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Old 05-21-2020, 11:09 AM
madmonk28 is online now
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Strange problem with unsolicited prescription medicine (advice needed)


Not sure where to put this, mod please move as appropriate.

Sorry this is so long

I see a podiatrist a couple times a year for a chronic hangnail problem. A couple times now, he has suggested a medicine to help (an ointment, or cream) and says that it will come straight to my house. What comes is always boxes and boxes of whatever medicine (more than I would use in a lifetime) and he set it up so that Iím now prescribed to the med, more and more comes. I wrote on a box stop sending this! And sent it back. It stopped. I figured this is some scam his office runs to max out my insurance benefits. I no longer use this podiatrist and havenít been there since last year.

Three days ago, there was a box on my porch. I opened it and there are three large bottles (473ml each) of a medicine called NAPROSYN. No instructions, no receipt. This looks like the kind of thing that a pharmacy might dispense into smaller bottles, there is no dosage information. There was no name on the return address, just the street number. I looked it up on Google and it is the main office of my former podiatrist.

So, I called my prescription provider and said, I donít want this, I didnít ask for this and if heís billing you, you should not pay him. The thing is heís not billing them. The only meds they have on record for me are prescriptions that I am aware of.
So: a) whatís the scam and b) what do I do? Is he billing my insurance provider directly as if heís using this in office on me? My prescriptions are filled by a different provider than my health insurance.

I guess I'll call the podiatrist and tell them to come get it, but that's a pain, I don't want to print out a return slip, etc. for something I never asked for and I want to know what he's doing.
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Old 05-21-2020, 01:57 PM
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Can you simply call your podiatrist and tell them you are getting shipments of medicine from them that you neither need nor want and ask them to stop?
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Old 05-21-2020, 02:08 PM
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I will, but like I said, he's done this before and it's clearly a side hustle to run up his billing. It's enough of an inconvenience that I'd like to bring it to someone's attention.
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Old 05-21-2020, 02:20 PM
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Maybe not a scam but a bad mistake. Call the podiatrist. In my mind if they want it they will come get it. And fix the error.

If that doesn't happen take it to the police station and have it destroyed by them.
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Old 05-21-2020, 02:42 PM
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Department of Consumer Affairs, for your State. The office is most likely located in your State Capital city. They have a section which handles JUST insurance. They also license the doctors. They will probably send you the forms to file a complaint, and they take insurance hosing fraud very seriously. Take a picture of the box with the Naprosyn, make sure the picture shows the bottles contain 2500 (or whatever) tablets each. If you still have all the containers of the other Rx, take a picture of those, too.

Naprosyn is the fancy-pants name of the over-the-counter Aleve. Give it to someone who needs anti-inflammatories.


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Old 05-21-2020, 02:45 PM
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This podiatrist also needs to be reported to the state or provincial board. Something fishy's going on here.
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Old 05-21-2020, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by nearwildheaven View Post
This podiatrist also needs to be reported to the state or provincial board. Something fishy's going on here.

The board is under the Department of Consumer Affairs.


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Old 05-21-2020, 04:15 PM
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Thanks, Iím in DC but Iíll look into it. If this was a one off, Iíd just call them but his office is super aggressive about mailing you a medicine and then dozens of tubes of it come. The three bottles that came are huge. Just weird.

I had an eye doctor who would almost openly look at your insurance in front of you and then schedule tests based on what theyíd pay for. I changed doctors and he was surprised about all these extra tests I had been getting.

Last edited by madmonk28; 05-21-2020 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 05-21-2020, 05:13 PM
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Shoot, I like them to look at my insurance before insisting I need a certain test.
But you can always do a line item veto on any test.
I love, LOVE to do that.
Ticks 'em right off.
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Old 05-21-2020, 05:44 PM
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I'm in the UK and keep getting unwanted prescriptions for a drug I don't use (and it's a strictly-controlled opiod, too!) There's no profit motive here - I think it actually costs the GP to prescribe it. It's simply incompetence on the part of either someone at the GP surgery or my pharmacist. It's similar to Hanlon's razor, really, except replace ignorance with incompetence.
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Old 05-21-2020, 07:46 PM
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I would assume he's billing someone else's insurance for that, and listed your address, rather than theirs, by mistake.

