Monday, October 29, 2012

Tom Curtis: Online account issues with Express Scripts

From Tom Curtis, October 28, 2012
Hi Kathie,
This information should be helpful for all STRS retirees who purchase their medications online with Express Scripts (ES) mail order program. From my understanding, all customers will be affected.
Express Scripts has most recently taken over Medco. Possibly as recent as last weekend their Information Technology (IT) department merged the ES & Medco files. It did not go well and has created a problem for the millions of ES customers they service.
All STRS retirees that use Express Scripts (ES) for their Medicare Part D mail-in pharmacy are going to find they will not be able to log in to their account. Their current username and password have been compromised and no longer will permit them to enter their account. I found this out Monday evening (10.22.12) when I attempted to order refills for my wife. I could not enter her account. Consequently, I tried to access my account. I was unable to do so as well. We each had different user names and passwords, but they were not recognized.
From what I was told by an ES staff member, each ES client will have to complete a new online registration to access his/her account. Each ES client has to use his/her "email address" as their username (breach of security issue) and create a new password. His/her email address is the only username they permit at this time. Keep in mind here, only one person is permitted to register for/per an email address. If you do not have an email address, then they ask you to create one for that person. My wife does not have an email address and does not use our computer, as she suffers from dementia. After a week of discussing this issue with many ES staff members, I still cannot register my wife's account, because she does not have an email address. I am not going to create an email address for her just because ES thinks I should. There must be thousands of STRS retirees who do not have email addresses for both the BR and spouse.
Monday evening , after learning all of this information from ES staff, I emailed an upper-level HC manager at STRS. I notified him of the issue at hand. I did not hear from him the following day, so I called to speak to that manager. He was unavailable, so I spoke with his secretary, who confirmed that they had received my email and are addressing the issue. He called me back and left a message on my machine. He said they had contacted ES, but had not received any response from them today. He was leaving for a conference the next day, but assured me that his assistant would call me by Thursday to let me know what she had found out.  No one called, so on Friday I contacted the manager's secretary again and brought her up to date with my unsuccessful attempts to register my wife's account. This is Sunday evening, I have not heard back from anyone at STRS; maybe tomorrow?
I received a listing sometime ago indicating that the CEO of ES is one of the top 10 highest paid CEOs in this country. With this merger of ES & Medco, ES will become an even larger monopoly than they already are today. I wonder how many other PBMs they have acquired over the years they have been in business? How is it that ES made this file merger without telling any of their clients they were doing so?
Tom Curtis
Larry KehresMount Union Collge
Division III
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