This month, the VA’s Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy, or the mail-order pharmacy, received a 2011 Customer Service Champion award from J.D. Power. With this program being so highly recognized, more veterans may be inclined to use the program.
What are the benefits of a mail order pharmacy? Most obviously, you don’t have to drive to a pharmacy. This may be especially helpful for veterans who live in rural areas or may not have access to personal transportation. You only have to mail in a paper form the first time a prescription is given; after that, all refills can be requested via an automated phone system. No standing in line, no wandering around the grocery store for 45 minutes while you wait for your Rx to be ready.
So how does it work?
The best part is that you do not have to register; there is no drawn out process to begin using the mail order pharmacy. When you want to begin using the mail-order pharmacy, you will need the original paper copy of the prescription given to you by your VA medical provider. Attach this original prescription paper to VA Form 10-0426. This may be the only time you are ever required to use an original. Make sure you photo copy the Rx, and maybe even tell your medical provider that you are going to begin using the mail order system. That way, if something does go wrong, you can talk with your medical provider to see about getting a new written Rx to take to your local pharmacy.) Be sure to fully fill out the form, any missing information may cause delays in the processing of your order.
The J.D. Power award says that the average time between the patient or medical provider requesting a prescription fill and the patient receiving the medication is 5 days. The paper form warns that it may take up to 21 days though. Be sure to submit your request as soon as you can. If you want to begin using the mail order pharmacy, but are unable to delay filling your prescription you may still have an option. Talk with your medical provider. He or She may be willing to write you a single fill prescription that you can fill at a local pharmacy, and then write a second prescription that includes any refills. You can then use this submit this second Rx to being the mail order pharmacy system.
Refills are also very simple. There are two options to request a refill be mailed to you. The first option, is to simply call the automated phone system, following voice prompts to enter your information. This number, given on the original request form, is 1-888-370-1699. The second way to request a refill is by returning a refill form which is included in delivery of each medication. If you order refills with this refill slip, you are encouraged to return it as soon as you receive you medication. This is to allow for the maximum possible order fill time, to ensure that you will not have any time between the end of your first amount of medication and your refill.
Where to mail the form?
Two pharmacies handle the mail order system. If you live in one of the following areas, designated as “West:”
Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
Send your form to:
Meds by Mail
PO Box 20330
Cheyenne, WY 82003-7008
The phone number for this pharmacy is 1-888-385-0235
Or, if you live in one of the following areas, designated as “east:”
Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Virgin Islands, Washington D.C., West Virginia.
Send your form to
Meds by Mail
PO Box 9000
Dublin, GA 31040-9000
The phone number for this pharmacy is 1-866-229-7389
Photo thanks to Muffet under creative common license on Flickr.