This judge believed CVS’ credentialing tracking process doesn’t work ?

CVS Pharmacists Lose Class Cert. Bid In OT Suit


Law360, New York (December 10, 2014, 12:18 PM ET) — A California federal judge on Tuesday refused to certify a class of more than 5,000 CVS Caremark Corp. pharmacists alleging the retailer forced them to work unpaid overtime to fill prescriptions, ruling a CVS software program could not be used broadly to show the plaintiffs worked overtime.

The plaintiffs had claimed records from Rx Connect, software used to verify, enter and look up prescriptions, showed that almost 20 percent of shifts included off-the-clock hours. The pharmacists alleged they could compare the recorded times for filling prescriptions in Rx Connect to official timekeeping records.

But U.S. District Judge S. James Otero found that some types of work the plaintiffs claimed fell outside their official shifts were not tracked by Rx Connect, including transferring merchandise between stores and putting away medications. Significant portions of the Rx Connect data had to be eliminated from both sides’ expert analysis due to false positives, leaving only full shifts during normal business hours, according to the opinion.

“The Rx Connect data appears to be poor ‘glue’ for holding together plaintiffs’ claims,” Judge Otero wrote, denying the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification.

Deficiencies in the Rx Connect data were also likely to require individualized inquiries because the system’s credentials were not directly tied to individual workers and some employees recorded some, but not all, of their overtime.

“Based on the shortcomings of the Rx Connect data as a mechanism to track the class members’ time, the court finds that plaintiffs’ question of whether the class members worked off-the-clock hours for which they were not compensated by CVS, is not likely to generate a common answer,” Judge Otero wrote.

The suit, filed in March 2013, alleged CVS pharmacists did not have discretion over when to fill prescriptions, instead working “at the whim of the [customer], rather than the scheduling dictates of [CVS].” Customer wait times were tracked on CVS computers, with some customer orders turning red if they took too long to fill. Pharmacy technicians, aides and pharmacists worked overtime to prevent those red wait times and avoid written reprimands, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs also claimed CVS refused to pay for overtime work and denied some regular wages because it failed to fully staff its stores.

CVS argued that Rx Connect does not keep a history of which credentials are active for individual employees at a particular store, so its data couldn’t be used to determine which employee was assigned to a particular credential at a given time. Employees also frequently borrowed co-workers’ credentials, especially to perform tasks normally reserved for pharmacists, according to CVS.

why are credentials even use… if no one can know for sure.. who is using them… which would make any documentation trail pretty much useless ?

5 Responses

  1. “Credentials” are never used at the register. That would be employee ID or “register code”. Credentials are the 3 alpha characters and bar code that are issued daily by RX Connect to each individual (pharmacist and tech) usually at the start of the shift.

  2. Hold on CVS…Are you saying that non-pharmacists are using pharmacists’ credentials for pharmacist activities, i.e. verifying prescriptions. Sounds like the Boards of Pharmacy should look into this for better safeguarding to ensure public safety. Rite Aid has biometric fingerprint scanning. No questions there!

  3. so since RX Connect is not accurate…..why does the company base the results of the “metrics” on it?

    Here is how this works….usually at the beginning of the shift, an employee requests “credentials” from the RX Connect system. To obtain them, an employee uses her/his employee ID number and her/his own password (which must be changed every 90 days). A sticker prints out with a barcode and 3 alpha characters. This sticker is scanned EVERY time the employee performs an RX Connect function. (An employee can also manually enter the characters) These functions include: order entry (including any edits), rx filling, rx verifications, pt notifications calls or verbal communications , doctor calls and updates, adherence calls, new rx pick up calls, and any reversal or rts functions.
    The extent to which the employee meets or does not meet “expectations” in terms of time to fill, wait time/promise time, etc all depend on when the employee scans or enter the credentials. If an error is made, the employee’s credentials (because they are linked to name and employee ID) are also used to determine at what point in the rx procedure the error occurred. In the event of an audit, the credentials are also used to determine what if any changes were made to the Rx. So if a pharmacist or tech shares credentials, it is at his/her own risk.
    But, hey, now we are told that (by CVS own admission in court) credentials are not reliable indicator of anything. Thanks, CVS.

  4. Remember the credentials story about the pharmacist being late to work…Those credentials print out the name of the pharmacist on the tag. CVS is not being honest about something here. When the pharmacist verifies the prescription they have to put in their credentials when working at a particular store. CVS Pharmacists..KEEP THOSE CREDENTIALS!!!!!

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