“Heartless at Have a Heart
I have been a medical patient in the states of CA and then WA for the past 15 years. Upon moving to Washington State, I had my medical records forwarded and received my prescription in September of 2010. I have been a regular customer of Have a Heart for the past 2-2 ½ years. During this time I have witnessed to collective move from a friendly, almost family, vibe (with employees inviting patients to collective hosted functions) to a profit driven corporation (prices have been raised, quality has dropped, and the needs of patients are neglected). Here is an account of my most recent, and presumably, last visit to the collective:
In early July I went to the collective to procure needed medicine and left my prescription after purchasing my medicine. A few days ago I noticed my medicine was running low and began looking for my prescription (it is usually in my file cabinet), I suddenly realized that I may have left it at the collective. So I called them...and that’s when things got very interesting and my eyes were opened to exactly where the company’s priorities lie.
I began by explaining the situation and was told that my prescription had indeed been left at the collective and that my medical documentation had been shredded. After overcoming my initial shock and processing how exactly I would go about obtaining my medicine I asked why my medical documentation had been shredded without any attempt to contact me? I was then told they called me on several occasions and were not able to reach (it’s the patient’ fault not the company’s), I felt this to be untrue so I inquired about which phone number they had used, after looking me up in the system she was forced to admit they had not called me or made any effort to contact me. I was then told that it wasn’t a problem because I would need to renew my prescription soon anyway (it’s the patient’ fault not the company’s), this was also untrue (remember my prescription was issued on 9/10/2010). I was then told that my prescription was not valid if it didn’t have an expiration date (it’s the patient’ fault not the company’s) to which I inquired about why the collective had been allowing me in and selling me medicine for the past 2 years. My inquiry was not responded to... My next question was about why they hadn’t tried to contact me via mail (my address is on the prescription, my state issued identification, and the application I needed to fill out to be allowed into the collective initially). I was told this would be a violation of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) (it’s the patient’ fault not the company’s). Due to the nature of the work that I do, I know this to be untrue as well. In fact, medical records are required to be maintained for up to 6 years. Each violation of HIPAA, from my understanding, results in a $10,000 fine. I then expressed my frustration that the collective, with no posted disclosure or effort made to inform me, destroyed my medical records documenting my need for medicinal cannabis thus putting me into a position where I would need to obtain a new prescription, which under a law that was enacted in 2011 (remembering I was grandfathered in having received mine in 2010) would now require me to annually renew the prescription and pay any fees associated with this. I was told ‘why didn’t you call us earlier to tell us you had lost it?’ (it’s the patient’ fault not the company’s). I am saddened that as a state Washington legislators have decided to eliminate the medical market, forcing patients to pay higher prices for lower quality goods through the state’s recreational market. But the fact that established medical providers are treating their patients with such disregard is actually frightening, I am without my medical documentation and the managers of Have a Heart are not even returning my calls to address the issue (it’s the patient’ fault not the company’s).
Considering the volume of medical providers in the Seattle area, I would strongly encourage patients to take their money elsewhere in hopes of actually promoting compassionate caregiving in this industry and protecting this sacred plant which we all love.”