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Re: [IP] Preferred provider's high supply prices

I have to add yet another story to this.  When I was told to get a bg meter I
was told by my insurance company I had to go to my Preferred Provider.  I did. 
They sent me a monitor no problem (the monitor they sent me was an off brand at
least in the area), said if I needed anything Just Call.  When I needed to
reorder testing strips I can to search every where with no help from them. 
After calling every pharmacy, medical supply company and my insurance company
several times and going 2 days without checking my bg (really not a good Idea) I
found a pharmacy that carried them about 1 hour away and ended up paying for
them myself.  My problem with this (its not the first company either) is that
they send you items that they try to carry exclusively that way you have to buy
from them.  Did they give a refund for the meter? NOT! Did they offer to help
find strips or exchange meters? NOT  They prided themselves on customer service
when I purchased the meter what happened? Do I go through Minimed for my pump
supplies? YES, I have a local rep that I can call anytime for help.  Nothing
personal but when it comes to my health Im going to do what is best.  I use the
local pharmacy and medical distributor enough. 

Phil DuBois wrote:
> May I add another perspective?  I'm the manager of a provider, and we hold
> preferred provider contracts with many insurances in New England.  One of my big
> frustrations is that the pump manufacturers choose to compete directly against
> their distributors.  Most manufacturers establish a distributor network and don't
> sell directly to the public.  However, Minimed in particular, sells to the general
> public for the same price that they sell to their distributors.  As a distributor,
> I get zero discount, so wholesale equals retail.  Our company can't compete in
> that way, and I question whether it borders on an anti-trust violation.  I'd love
> to see another company come up with "generic" supplies that work with brand-name
> pumps.
> I'm all for buying at the best price, and in the competitive world, may the best
> provider win.  However, it would be nice to have a level playing field.  For a
> company like ours who tries to offer a comprehensive, local diabetes education
> program, this mail-order arrangement means a loophole in our program.  For our
> customers who prefer to have a local face to deal with, they don't like calling
> someone "way off" for their personal medical needs.
> I recognize that there's a difference of perspective between a customer and a
> retailer, and it's dangerous to generalize since every situation is different, but
> please don't place ALL the blame on your local medical equipment provider.
> Stepping down off my soapbox,
> Phil DuBois
> email @ redacted
> ----------------------------------------------------------
> Insulin Pumpers website http://www.insulin-pumpers.org/
> for mail subscription assistance, contact: HELP@insulin-pumpers.org
Insulin Pumpers website http://www.insulin-pumpers.org/
for mail subscription assistance, contact: HELP@insulin-pumpers.org