Top Tips for Medication Management
Expert Advice from Melinda Murray
Melinda Murray is lead medical assistant and patient navigator for prescription-related issues at the Berrie Center. Melinda has been an invaluable member of the lab team since the day she started at the Berrie Center. She is also a tireless advocate for patients and an expert at navigating complicated insurance systems.
In her role, Melinda focuses on prior authorizations and prescription related issues, in addition to training the staff in the Berrie Center lab. Her knowledge in these areas is extensive.
Melinda tackles some of the most stressful scenarios people living with diabetes might encounter. She is the one to respond in a pinch when a patient is short on supplies or receives a mysterious denial from an insurance company.
Melinda’s goal is to help patients avoid diabetes-related panic and worry. She believes with the right amount of preparation and patience managing diabetes can be (primarily) seamless. Without further delay, here are Melinda’s top 5 tips for managing your diabetes supply orders:
- When you need a prescription refill, please contact your pharmacy first. Berrie Center prescriptions are routinely issued with one year’s worth of refills. If a new prescription is needed, your pharmacist can request one from us directly, or you can contact us through the Connect patient portal or at BerrieRx@cumc.columbia.edu.
- Please also note that prescriptions at chain pharmacies can easily be transferred from one location to another within the pharmacy directly.
- Make sure the Berrie Center has your updated insurance information! Also understand what is covered under your insurance plan. Sometimes there are specifications that impact what brand or quantity you can receive from the pharmacy or supplier.
- Almost everything needs a prior authorization. Don’t wait until the last minute to make an urgent request! Stay on top of your supplies.
- Check if your insurance plan requires follow up visits with your diabetes care team at specific intervals for coverage of your diabetes supplies. Many insurance plans are requiring documentation of visits every 3-6 months for coverage of pump and sensor supplies.
- If you need more than a 3-month supply because of extended time away from home (such as study abroad), call your durable medical equipment provider first to initiate a request for a vacation override.
- Reach out to the Berrie Center if you are unable to access the medication and supplies you need. The Berrie Center is here to help you.
“I am always available to help patients get what they need,” said Melinda. “When we work together most insurance-related issues are possible to solve.”
Finally, don’t forget to inform the Berrie Center if your insurance is changing in the new year. Set yourself up for a stress-free 2023!