I didn't know they sold liquid NAPROSYN. As others have said, it's a brand name for naproxen, which is also sold as Aleve. I've been taking it since before it was OTC, and the little sample bottles my doctor gave me said that.

Since they aren't billing you, I might be lazy, and decide it's someone else's problem, and keep, discard, or give away the medicine. If I were feeling nice, I'd call the podiatrist and tell them, but I wouldn't agree to mail it back to them or anything. If they want to send me a shipping label, I'd be willing to leave it out for the postman.

I doubt you'll get any traction reporting this, as a few stray bottles of Naprosyn don't strike me as really exciting to regulators. I'm probably too lazy to bother. But best wishes if you succeed. I reported excess billing by an opthamologist to my insurance company, (actually, they were billed before I was, and noticed first. But I told them the bill looked fraudulent) and I stopped using a dentist because their petty insurance maximization bothered me.
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Old 05-22-2020, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VOW View Post
Naprosyn is the fancy-pants name of the over-the-counter Aleve. Give it to someone who needs anti-inflammatories.
I wouldn't do this without approval from your state's insurance regulators/fraud investigators. They may want it as evidence of wrongdoing.
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Old 05-22-2020, 10:16 AM
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Another possibility.

The podiatrist may get plenty of samples from drug companies that he doesn't want. Drug companies are always giving out samples to doctors, and maybe to other medical practitioners. He thinks, "Who might use this stuff?" and for some reason sends it to you.
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Old 05-22-2020, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madmonk28 View Post
So, I called my prescription provider and said, I donít want this, I didnít ask for this and if heís billing you, you should not pay him. The thing is heís not billing them. The only meds they have on record for me are prescriptions that I am aware of.
So: a) whatís the scam and b) what do I do? Is he billing my insurance provider directly as if heís using this in office on me? My prescriptions are filled by a different provider than my health insurance.
Have you asked the insurance company if he's billing them directly? I can get mail order prescriptions from a pharmacy provider like Express Scripts or IngenioRX but I can also get them from any pharmacy, and in that case the pharmacy provider wouldn't know about it. But the insurance company would.
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Old 05-22-2020, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
Have you asked the insurance company if he's billing them directly? I can get mail order prescriptions from a pharmacy provider like Express Scripts or IngenioRX but I can also get them from any pharmacy, and in that case the pharmacy provider wouldn't know about it. But the insurance company would.
My prescriptions and my doctor visits are two different companies. I asked the prescription provider if he billed them, he said no. I've been busy at work, so I haven't called my insurance company if he's billed them. I have not been to see him since last year. I stopped going because I was getting a weird, scam vibe from him.

Last edited by madmonk28; 05-22-2020 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 05-22-2020, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by GreenWyvern View Post
Another possibility.

The podiatrist may get plenty of samples from drug companies that he doesn't want. Drug companies are always giving out samples to doctors, and maybe to other medical practitioners. He thinks, "Who might use this stuff?" and for some reason sends it to you.
Those wouldn't be huge bottles such as the OP described though - typically the sample bottles are a few days' worth at most.

If the podiatrist is sending this stuff, he's billing *someone*. And it's a safe bet that you're not supposed to be receiving prescription meds from any place other than an approved pharmacy (local or mail-order). Hell, when I needed injections of knee joint lubricant, the ortho's office couldn't provide it; I had to get it through my mail order pharmacy (and what a treat THAT was - the online pharmacy kept screwing it up).

Definitely check with your insurer to see if they have gotten any kind of bill from this provider. If so, there's probably a deductible / copay they are expecting you to pay to the provider - and it's quite possible they'll say "out of network / non-covered service" and tell you you have to pay the full freight.

For a medication you don't need, don't want, and did not request.

Even if it was sent by mistake, they probably won't want to take it back as they can't scam someone else with the same bottles of meds.

I'd definitely consider filing a complaint.
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