TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — Making A Mistake Is Human; Not Correcting It? Not So Much

Express Scripts is the Medicare provider for the North Dakota retiree program. It’s a great company, and the state’s program is excellent.

Sometimes, because of the size of companies like Express Scripts, the little guy has to take it in the shorts. But they don’t have to like it.

In late December 2016, just before Christmas, I and other participants under the state program received a letter from Express Scripts informing us that our (my) participating pharmacy will no longer be participating in their plan.

A list of current participants was provided, and we were instructed to make transfer arrangements to the new pharmacies by Dec. 27.

I’ve been doing business with my pharmacy for years. It has provided quality service and has great, professional and personable employees.

My company is an independent and, of course, must daily compete with the big-box stores. Having been a solo practitioner myself when I practiced law, I favor local ownership whenever possible. Competition is good for the customer but not necessarily so for the merchant.

Here’s the rub that infuriates me. I went to my pharmacy to ask what happened and why they were no longer a provider. I was surprised to learn that they only found out about the change through customers like me who had received the letter.

My people, since they’d had no prior notice, called Express Scripts. Express Scripts confirmed that they were, indeed and in fact, still a provider. But when my pharmacy explained how the incorrect letter impacts their business, Express Scripts told them nevertheless they would not issue a corrective letter.

It was their mistake. A good company would not do something stupid like this and then refuse to fix it.

Hopefully, by the time this article is printed, Express Scripts will have removed its corporate head from its corporate behind … also known in proper circles as its “donkey.”

Just think: Express Scripts notified every customer of my pharmacy who is covered under the plan and told them that they had to transfer to another company — and actually provided a list of options. Completely wrong! That they would not take corrective action is not only actionable … it is unconscionable.

I am not naming my drugstore because I don’t want to cause them any undue publicity … but their staff and their service are just too good for me to let this pass without comment.

* * *

We should all let our street departments know how much we appreciate the way they handled the recent snow/ice storms. By Monday morning, they had the main streets in great condition here in Fargo-Moorhead. Whatever material they used to clean down to the concrete through snow and ice really worked well. I only wish they’d have put some of it on my sidewalk! (In case any of you Street Department workers are reading this, please understand I’m referring to the snow removal material … not the snow and ice.)

Since the street folks have done such a great job, here’s a notice to drivers. The little thingy on your steering column is a turn signal, and if your headlights don’t come on automatically, the little thingy on the dash’s lower left is your light switch. It’s bad enough that we don’t use them in the summer. But in winter, it’s a lot worse. Put down your smartphone, cut out the intense conversation with passengers, and drive safely. Playing while you drive not only can cause property damage … it can kill or seriously injure people.

* * *

My dog has been acting goofy lately, and our two cats are stampeding from window to window. Now I know what’s going on.

My home overlooks Elephant Park across from the Veterans Hospital. Late at night when I’m usually asleep, the dog has noted deer in the park. A family of two or more has been making the trek from river to town, and that’s OK. In my former home, they’d come into my yard to nap; I loved that till someone started howling about deer in town and turned the hunters loose. Hunting deer in our parks is like fishing in an aquarium — not fair at all!

The cats, however, keyed in on other game. Besides the birds in our feeders, which keep them occupied, they (and my wife and I) just noted that there are a bunch of rabbits under our back deck. The birds knock seed off the feeder, and the goofy rabbits come out at night to eat it. Then, not about to miss anything, after the birds finish eating in the day, and the rabbits in the early morning and late evening, the squirrel twins come through our yard looking for leftovers.

Nothing gets a dog more active than being stuck are inside, looking out at squirrels. When she’s outdoors and has a chance to chase outside the fence, it’s a half-speed run after the rabbits … but when she spots the squirrels, she goes bonkers and hits a rarely used acceleration switch. If she cared to accelerate after rabbits like she does squirrels, the rabbits would disappear.

For the faint of heart who care, know that she has never caught either. Meanwhile, our Christmas tree is still standing, and the attack cat is still alive. Happy new year … and amen.

2 thoughts on “TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — Making A Mistake Is Human; Not Correcting It? Not So Much”

  • Helen Murphy December 28, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    We got the same kind of letter about our pharmacy not being an approved provider with a listing of others close by which were. We live in MN and when our pharmacy checked into it, they found they were indeed still considered a partipating pharmacy. This must be some new idea someone dreamt up to get prescriptions transferred. We like our pharmacy. They reported it and sent a copy of the letter to their headquarters. I hope someone somewhere gets to the bottom if it. I plan to make a call myself to my insurance company.

  • Thomas A. Davies December 30, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    We are in agreement on this for sure.


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