On 03/02/2020 I presented at Banner Boswell E. R. with pain and fatigue related to the presence of an intestinal parasite. My health had been adversely affected for several months ( weight loss, bowel problems, dehydration, and lack of appetite). I learned of the parasite late on Friday and tried to wait until monday to see my PCP, but it became necessary to be seen urgently. I was very satisfied with the care I received under the supervision of Lori M Petroff PA. Before I was released I was given a prescription for Emverm, one of two drugs that I was aware of to treat parasites. I was told that a test was to be completed on my stool sample and I would be contacted if a change in medication was needed.
The next day as I dropped off the prescription, the pharmacist informed me that the cost would be $450 for a single dose! Perhaps slightly less with my insurance. Consumer reports in an article dated January 2017 reports that this drug was formerly called Mebendazole, and was inexpensive, until Amedra purchased the rights to it (creating a monopoly on this class of drug) and increased the price to $400 per pill. The inexpensive version is no longer being made available.
Not wanting to be gouged by a greedy drug company, I asked the pharmacist about Albendazole, an equivalent drug. He would not give me pricing information without a prescription. So at his recommendation I went back to Boswell ER and asked if they could change the prescription. The staff told me that PA Petroff was not working that shift, and no change could be made any time soon. They also could not tell me anything about the cost of either medication, but suggested that "If you go to Banner Thunderbird or Banner university medical, they may have one or both drugs available in the inpatient pharmacy" indicating that there was a chance I could be admitted and given the $400 Emverm, (a one time dose) or given the Albendazole ( at an undisclosed cost requiring an undisclosed number of doses) several hours had transpired since my first trip to the Pharmacy, and I was in pain and growing weak.
I called Banner Thunderbird, and the inpatient pharmacy told me that they had the Albendazole, so I drove there, and explained to the registration staff my situation: already been evaluated given an unaffordable Rx, looking for a quick and affordable solution to address my urgent need for care. She suggested that I may be able to resolve the issue directly with the pharmacy, but was quickly overruled and told to admit me. I was taken to a station supervised by Joseph Vitagliano PA. I told the nurse my situation and asked about the possibility of getting the necessary medication administered. Shortly she and Vitagliano returned with 2 pills in a med cup, that I was instructed to take, (I had asked for water when I first arrived and did not get it) with no water. I asked "what medication is this and how many doses are required?" I was told that it was Albendazole, and several doses would need to follow. I asked if the additional pills were to be provided to me at that time, and told "No we can only give you one dose, and a prescription for the rest" " How many doses would I need altogether, and how much does it cost" I asked. At this point they both seemed rather annoyed, that I was no blindly following their orders, and stated "We don't work in the pharmacy and we don't have that information" I instantly realized that the advice I had received at Boswell was not panning out, instead of being treated in an intelligent informed manner I was being told by one staff member after another, "That's not my job I don't have that information" Not knowing if I could afford the Rx I declined the dose they offered, just then the billing rep appeared. I had been there for a total of 10 minutes, was never examined, or consulted, never disrobed, or treated in any way, and so I told the billing rep that I had received zero care / satisfaction, and offered only confusing incongruent pieces of fragmented information, and a bunch of "that's not my job I don't have that information", and because of that I had no intention of meeting the co-pay or payment of any kind. "But you were seen by the doctor" What Doctor? PA Vitagliano stood up and began to protest. This man is not an MD, never introduced himself to me, never treated me or cared for me in any way, I would hardly call that "being seen by a doctor" As I left Vitagliano threatened to cancel the Rx he had given me.
I don't expect the red carpet treatment, but I was hoping that a patient suffering, weak and tired as I was would not be put through the grinder as I was. Why the big secrecy about the cost of medication? Is it such a difficult thing to access this information and provide it up front? This seems very sneaky and underhanded, and this C.Y.A. avoidance of accountability is very contrary to the ideal of "patient care". I was made to feel like a burdensome nuisance just for asserting my rights as a patient.
I agree, Banner health is bad!!! Went to their urgent care in Tucson. Nurse practitioner was dismissive, didn't read.
I am a previous employee of Banner. Last fall I went to the ED in Tucson via ambulance. I had Banner/Aetna insurance through Banner. It turns out I had a severe case of vertigo. I had never experienced anything like that before. I couldn't stand up, when I opened my eyes the room was spinning. I was throwing up and had a headache . I felt paralyzed due to my symptoms. I have a brain tumor, which was DS in fall of 2010. Didn't know if my symptoms were related. Anyway February of this year I received a bill from Banner for 19,700 dollars. My insurance denied the claim. Nothing was paid, even though I carried their insurance. I appealed and was denied once again. At this present time I am in the pr process of filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy because of this situation I am in the process of filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy. I will not recommend Banner to anyone.
would not recommend Banner Health to anyone due to the Doctors like to give you the go around game and not help people like they say that they are here for