Understanding the Refill Renewal Process

Aug 15, 2023 / Health Advice

Getting a prescription renewed after you run out of refills often takes more time than people think. So, we wanted to share how the process works to help make things easier for our patients.

As you can see from the graphic below, there are many steps we must take when processing requests for prescription refills and insurance approvals. Sometimes there may be events that can slow down this process, such as medication shortages and delays hearing back from insurance companies. Delays can even happen when concerned patients call too many times to check on a prescription status.

Here are some tips to help the prescription refill process goes as smoothly as possible for you.

1. Don’t Wait Until Your Prescription Runs Out – When there are only 8-10 doses left and you are out of refills, please contact Reliant immediately. You can send a MyChart message or call. Remember, it can take several days to process a renewal with your medical provider and your insurance company may also need to be contacted. By reaching out to us early, you can avoid the chance of running out of your medication.

2. Plan for Processing Time – You can expect it to take about 7 business days to process a routine renewal of your prescription. Keep in mind it can take up to 2 weeks if we need to get a prior authorization from your insurance company. Urgent requests are typically processed in 24-48 hours (excluding weekends).

3. Save Calls for Urgent Situations – We understand you might want to check on the status of a refill. However, please consider the processing time needed before calling. We will always call you if there are questions or issues with processing your prescription request. Of course, you may call if you have an urgent issue, or if it has taken longer than the estimated time.

4. Understand Common Terms – Healthcare can be confusing. Knowing the meaning of common terms can help you understand how things work better:

Refill – When you are prescribed a medication, the provider will specify how many routine refills are allowable. When the number of refills run out, the prescription must be renewed.

Renewal – If there are no more refills left, you may need a prescription renewal. This involves our pharmacy navigators checking with your provider to see if the medication can be continued at the same dose, or if a medical visit and/or lab work is needed. Your insurance company may also have to be contacted.

Prior authorization – In many cases when your medical provider recommends a medication, we must obtain an approval from the insurance company that the medication will be covered (paid for) under your health plan. This process sometimes involves communicating with your provider to find a suitable medication that your insurance plan will cover.

All of us at Reliant work hard to make sure you have the medication you need, when you need it. As always, we thank you for your patience and for entrusting Reliant Medical Group with your health.

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