,

How CSS Can Save a Little Money

Let’s face it when it comes to money Pura Vida is really good at spending it and juggling it to accommodate whatever wants to accommodate.

The institutions, state and autonomous such as the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) & RECOPE (gasoline prices), just raise rates and prices to cover shortfalls and neglect. Not much is really accomplished except to transfer on humungous debt to another debtor.

Let’s take, the Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social (CCSS) or best known as the Caja – the social security system – for example.

Supposedly anyone with a residency in Costa Rica must pay into the Caja. All of the 90-day wonderers who cross the north/south borders Costa Rica for 72 hours or less in order to receive a new tourist visa, rarely pay into the Caja and while most hold some sort of off the book jobs, pay no taxes, let alone the social security system.

However, in an emergency, the Caja must take care of them.  An “emergency” ranges from a cut foot to a coronary. There is no definition.

After an exam, the patient files out of the doctor’s office and wait for in line to receive some sort of mystical, but critical, stamp from the receptionist who has the all empowering authority, approving the prescription before going to the pharmacy.

Without that stamp, you are toast.

In order to obtain the prescribed medication, important is the need for two copies of the prescription, to which a carbon paper is used to make the copies.

Now, what happens when you need a refill?

Either the doctor and receptionist have “okayed” two to four months of individually prescribed medicine or you are stuck with returning to the doc. Starting at square one.

Why in the world can we not save mountains of old-fashioned carbon paper for each prescription, not to mention two pieces of paper for each prescription in one simple word “Refill”

“Yes,” refill. All it takes is a simple, very simple and globally recognized procedure allowing the pharmacy to refill a prescription X number of times. But “No”.

In Pura Vida you need maybe four to six months of paperwork, stamps and carbon paper to renew your prescription.

To save money and precious time, all we need to do is (1) mark the number of times for a refill and 2) transfer the receptionist who has the ultimate approval stamp, to a more productive role in the system.

Sounds simple even mundane. But we are talking about a massive cost in both paper and carbon paper as well as time spent standing in line for no real reason at all.

The savings would be millions of colones annual for the institution and the labor market, as employees would be able to return to work instead of spending their time, company time,  standing in line for something (the renewal process) that makes little sense.