Pharmacy ROI Is An Ever-Evolving Oddity

Category: Pharmacy Advances Written by Dr. Charles Shively / November 6, 2014

Isn’t It Funny How Times Change…Or Is It?

Walter Hughes, Jan Smith and James Martin of the Sadler-Hughes Apothecary in Clinton, SC have seen it all in the past 10 years. As pharmacists, they have adjusted to the regular challenges offered by new national agendas for patient medication adherence, rising generic drug prices, preferred generic medication pricing available to mail order pharmacies, slowness for current pharmacy benefit manager “PBM” pricing remuneration and the increase in demand for shareable patient-centric health data and mobile access to pharmacy services. Who here remembers pharmacy 10 years ago? How about 50 years ago?

Another Thank You Visit for the RxMedic Pharmacy Automation Success Tour

During a recent visit to the Sadler-Hughes Apothecary in Clinton, SC, I had opportunity to reflect on past pharmacy experiences. Which of the following do you recognize or acknowledge as having used? Manual placement of labels in typewriters and necessary typing? Manual numbering of prescriptions with an “automatic numbering machine” with red ink. Recording refills, handwritten with date, on the prescription “backside”. How about the red “C” stamp to denote controls? Telephone voice mails?  IVR? Insurance co-pays? Mobile cellphone apps with QR label readers?

Yes, today is different.  Adherence. mAdherence.  Health.  mHealth.  ACA  (Affordable Healthcare Act).  A3  (the Adherence Action Agenda).   Medication Therapy Management  (MTM).  Medical Homes. Interprofessional Healthcare Teams.  Automated Pharmacy Counting and Dispensing.  Mobile cellphone applications for health status and prescription refills.

How does all of this impact pharmacy return on investment (ROI)? Walter Hughes, pharmacist/owner of Sadler-Hughes Apothecary and a legislative active in South Carolina is current with his involvement at the State and National level.  Are you?

Third Party Payers and Electronic Prescriptions

“Among our major impactors to pharmacy workflow today…and subsequent return on investment (ROI)…is the impact of third party payors, electronic prescriptions and heightened distractions. All of these impactors require significant time to accurately complete our tasks for customers. It’s an effort to maintain the high level of quality of customer service our customers demand…but we are able to adjust with our prior involvement with RxMedic automated dispensing systems. The RxMedic accepts prescription refills through our IVR system and completes fills (for those without reimbursement issues) during our closed hours saving us a surprising amount of time. Sadler-Hughes Apothecary values the support of the RxMedic ADS particularly on its Sunday shifts when limited personnel are available to effect accurate and quick delivery of requested prescription medications.

Pharmacy Management Software Providers Need to PharmacyUp®

Many of the new national agendas for improving success with  “America’s other drug problem”…the poor adherence to medication therapy for the expanding multi-chronic  disease population of focus (combined diabetes, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, etc.)…are highly demanding of pharmacist involvement and time efforts. Walter Hughes offered a couple of areas where pharmacy management software providers could greatly support what he endorses as our pharmacist commitment to PharmacyUp®.

Walter offered some additional comments: “We need help with more sophisticated pharmacy software that documents our patient/customer interactions regarding MTM and adherence. We anticipate with the new CMS “star” rating system for pharmacy excellence in provision with MTM and adherence compliance, our involvement as consultant pharmacists will offer pharmacy ROI opportunities. Those pharmacies that don’t meet the required levels of service will not have opportunity to fill prescriptions. Also, we need the pharmacy management software providers to build better access to the mobile cellphone market with systems (apps) that allow and accept refill requests…and direct transfer to our automated dispensing system. Working with our customers, we won’t fail.”

How Will the Affordable Health Care Act Impact Pharmacy ROI?

In Clinton, SC it appears the impact of the Affordable Health Care Act on return on investment (ROI) for the Sadler-Hughes Apothecary is still “up in the air”. Clinton, South Carolina has many financially challenged and multi-chronic illness residents. This is not uncommon in many Southeastern states…what is your pharmacy circumstance?

Does successful ROI require the secrets of math…the use of pharmacy automation…the daily assessment of medication acquisition price…the continual evaluation of how to best use pharmacy technician skills…or use of our intuitive intelligence abilities?

Let’s PharmacyUp® and use pattern recognition to identify opportunities and recognize “gut” feelings are more about recognizing patterns than making emotional decisions.

Why not call Walter, Jan or James? Year after year, they are the top ranking pharmacy with most outstanding pharmacists in the region. Sadler-Hughes patient/customers know they care…and their pharmacy’s approach to customer satisfaction will ensure continuation for their pharmacy home success.

These pharmacists do care… and their patient/customers know it.  How are your patient/customers doin’? OK?

Why not visit ?  Telephone: 864-833-4000.

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Thank for sharing!

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