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[IP] UGLY CDE encounter, & questions - LONG!!!

Hello All!

I had a rather invigorating/aggravating experience this past week, &
realized that I may need a CDE, so I have some questions about how that
works.  The local home health care supplier I use for strips & lancets (not
that those are a frequent purchase :)  ) has a CDE on staff.  I've only
really met with her when I first started getting my strips there (3 years
ago)...she wanted to teach me how to use the meter I had already been using,
then had me sign a sheet verifying that I already understood it.  Probably
just regular procedure - not what I'm questioning here.  The second time was
shortly after I started pumping...they do not carry pump supplies, & I
wanted to see if it would be possible to initiate them starting this.  I was
pretty much told that there are very few pumpers in the area, so there's no
real point in them setting up an account.  Okay, I think I can understand

Here's the current situation:  I've used the FastTake for the past few years
(One Touch Profile prior to that), & after reading various posts, became
very interested in the Accuchek Complete.  After unsuccessfully lobbying for
a freebie, I managed to get hold of one (Thank You, Sam!), & around the same
time requested a free Dex from the site posted here in December.  So now I'm
looking at two weeks worth of Christmas break from school, & two possible
new meters...this is all very good, in terms of having the time to do
comparative readings with side-by-side tests, seeing how I felt about the
comfort/ease of process involved with each.  Seems ideal...will, however,
require strips.  Well, this should not be a problem, either - my scrip is
for 200 strips, period, no brand specified...that's why it was so easy for
me to switch from Profile to FastTake in the first place.  I was concerned
about causing a problem with insurance billing as far as processing a "mixed
strip" order, so I picked up the strips off of the shelf (50 FastTake, 50
Advantage, & 100 Dex - that's the only size Dex strips they had) & took them
back to the girl in billing to find out if this was okay...no problem.

Fastforward a few weeks.  I've tried the meters...the Complete & I are in
love, & the Dex #'s are consistantly more than 100 points different from the
other two meters!  Although I've only tested through one Dex disc (the one
that came with the meter), the results I have gotten, combined with the
pump-info-recording features of the Complete, have helped me to determine
which meter I want to go with.  Since I'm down to only a few day's worth of
Advantage/FastTake strips, I ask my husband to take the unopened box (priced
at $81.50) of Dex strips in to exchange it for Advantage or Comfort Curve,
if they have those.  He works very near the supply place, so this is
convenient.  I get home from work & receive a call from him - they say I
can't return them (their posted return policy is 30 days, with receipt)
because they were a special order for me.  They say I will just have to use
these & wait two more weeks before I'm allowed to get any more strips.  No,
they were NOT special order...I bought them off the shelf, that day.  I call
the place, & they put me on with the CDE...who proceeds to tell me quite a
few things, some of which are listed below:
1)  Very few people use the Dex, it is a very faulty meter.
2)  The strips had been specially ordered for another customer (now a former
customer - wonder why?) so they are not considered a stock item, & therefore
cannot be exchanged or returned...although I was not informed of this at the
time of purchase.
3)  She was very angry that my record showed having bought strips for
several meters (even though I had explained the reason for the December
purchase, & had been told that this was fine)...she said that she knew the
Accuchek had come with my pump.  I said no, it was a gift.  She asked if I
was certain, as she knew that pumps all come with a free meter.  She asked
if I had returned the meter's warrenty card to the company & I said I hadn't
gotten one, the meter was a gift.  She told me I could not have possibly
received a meter in any way without a card, I simply hadn't looked through
the materials or had lost it.  (What the warrenty card had to do with this
whole issue, I never did figure out)  We debated this a few moments &
dropped it.
4)  She said "You 'say' you are a pump user...then you have no business
switching from meter to meter.  You have to decide upon one meter & stay
with that, DO NOT experiment with other products!"  She then asked who my
endo is...when I gave her the name, she icily informed me that he does not
have pump patients!  Hello - I've been seeing him 3 years now, he did two
other pump starts the same week as mine, & I know he has a slew of other
pumpers, both before & after my start!
5)  She told me that the people I SHOULD be contacting are at Accuchek, to
see if they will send me free strips to cover the next few weeks!  I told
her that I didn't understand why it would be THEIR responsibility to help
compensate for the somewhat unreasonable business practice of one of their
distributors.  She told me that they would easily provide me with strips.  I
said, "And if they won't?"  She said then I could call her back another day
& we'd see if any other options were available.
6)  During this conversation (unbeknownst to me), my husband was on hold
from his workplace, waiting to speak with her.  He asked if we would be able
to return the strips if they were another brand (thinking maybe it was just
a "no returning strips" policy, & perhaps we had missed the fine print
somewhere along the line) - oh, that would be no problem, as those would be
an item they have a market for.  At this point his nasty side came out (oh
yes, he's got one of those), & he said "So what you're telling me is that
you have a SELECTIVE return policy, that you pick & choose which returns you
will accept?"  From that point I guess the conversation became pretty
heated, & she said "Fine!  Just bring them in & we'll give you a credit!"
He asked about exchanging them for the other strips...she did not know if
they would have the others in stock, & didn't have time to look.  (Nor, did
she, apparently, in the 20 minutes it took for him to get over there after
they hung up.
7)  She then wrote him a credit memo for the return - which I notice she did
not sign, although she made him sign it - but it is on their store
letterhead, & the time & date is on it...although she wrote the wrong date,
he made a point of correcting it for her.  She also told him that before I
came in again I had to decide on ONE meter & I would only be permitted to
purchase ONE type of strips!

My questions are:
1)  Can she do that?  (#7)  If my doctor (who apparently doesn't prescribe
pumps anyway) has prescribed 200 strips. no designated brand, can she decide
that they MUST all be the same?  I was planning to keep my FastTake at work
as a backup...not much good without strips!  Is it her role to tell me what
I may or may not do regarding meters/strips?
2)  Who all should I be aprising of this situation?  I think my endo should
know he's no longer a pump doc, according to popular rumor, & I'm calling
the insurance company on Monday to see about going through a different
supplier.  Is this a Better Business Bureau kind of thing, or is there some
organization that keeps tabs on questionable/unethical practices among
health supply providers?  I DO NOT want to leave the door open for other
people to go through the stress nightmare that this has been!!
3)  How does it work, when you see a CDE?  Is this something that requires
payment/is handled via insurance/ works as a free service through the
hospital or establishment that employs them?  I've read a lot of posts about
people calling their CDE with questions, etc...I'd like to have that as a
resource, & I'm not really sure how to go about setting it up.  I DO know
which local one I DON'T want <g> ...I would like the opportunity to have a
more positive experience with someone trained in that field.  Any advice on
searching/getting started would be greatly appreciated!!

If you read this in its entirety, THANK YOU for being patient with the
length!  Because the situation was so very convoluted, I felt the details
were necessary, & I would appreciate any advice on how to handle my next
interaction with the health care place.  (If my insurance will let me buy
elsewhere, I will - but there's still a matter of an $81.50 credit that I'm
not going to just walk away from!)

Feeling better already,

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