Pump supply distributors?


#1

My insurance requires that I order all my supplies from a selection of distributors, and Edgepark is the one that they set me up with originally. I like that they have online ordering available, which it seems that many don’t, but other than that it has been absolutely HORRIBLE. It is a constant struggle with them. The biggest issue is that every 3 months when it is time to order supplies, the quantity it says I can order is wrong. I will call them and their customer service is practically worthless. The people are nice enough, most of the time, but they have absolutely no idea what they are doing. They have no understanding of what the supplies actually are, and their system loses track of my prescription and even previous order history. Once they insisted I was only allowed to get 2 boxes of infusion sets for three months because I had had my primary doctor fill out a prescription once before I had started seeing my endocrinologist and they filled it out incorrectly. My endo filled the prescription for the correct amount, but they kept trying to only send me the 2 boxes for 3 months. So I would call and have to spend an hour on the phone talking to 4 different people (not an exaggeration) before finding someone who knew what they were doing and they would fix it so that I could order, but then it would go right back to the same issue next order.

Now, my endo filled my prescription so that I could basically order enough to have a new site every day if needed because I have to change them so often, so 9 boxes for 3 months. They have yet to fill the order properly. The first time I ordered with the new script they only wanted to send me 3 boxes, I desperately needed my supplies so I just ordered those and planned to call them later. When I called, they insisted that that was all I could order. I finally got connected to someone who seemed to know what they were doing more and fixed the quantities in the system, so I was able to get the remaining 6 after the first month (I of course had to call and argue with them about it before they would let me complete the order). So now when I go to order again, they say I can only order 6 and they keep claiming that “that is the most your insurance will approve”. I called my insurance company and they said they have no limit set, they go by what the prescription is. The Edgepark customer service people refuse to update the quantities or submit the order for 9 boxes because they say it will just be denied.

I know these distribution companies are all pretty bad when it comes to customer service because they know many people have to use them, but has anyone had any better experiences from other companies? Has anyone experienced the same problems with Edgepark?


#2

What are your other choices of distributors?


#3

I think I might have more than what I know of, but I know Byram is one, and there is one other that I can’t remember the name of, but it doesn’t carry Tandem stuff that I recall so I couldn’t use them anyway.


#4

I detest Edgepark too. I get my pump supplies from Solara and they have been fantastic. No complaints at all.


#5

I figure no point in people listing out their distributors if they are not on your list.

I have used Byram for Dexcom with no problems. I am aware they also carry Tandem products.

It would not be surprising to me for your Insurance Company to have a problem with a request for one site change per day. That could easily be seen as a problem with the distributor but might be worth finding out for sure where the issue lies. If it actually is with the insurance company then the issue would likely follow you to a new distributor.

Insurance companies do not always pay for what is prescribed but will sometimes only cover what they feel is appropriate. I have had prescriptions where the insurance would only cover the portion they felt was appropriate and I had to pay out of pocket for that portion which the insurance company did not feel was appropriate. I guess if that did happen to be the case you would have to decide if it was worth filing an appeal with the insurance company or not. This is obviously pure speculation.

Bottom line - I had no issues with Byram and would certainly recommend them as a good distributor.


#6

OMG reading your story sounds exactly what happened with me with edgepark every month. Every month they denied that I could get that many even after calling the insurance company and them telling me just what they told you. Then they would send partial orders saying that is all I could get and I had to wait till the next month. It was crazy and I had to go thru that for like a year and a half. It was crazy and I would tell them I just went thru this last month and the month before why do we have to go thru this again. Then the favorite excuse was your dr didn’t send in a prescription or it was not filled out correctly and I would then harass my drs office to send them the prescription yet again. It was a nightmarish loop. My insurance company stopped doing business with edgepark. I now use Byram which I was worried about cause they dont have a full site like edgepark etc so I figured oh no not again. Well the few months I been using them I get my order correctly every month and I dont have to do the hours of phone time I had to do with edgepark. I get ready for the monthly battle and Byram just goes ok and sends it and I have hours of argue time I spend doing other things now and no stress lol


#7

I just had the fourth message from Edgepark about the same order. Each time I call back I’m on hold 1/2 hour and they claim they fix the problem. Each time it’s not fixed. After this order is shipped I’m going to call my insurance company to see if I can switch to another distributor.


#8

Or call Byram and ask if they accept your insurance. Sometimes easier approach…


#9

I know Byram doesn’t have the greatest reviews online, but from what you all have said it sounds like they are worth a shot. At this point it doesn’t matter if they are perfect, they just need to not be completely horrible. My insurance company also said that they had heard some complaints about Edgepark. I hope for everyone’s sake that people stop doing business with places that have such horrible service, but this is what happens when the primary form of payment for something is through insurance…

Thanks for the replies!


