Weirdest prescription?

From an old HS buddy (also a Navy Man) now in healthcare:

Texas law makes almost any item with a doctors prescription exempt from
sales tax.

(most details at : RULE §3.284 Drugs, Medicines, Medical Equipment, and
Devices (Tax Code §151.313) Item 11 is the sort of catch all.

What is most odd item you have been asked for a prescription for purely for
tax-free purposes?

Sellers of the Select Comfort beds, and hot tub/spa dealers are very aware
of this law. Presciption needed for bed, letter and presciption needed for
hot tub/spa.

Oddest request received at clinic where I work: one for in ground pool,
heated and deep enough for water aerobics.

While I don’t notice it on that list, food for helper animals is exempt
from sales tax.

Intersting also, repair parts for devices are exempt, but not
*improvements*. If you replace like for like wheel on a walker, it is tax
free. Replace with improved wheel-taxable.

I’ve never been asked to write a prescription for anything like that in the ED, but I’d be willing to bet my off0ce-based colleagues have.  Care to share?


  1. Freddy Hill says:

    Hey doc, I have recurrent stress issues which are greatly relieved with regular rounds of golf… how about a prescription for a set of clubs? Since you are at it, please throw in weekly green fees and, now that I think about it, a refreshment or two at the 19th hole to help control golf-induced anxiety…

  2. I just get patients asking me to write letters to the court about the supposedly “unsafe, unsanitary” environment in which their ex-spouse-to-be keeps their kids (that obviously made them sick).

    Sorry… but no. Don’t put me the middle of your scorched-earth-strategy divorce.

  3. nick.nelsen says:

    Asking me to say that air conditioning is medically necessary for their allergies.

  4. I need clothing or I may freeze to death or suffer injury. So my entire ward robe is medically necessary,right? Right?


  5. Finnan Haddie says:

    When chemo made me bald I got a prescription for a “scalp prosthesis” because insurance companies won’t pay for wigs. After I lost my eyebrows too I had to buy a headband to keep the sweat out of my eyes when I was running, and I took to calling it my “eyebrow prosthesis.” Maybe I shoud’ve asked for a prescription.

  6. I’ve spent most of my career working with people with special needs. Two requests to share,
    A grand piano – so the child could improve their fine motor skills
    Hardwood floors – so the child could move more easily around the home

    Needless to say they were denied. As for Finnan above me, I to had a scalp prosthesis but never had the eyebrow problem. Wonder is Latisse would work, LOL.

  7. Shalom (R.Ph.) says:

    Never mind tax-free, some patients want it free, period. Once in inner-city New York, a couple walked up to my counter in a chain pharmacy and wanted to know if Medicaid would pay for their air conditioner. When I finally realized that they were serious, I pointed out that 1. pharmacies don’t stock air conditioners (they do now, but not back in 1998), and 2, it’s not a covered benefit anyway. “But it’s medically necessary!” So go to a medical supply and try there, we’re not set up for billing that kind of thing. Not that it’ll be covered there either…

  8. I once took care of a patient with severe COPD who, even on oxygen, could not walk more than 3-5 steps. This patient was also an avid golfer and asked me for a prescription to drive the golf cart not only off of the cart path, but onto the putting greens.

  9. I need a prescription for a 2009 Lincoln Towncar–it’s good for my back because it has nice comfy seats. Haha! Great post!