again.
AND I agree with the other posters, get a doctor who makes house calls. google it with Mom's zip code.
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Reply to geewiz

What Barb said. What is the specialty of her doctor? Do you have a geriatric practice in your area. They would understand the difficulty of taking her to the doctor.
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Reply to gladimhere

I soon figured out it was all about the money with my mother's doctor, my solution was to make and attend appointments myself as healthcare proxy for prescription renewal; ask if this may work for you. And much to my surprise I discovered mom's doc did make house calls. We also signed mom up for palliative care which brought a nurse into the house once a month (or more if I needed her).
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Reply to cwillie

Don’t fear the mail order prescriptions. I had moms set up that way and it was so easy. I ordered online thru aetnas pharmacy and the 90 day supply of meds were mailed to me in about 3 days. Good luck finding a dr who makes house calls however. I just tried to find one in upstate NY and none in my zip code. Good idea about having the rehab dr renew any scripts that are expiring soon.
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Reply to rocketjcat

My mother thought the heat would affect her meds, and didn't want them sitting out in her mailbox.

I meant to post this before, but forgot. I got the post office to allow a mailbox to be installed by her front door (there are cluster mailboxes in her condo development). If anyone has a cluster mailbox, there is a procedure for disability that one can use to allow a mailbox to be placed by the front door instead.
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Reply to CTTN55

When my parents were alive, they went to a clinic that doesn't do house calls. This was their established clinic since I was a child, when mom was diagnosed with dementia, etc... Plus, at the time, their secondary insurance was ONLY for this clinic.

From what I remember, bedridden, vegetative-like mom was required to see her doctor annually - in order to renew whatever needed renewing (current Rx, home care nurses, etc..) The same when my dad had a stroke and became bedridden - the annual doctor's visit. Any changes on their health, needing prescriptions, they were required to go to the clinic.

From what I understand, Medicare requires that the doctor actually sees the patient before ordering new prescriptions or renewing it annually. I also understand that whenever they're released from hospital stay, I have a limited time period to take the parents to see their doctor and Medicare coverage.

We had to call for a private ambulance service for each of these visits. It was $300 per way + every miles. It was not covered by Medicare or their secondary insurance because it's Not an 'emergency.'

FYI, even with the home nurse visits, they tried really hard to treat dad without requiring his visit to the clinic. They were even willing to take his blood tests here at home and then drop it off at their clinic. Clinic admin said No. My dad has to go to the clinic for the bloodwork. Sometimes, these people don't understand what it takes to force an elderly to go to the clinic. And the expenses - $600some roundtrip! just for bloodwork???
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Reply to bookluvr

I've had mail-order meds for years. Very few problems.

My mother was forced to switch to mail-order meds a year or so ago. Lots of problems. But that was because she insisted on doing it all herself -- multiple issues with her doctor's office. No doubt part of that was her bad hearing and not following conversations. If she'd let me handle it, there wouldn't have been problems. I was called several times each day and had to hear about the "stupid" people who couldn't do what they were supposed to be doing.

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Reply to CTTN55

The federal government has been continually changing the laws attempting to restrict physicians prescription writing and refilling of patients regular medications. They claim this is all part of their ‘war on drug abuse’. The feds don’t even see the older citizens as human beings in my opinion.

The forced change to mail order refills is the insurance company saving money. They too don’t even consider elders human. The US has a deplorable health system designed to make only the correct people rich.
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Reply to HolidayEnd

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