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Dr. Bill's Commentaries

M/I Days Supply   (March 13, 2007)

Well, I learned something new today. Depending who you talk to, “M/I Days Supply” means “Invalid Request Data” or “Missing/Incomplete Days Supply.”

This story start on December 15th last year, when I did something stupid: I left home without my insulin. Steph and I were planning a long weekend with my daughter and her family. Anyway, when I got to the airport, I remembered the insulin was in a neat little plastic see-through bag, in the refrigerator - a little too late to go home and retrieve it (about an hour’s drive each way). So, I called ahead to my daughter, got the name of her trusty local pharmacy, and called them. As one would hope, the pharmacist had the stuff ready later that evening when we visited the drugstore. So, no big deal.

Except for insurance reimbursement. I submitted all the paperwork, remembering to cross all the T’s and dot the I’s, kept a copy of the entire works, and mailed it to my insurance company’s pharmacy benefits manager (PBM).

And sure enough, it bounced, with a cryptic message “M/I Days Supply”. Medically Insignificant? Myriad Idiots? Not a clue. But the amount allowed was clear enough: 0.00, and the reimbursement ditto: 0.00.

Time to telephone to the number kindly provided on the form: “For additional information, please contact member services at 800-xxx-xxxx.” More craziness: the number is for my employer’s voice mail system. Not exactly helpful!

So, I found a phone number for the PBM on the internet, and two transfers later, spoke to someone who insisted that “M/I Days Supply” stood for “Invalid Request Data.” That simply didn’t make any sense at all, so I asked for a supervisor. It turns out that the script didn’t identify how long the insulin was supposed to last, and the “M/I Days Supply” actually stood for “Missing/Incomplete Days Supply.” She couldn’t explain why the front-line person in customer service thought it was “Invalid Request Data.” And she and I agreed over the phone that it was give-or-take about 30 days’ supply, and she volunteered to notify the claims department. She indicated I should get my reimbursement check in about three weeks.

I’ll plan to update this blog after I get another letter from the PBM. But I won’t hold my breath. And if they send me my reimbursement check, they can use any cryptic codes they want. Maybe something like “WSTWUCCTNU” would be a good idea (“We’re Sorry That We Use Cryptic Codes That Nobody Understands”).

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Dr. Bill Quick began writing at HealthCentral's diabetes website in November, 2006. These essays are reproduced at D-is-for-Diabetes with the permission of HealthCentral.

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