#10

I agree you do have to check with the insurance comopany to see what is covered. I also get that much in supplies for daily changes and the insurance company said to me that is for a dr to decide not them. So if the doctor says you need one a day we pay for one a day. How true that is idk but I have not had them go against my drs in the past. I have been with Byram now a few months and they carry Tandem supplies (I use a T-Slim) and they carry dexcom. What did take a few minutes was matching up items I usually get with what they carry. I get tegaderm, skin tac wipes, large alcohol pads etc and the brands may be different so you would have to specify or find replacements at Byram but once you do reorder is a breeze.


#11

Only had one order through them and months later they still don’t have a detailed invoice. I refuse to pay them until they do.


#12

So Liberty, which sucked, has been glommed up by Edgepark, which everyone says sucks, so I looked at the Byram reviews and… almost all of 'em say Byram sucks, and in exactly the same ways as Liberty. Are there any of these companies that don’t? I’m reading complaints that sound exactly like the ones I’ve experienced with the service I already have. Hardly seems worth the time and effort to change if it’s all the same anyway.

Ugh.


#13

Note that Edgepark is no small or middling sized company either. Cardinal Health bought them in 2013 and had $121.5 billion in revenues in 2016. Cardinal Health Buys Edgepark

This guy is behind it all.


#14

It’s the gigantism that accounts for most of the problems. Customer “associates” by the thousands (contractors getting paid piecework wages? I dunno but it seems that way when you can hear their kids playing in the background and they have such slipshod knowledge of what’s going on with your order or what it is they are actually selling), who are siloed off from the department that handles insurance compliance, who are siloed off from the fulfillment department that picks and ships the orders, not to mention probably other invisible layers of management in between. The people you can talk to are so far removed from the people who can actually do anything to correct a problem that it’s like pushing on a string to get any effective action taken. And basically there’s no downside for the company in doing an absolutely sh** job of customer service because what are you gonna do, go to their equally bloated and bureaucratically sclerotic competitors? It is to laugh. If they had to care about customer service they would. But it’s clear there’s just no incentive for doing it well and no downside for sucking at it.

Griping aside, the one useful tip I can pass along: if you’re having a problem with your supplier, go check if they have a Facebook page. Liberty does (did?), and boy did I get prompt action after dropping a frustrated negative comment about my problem there.


#16

I’ve heard the same thing said about Twitter. I think these pharmacy benefit managers and contractor suppliers at some level know that a certain percentage of people will give up, take another course of action and they don’t seem to care about any lost sales. I think this unresponsive customer service is a feature, not a bug.

I need to add, these same companies are the ones that our doctors’ offices are sentenced to interact with. I’m sure the doctors need extra staff to account for these inefficiencies – the free market at its best!


#17

I used Edgepark for about five years before moving to Medicare in April. I consistently had great service with them. I once asked a rep why I had good service with them and others complained, and she indicated that it was because I had good insurance. I did my routine orders online. My pump and CGM hardwear purchases were always done through the diabetes tech department.


#18

I dropped Aetna when they forced me to use Edgepark.

I have an outstanding invoice that I refuse to pay until they provide a detailed breakdown of what Aetna paid, what I paid and what the remaining amount is. This is pretty basic accounting that companies have been able to do for years, but Edgepark can’t seem to.


#19

Apparently that doesn’t matter that much as I have about the best insurance you can get. The only reason I am stuck with the distribution companies is because it is the EPO plan (basically an enhanced HMO), so while it covers most things at 100%, I have a smaller pool I can pick from. When I was on our PPO plan I could order direct from the pump manufacturer, which at the time before the forced change was Roche and I had no problems at all.


#20

I have had the same issues. And in addition I accidentally overpaid one order. The next order, instead of telling me I had a credit on my account, they wanted more money and it took numerous phone calls to straighten it out.


#21

This is a real problem for me. My distributor in WI SUCKS. You must build up a stockpile of supplies to overcome their unreliability. I had a horrible experience this year, where I ran completely out of insulin pump supplies and had to go to the ER for a Lantus shot.The ER wasn’t comfortable giving me a 12 unit, 12 hour shot of Lantus, even though my endo clinic told them too. They were more comfortable waiting until I had ketoacidosis. I had to bring in my dad to stare down the ER Doc. It was real bad. I am not paying the ER bill out of protest against the healthcare system. Everyone contributed to this particular failure, but the distributor started the problem. :angry: