Lexington2012

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Sep 8, 2012
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So I got the techs to all use my "discount card" for cash patients. I get a small commission when it's used. The plan was to use the money for occasional food or pizza. I was expecting something like $30 a month. I'm getting more than I expected and now I'm worried. It's getting me several hundred in commissions each month.

I'm starting to worry that I'm going to get in trouble or lose my job over this. Will Walgreens care about this? Or is it just an expected perk of the job?

Update: I decided that this wouldn't be worth continuing. I have deactivated my discount card.
 
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Jan 15, 2015
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So I got the techs to all use my discount card for cash patients. I get a commission each time it's used. The plan was to use the money for occasional food or pizza. I'm getting more than I expected and now I'm worried. It's getting me several hundred in commissions each month.

I'm starting to worry that I'm going to get in trouble or lose my job over this. Do 3-letter chain pharmacies care about this? Or is it just an expected perk of the job?

I do not know the answer to this, but I would honestly be more concerned with the law. Maybe check with your BOP.
 
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hye345

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Hmm, we do the same thing at our store... and get the pizza "points" as a result... never heard anyone (At any store) mention anything (good or bad) about the legality...
 

CynicalIntern

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Hmm, we do the same thing at our store... and get the pizza "points" as a result... never heard anyone (At any store) mention anything (good or bad) about the legality...
Do you use *a* discount card (dumb) or *one of your employees registered* discount card - this is the distinguishing factor. Based on the "pizza points" you're just giving money to one of the perky reps who comes in with bags of ****ty candy and "THIS CARD HAS MUCH BETTER DISCOUNTS" (card has the same discount as every other card).

But when you use your own discount card, you're finding a convoluted way of taking money that would be going to WagMart and instead there is money coming to you. You could argue that the money was never going to Wagmart and you'd be using someone elses card instead, but by taking the referral fees yourself you transition from ignorance to stealing.

Do people do it without getting caught? Sure. I looked into it once, but the enrollment information very clearly stated that pharmacy employees "were not eligible" for this. This shady discount card company profits by selling patient data that they obtain without the patient really knowing - they're not going to put that disclaimer that is going to directly decrease their utilization unless they damn well know it's a problem. And I promise you, the chains are trying to get rid of every pharmacist they can. Don't give them an excuse.
 

steveysmith54

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I'd stop immediately, just too much to loose for couple of hundred dollars. This is rare, but happened to my friend's friend. A pt came to pick up an annual expenses report for purposes of filling taxes, routine transaction for pharmacy practice during tax season. Pt sees a third party insurance for generic zyprexa, prozac, and ativan. PT proceeds to scream that I never wanted any insurance/third party to know that I take these meds, I never gave any cards, you violated my HIPPA privacy, I want corporate phone number. Honestly, I don't know what happened after, but I don't think anyone will want to be in that situation to have to explain what the discount card is and why you entered it lol.
 

RxRetailRx

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We are not allowed providing any discount cards or even info to patients anymore, unless patients bring them in...
 
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Momus

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Just pray you don't get caught for couple hundred dollars... Have a plan for your next job search since you are going to be blacklisted from CVSh1t forever. Hope Walgreed will take you in :-D
 

npage148

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Involving techs in your scheme was he worst idea. You could still be buying pizza to be a nice guy not as bribery for their silence and they'd be non the wiser
 
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ImmunoglobulinE

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Are pets covered by the HIPPA law? I have a similar card but I only use it for pet medication. Also I ask for the permission of the owner to give them a discount before I use it.
 

mgarph

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lol, I wouldnt involve the techs, I agree its stupid that you can't and agree its bad for business albeit most stores use them for all cash patients anyway and CVS tell you that you should if they ask for a discount...
 

Apotheker2015

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So I got the techs to all use my discount card for cash patients. I get a commission each time it's used. The plan was to use the money for occasional food or pizza. I'm getting more than I expected and now I'm worried. It's getting me several hundred in commissions each month.

I'm starting to worry that I'm going to get in trouble or lose my job over this. Do 3-letter chain pharmacies care about this? Or is it just an expected perk of the job?
Not worth it. You're not even licensed yet! Are you?
 

PangoPillPusher

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lol, I wouldnt involve the techs, I agree its stupid that you can't and agree its bad for business albeit most stores use them for all cash patients anyway and CVS tell you that you should if they ask for a discount...
But he is getting a commission every time it gets used. I highly doubt they would tell him to use that particular discount card because that's toeing the line of the anti kickback laws.

Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk
 

Whereismynorco

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Nov 7, 2014
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What if you work at different store, mean you passed out those discount cards to other location or next door pharmacy and you are getting commission?
 

BidingMyTime

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Wow OP, you are in a bad situation.

1) I also think this is probably in violation of anti-kickback laws, and this should be your main concern. Start looking for a good lawyer in case you need one.

2) But, I'm also sure all chains would ban this, and possibly even some independents, you are profiting from your position, at the expense of the company. If you aren't aware (and you should be), your employer pays the discount card company every time the discount card it used. It is definitely not an expected perk of the job, and yes you could be fired for it. Maybe you would get a warning if it was a one-time thing or something, but considering the amount of money you are netting, yes you would be fired, but all of that money you get is coming from your employer ultimately, not the discount company, plus your employer is obviously paying out a lot more, because the discount card is going to keep the majority of the money paid to them, just giving you a small piece back. Depending on what kind of employment contract you have, your employer might even try to sue you for theft.

3) Someone mentioned the HIPAA violation...hopefully your technicians are asking, or at least telling, people that they are billing their prescription through a discount card. If not, then yes, that is another issue where you could be in major trouble, if anyone decided to make an issue of it.

BUT, now how do you get out of it when all your technicians know and could potentially black-mail you at any time? You need to immediately stop, I would recommend having your card inactivated so it can't be used anymore at all. And then start looking for another job.
 
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BidingMyTime

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Are pets covered by the HIPPA law? I have a similar card but I only use it for pet medication. Also I ask for the permission of the owner to give them a discount before I use it.
Pet's are not covered by HIPAA, but they are covered by anti-kickback laws. Plus my #2 point above, your employer will still likely view it as stealing, because you are getting a benefit (edited to add missing NOT) available to other employees at the employer's cost.
 
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Apotheker2015

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Jun 9, 2015
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So I got the techs to all use my discount card for cash patients. I get a commission each time it's used. The plan was to use the money for occasional food or pizza. I'm getting more than I expected and now I'm worried. It's getting me several hundred in commissions each month.

I'm starting to worry that I'm going to get in trouble or lose my job over this. Do 3-letter chain pharmacies care about this? Or is it just an expected perk of the job?
You have no control over techs talking or an auditor noticing that only one discount card is used at your location. You do have control, however, over keeping card active or not. Deactivate it before it's too late. It will start rejecting, techs will take it off patients' profiles and people will have to start using random ones like GoodRx, etc. You may get lucky and this may all just go away.

As soon as it rejects the first time, look somewhat confused and state "This must not be legit after all. Let's take care of the patient and find him/her a new one on goodrx". It's public information so it shouldn't be a big deal. Besides companies pay to be listed on goodrx. One tech will tell the next one and even if you do not get your card deleted off all patient profiles, at least, the card won't work.

Best of luck!
 
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CetiAlphaFive

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Apr 12, 2016
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So I got the techs to all use my discount card for cash patients. I get a commission each time it's used. The plan was to use the money for occasional food or pizza. I'm getting more than I expected and now I'm worried. It's getting me several hundred in commissions each month.

I'm starting to worry that I'm going to get in trouble or lose my job over this. Do 3-letter chain pharmacies care about this? Or is it just an expected perk of the job?
Hahahahahah, Jesus Christ.

Here's what I would do if I was a pharmacist working with you:

1.) Tell the techs it's OK to use this discount card for Medicare and Medicaid patients.

2.) Wait several months for the claims to rack up. Maybe even spread the word to a few more stores.

3.) File a whistleblowers case under the False Claims act.

4.) You go to jail, and I collect 30% of the dough that the government collects from the pharmacy after they slam the pharmacy for 10x the AWP of each prescription they easily audit using your handy dandy discount card group number.

I wish I worked with someone this stupid.
 
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Apr 22, 2017
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So I got the techs to all use my discount card for cash patients. I get a commission each time it's used. The plan was to use the money for occasional food or pizza. I'm getting more than I expected and now I'm worried. It's getting me several hundred in commissions each month.

I'm starting to worry that I'm going to get in trouble or lose my job over this. Do 3-letter chain pharmacies care about this? Or is it just an expected perk of the job?
The way you deal with this depends on your techs. Do they know it's YOUR discount card? Or did you just tell them to use that specific one? If you work where your name suggest, it's a huge college town (assuming it's where I think it is). Now hopefully, it's just a bunch of college kids as techs with 2-3 older full time techs (atleast that's how it was at my Lex store). If that's the case, just tell them to look out for anyone using the card and deactivate it. Use whatever excuse sounds legit. The college kids won't care to look deeper and the senior techs are probably too busy picking up the slack from the kids to worry about what you're doing.

But if you work with a bunch of full time older techs, you've got a problem. I've notice they're the ones that gossip 10X more than the kids. They gossip about floaters, about techs and RPHs from other stores, heck if they don't like you they'll gossip about you to other floaters. And the last thing you need is for this to spread to other stores. I have no clue as to what to do if this is the case.

My company makes us watch tons of training videos on everything from TIRF to Fraud, Waste and Abuse. Every pharmacy employee must sign stating that we've completed the training. They do that so that when things like this happen, we can't use the excuse of "I wasn't aware that I couldn't do that." All I have left to say is good luck.....
 

sosoo

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through all the negative, u have one good thing on your side. Cvs system currently does not have a menu option to print report of specific discount or insurance use. as such they have no way to investigate the matter. they can print a "general" sales report saying how many Medicaid scripts there are, but cannot print how many discount scripts there are or to investigate specific discount program..

that said. go to the waiting bin and physically pull all the scripts that ran through the discount and edit to cash. and deactivate your discount.
 

CynicalIntern

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through all the negative, u have one good thing on your side. Cvs system currently does not have a menu option to print report of specific discount or insurance use. as such they have no way to investigate the matter. they can print a "general" sales report saying how many Medicaid scripts there are, but cannot print how many discount scripts there are or to investigate specific discount program..

that said. go to the waiting bin and physically pull all the scripts that ran through the discount and edit to cash. and deactivate your discount.
Yes they do. They just don't give that access to people in store level.
 
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Apotheker2015

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through all the negative, u have one good thing on your side. Cvs system currently does not have a menu option to print report of specific discount or insurance use. as such they have no way to investigate the matter. they can print a "general" sales report saying how many Medicaid scripts there are, but cannot print how many discount scripts there are or to investigate specific discount program..

that said. go to the waiting bin and physically pull all the scripts that ran through the discount and edit to cash. and deactivate your discount.
The menu option may not be available to you at the store level. Everything you see on the screen can be pulled by a query (likely SQL) and if that specific piece of information is not available to that level of detail, then you can set up the system to do it, if that's what you need it to do.

He has no need to frantically pull scripts from the will call bin. He could just run a Will Call Bin report. His best bet is to call the Discount card company and end his partnership/association with the company. That's what I meant by deactivating his card. Maybe he can just do it online.
 

grumpyRph

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Jun 1, 2017
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So I got the techs to all use my discount card for cash patients. I get a commission each time it's used. The plan was to use the money for occasional food or pizza. I'm getting more than I expected and now I'm worried. It's getting me several hundred in commissions each month.

I'm starting to worry that I'm going to get in trouble or lose my job over this. Do 3-letter chain pharmacies care about this? Or is it just an expected perk of the job?
i'm so confused. how does this even work? when patient's use discount cards they get a commission? or you like work for a discount card company? am i asking dumb questions? ha .

it sounds INSANELY illegal.
 
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BidingMyTime

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i'm so confused. how does this even work? when patient's use discount cards they get a commission? or you like work for a discount card company? am i asking dumb questions? ha .
it sounds INSANELY illegal.
How it works, the "Group" number on the card is the number that identifies the referrer. Everytime someone uses the card, the pharmacy pays a fee to the discount card company, who then pays a commission to the referrer who's group number was used. So Employee Pharmacist working for Employer Pharmacy encourages people to use the card with his group number. Every time the card is used, Employer Pharmacy pays a fee (typically $5.00 - $35.00) to Discount Card Company. Discount Card Company then gives a % of that fee back to Employee Pharmacist. I'm pretty sure this is a violation of the anti-kickback law.
 
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grumpyRph

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How it works, the "Group" number on the card is the number that identifies the referrer. Everytime someone uses the card, the pharmacy pays a fee to the discount card company, who then pays a commission to the referrer who's group number was used. So Employee Pharmacist working for Employer Pharmacy encourages people to use the card with his group number. Every time the card is used, Employer Pharmacy pays a fee (typically $5.00 - $35.00) to Discount Card Company. Discount Card Company then gives a % of that fee back to Employee Pharmacist. I'm pretty sure this is a violation of the anti-kickback law.
so how does one become a referrer? it seems like pharmacists should be not allowed to be a referrer lol. oye. what a mess.
 

CetiAlphaFive

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through all the negative, u have one good thing on your side. Cvs system currently does not have a menu option to print report of specific discount or insurance use. as such they have no way to investigate the matter. they can print a "general" sales report saying how many Medicaid scripts there are, but cannot print how many discount scripts there are or to investigate specific discount program..

that said. go to the waiting bin and physically pull all the scripts that ran through the discount and edit to cash. and deactivate your discount.
LOL, It's right under "Change the ****ing expiration date" in the main screen menu.
 

CetiAlphaFive

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I deactivated my card. I got into this when a card rep came into the store and talked me into it. I didn't realize the potential problems at the time. I won't do this again.
You ever notice how most Medicare / Tricare / etc... criminal cases don't get started until a few years AFTER everyone thinks they're home free?
 
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sosoo

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LOL, It's right under "Change the ****ing expiration date" in the main screen menu.
funny. if u really work for cvs u can stop pretending. u know ppl don't change the ****ing expiration dates.
 

BidingMyTime

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So pharmacist can never be a referrer,?! what if you don't work at that store at all
1) why would you take the chance? If you are a referrer on the card, there is always the chance that someone could come back and use it at your pharmacy (maybe if you were in industry or research you could get away with this?)--if they use it at at another store in the hain you work at (or use it at the retail pharmacy your hospital runs), then it should can be construed as stealing from your employer.

2) I haven't read the terms of the card, but someone posted that it excludes pharmacists.....so yeah, that would be a hard no.
 

BidingMyTime

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so how does one become a referrer? it seems like pharmacists should be not allowed to be a referrer lol. oye. what a mess.
I'm pretty sure the discount card companies don't care, they get paid either way. The referrer is an "independent consultant" or something like that, so the company isn't responsible if the referrer is illegally using the card to get kickbacks.
 

BidingMyTime

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so how does one become a referrer? it seems like pharmacists should be not allowed to be a referrer lol. oye. what a mess.
I'm pretty sure the discount card companies don't care, they get paid either way. The referrer is an "independent consultant" or something like that, so the company isn't responsible if the referrer is illegally using the card to get kickbacks.
 

BidingMyTime

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You ever notice how most Medicare / Tricare / etc... criminal cases don't get started until a few years AFTER everyone thinks they're home free?
Yeah, is there even a statue of limitations when it involves federal fraud? This stuff never goes away. I remember several years ago reading about a pharmacist who had either stopped renewal or hadn't been eligible to renew his license (I forget which.) At any rate, he continued working illegally as a pharmacist for several years, then retired. He'd been retired for a year or two when this came to light, and the board went after him.
 
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CetiAlphaFive

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Pet's are not covered by HIPAA, but they are covered by anti-kickback laws. Plus my #2 point above, your employer will still likely view it as stealing, because you are getting a benefit (edited to add missing NOT) available to other employees at the employer's cost.
Just popped in to correct this with regards to Texas law only

The medical records of a pet must be kept confidential according to §801.353(b).


However, this PROBABLY only applies to veterinarians
 
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