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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 1:11 pm 
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I guess I could have put this in a number of categories, but my main beef is with Medicaid so here we are. I just moved to WA and was approved for Medicaid. My previous doc (of the last 4-5 years) wasn't excellent, but she was very relaxed. She also gave me 2 refills before I moved away, to give me a little breathing room to find a new doctor.
I started looking as soon as I was approved for the insurance, only to realize that NOBODY takes Medicaid, and that they wouldn't cover my refills because they have to 'contract' with every doctor I see. I paid out of pocket, little by little, with an RX coupon (still $600 every month!) until I got an appt at the only available clinic, about an hour away, for a month from the day I called.
The clinic is pretty standard, although they tend to talk down to me, and are extremely mistrustful. Every time I ask a question, they ask me why I need to know. I faxed them my chart from the last doc, but my 'good behavior' isn't making a difference. It's sad that drug addicts are automatically treated like shit. Even if I had relapsed a couple times or something, they exist to help, to be supportive, to treat addiction like the disease it is. I feel like I'm in prison. They need me to drive there every week, and the UAs are supervised!! I had to take two introductory classes where we watched a couple cheesy videos about Suboxone, then go home and wait another week to see the doc.
À But Medicaid takes the cake: blood alcohol testing on top of the UA, a six-month limit on the treatment (I plan to be a lifer), and they have me do the color code system. They gave me a color, and this weird number I must call every day (weekends and holidays) where a computer lists a series of random colors, and if my color is called I am supposed to run to this clinic ASAP and provide a UA and pill count. All of my strips need to be labeled with initials and the date I am taking them, and I am to bring in the empty packages too. They also require ongoing treatment, ie meetings, THREE TIMES A WEEK. I begged and begged for the doc to sign a form saying that the treatment wasn't required, and he did, thank god. I know those are very beneficial for some, and I don't dislike them, I just don't need it and don't have time for that much of it!
So hopefully I can pay or qualify for better insurance soon, but until then: thank you for reading this, I know it's way too long. AND: does anyone else know about this color code thing or had experience with it? Are the colors random or...? I can't find much on the internet about it.
Thank you again, I know I am lucky to have any doctor/insurance but this is such a headache, and for a person who has been stable for years, crazy. Hopefully this will get easier for all of us.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 3:25 pm 
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You are a WonderWomen to jmp though all of thoses hoops.Welcome to the forum!!

I have zero experience with what you are going though. This color code may be a clinic thing and not a medicare requirement.
Sorry the rules are so strict, but to get the med some places are like this. Not much personal service. The clinic I go to is large with many rules. But as time pasts trust is built. Maybe of time this will happen for you there.

With the cost being high, have you concerned cutting you dose down to save money.?

Hopefully some else can enlighten us on this color code . Never heard of it before nor read it here.

Thanks for checking us out and stick around, kdep posting!!..

Razor...


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 3:37 pm 
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Hey WonderWoman :)

Welcome to the forum! First of all I don't have any insurance so I don't know anything about all that cause I pay cash...$350 a month plus my medicine which ends up close to $500 a month total. I've made peace with that because anything is better than using again so I won't complain. I've been on suboxone around the same amount of time as u, and some of the things u talked about my clinic does the same thing. I have to do the supervised drug screen and attend the meetings plus see the Dr once a month. In the beginning though, the rules were come in once a week for three months and that included a drug screen and a meeting and getting ur meds. Then after three months u go to every two weeks...same thing just every two weeks instead of once a week. Then after three more months u finally get to go monthly. There's no way I could handle going once a week after being there as long as I have. I'm sure it sucks having to find a new Dr and start all over with the weekly thing again. We gotta do what we gotta do though I guess.

As far as this color thing, I've never heard of that. That's definitely an interesting way of doing things. I'm sure there's someone on this forum that's familiar with that process. That's a lot of things to deal with just to have ur Dr trust you. Ur absolutely right about how some ppl treat addicts like they do, it's something that irritates the heck out of me.

I'm just glad that u at least found u a doctor and was able to still continue ur treatment. I'm possibly going to be a lifer myself. I hope ur Dr can let up on the weekly visits eventually. Maybe the longer u go, they'll let up a little bit. Regardless I'm glad ur here!

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 9:22 pm 
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I know that people in Wisconsin who are subject to mandatory drug tests, by the state, have a similar 'color system.'

I've been at the cap for a number of years, so almost all my patients are 'lifers'-- or at least long-term patients. I believe that the same considerations applied to other meds should be applied to buprenorphine products. Docs will see people who are stable on benzos every 6-12 months. People on schedule-II meds like stimulants or potent opioid agonists are generally seen every 3 months. People on non-controlled substances are seen annually.

With that in mind. people stable on buprenorphine should be allowed to go 3 months between visits. But instead, states are passing laws that remove the decision from physicians, and replacing it by the opinions of politicians. Tennessee, for example, requires docs to see people monthly, FOREVER-- no matter how stable they are.

There are a number of docs who gladly hand over these decisions to state legislators--- the same docs who insist that 'buprenorphine is just like heroin'. For those docs--- If buprenorphine is 'just like heroin', how come nobody dies from overdoses of buprenorphine?

What a bunch of idiots....


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 2:52 am 
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This is what I've heard about color coding. My friend had to do it while she was on probation for a DUI. Some colors get called more often. People who are high risk because they're new, of have a history of IV drug use, or they have failed a previous test are one color, let's say red. People who are more of a moderate risk are blue, and people who have been stable at this clinic for 3 months (since they only go to 6 months) are green. The colors will be called at random, but red ones will come up most often, then blue, then green. Yours is the strictest clinic I have heard from.

My doctor's office has added a breathalyzer to the urine I have to do like every 6 months. Apparently the DEA is pushing that because if you're taking sub you shouldn't be having alcohol either. But if you blow a zero point zero they let it go at that and don't test your blood alcohol. They also don't watch you give a UA. And my doctor is not rushing me off this life saving medication. Plus he takes all insurance. I'm lucky.

Find a new doctor!! Call some local pharmacies and ask if they know who is prescribing suboxone in the area. They might not tell you, but they might and that would give you a lead on which doctor's office to call.

Good luck!

Amy

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:31 am 
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Thank you for the replies, extremely informative! Mostly I wanted feedback about that color code thing-- that's crazy right?? I'm so glad I said something! And I understand that I am a new patient, esp to the insurance company, and they have to treat me accordingly, but it almost seems like their goal IS to push people off the sub ASAP. That seems like it will backfire, as an 'active' addict would rack up more medical bills, I don't understand why they can't see the big picture. Maybe I'm just paranoid...
Yeah they are way too strict, and terribly far away. I mentioned to the doc that I would start looking for a new clinic or doctor, and he snorted and said that nobody else would take Medicaid. Thanks for the support, dude! But I am pretty good at calling around and negotiating with insurance companies so hopefully I can upgrade very soon! I love Sub and I'll be damned if they stay in the way of my success on this personal miracle.
(PS I know we have all noticed that before we were on Sub, the insurance companies had almost nothing to say about early prescriptions, multiple docs, painkillers that not even a terminal cancer patient would take, etc. but now that we are trying to stay healthy, they are very aware of our one prescription all of a sudden)


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