Automated Pharmacy Dispensing Created The Image of Medcare Pharmacy

Category: Pharmacy Success Written by Dr. Charles Shively / November 9, 2014

Automated Pharmacy Dispensing Can Create a Success Image


Glenn Dowdy, pharmacist/owner of the three Medcare Pharmacies along the North Carolina/South Carolina border is candid about his pharmacy operation success: "Automated pharmacy dispensing effected my pharmacy operation image. It's about customers understanding how you complete customer service. We are about fast, efficient and accurate medication delivery. Our RxMedic ADS ensures this. My customers like to see "Javier" working---they know him just like our other human resources".


Are You Automated?


Glenn's independent Medcare Pharmacy chain has locations in Bennettsville, South Carolina, Clover, South Carolina and Indian Trail, North Carolina. The primary operation in Bennettsville is located some 20 miles from the North Carolina/South Carolina border approximately 85 miles from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. For those who have visited the PeeDee area of South Carolina, Bennettsville is close to Chertaw and north of Darlington, slightly south of Rockingham, North Carolina. Medcare Pharmacy is THE pharmacy "player" in this geographic area...outperforming the retail commercial larger chain competitors. The Clover, South Carolina pharmacy is near Spartanburg, South Carolina while the Indian Trail location is not far from Charlotte, North Carolina (approximately 20 miles southeast of downtown).


Why is Medcare Pharmacy So Successful?


"It's about customer service and knowing your clientele. We enable, effect and empower our customers to believe in their healthcare. We have been particularly successful through assisting our customers with insurance plan considerations caused by the Affordable Health Care Act plan offerings. Most folks just don't know the complexities that will determine their co-pays. Although this effort is very time-consuming, Javier (the RxMedic ADS) frees up our pharmacy workflow such that we bond with our customers."


Current Pharmacy ROI Challenges Come From All Directions


Glenn also offered some comments about his current pharmacy ownership challenges to ensure ROI (Return on Investment): "Owning a pharmacy today and ensuring ROI is quite different than 10 years ago. With government expansion into the healthcare insurance business and several major pharmacy retail chains either owning insurance payors or evaluating involvement, the landscape of prescription medication reimbursement has changed for independent pharmacies, particularly. It's very difficult to run a profitable operation when you receive only a $2 per prescription filled payback after all costs are considered. Today, it's a major challenge. Thankfully, I have an ADS to offset my costs to fill.


With no misfills or miscounts, I don't find myself exposed to naturally occurring human errors during the filling process. I'm pleased that perhaps 70% of our prescriptions filled are always correctly processed by Javier."


Pharmacy Patient Care Case Managers May Be An Answer


As Glenn works to offset the current pharmacy ROI challenges, he is considering some different money-generating options. Using newly licensed PharmD's dedicated to this concept, Glenn senses he might be able to complete more MTM (medication therapy management) activities for his older Medicare clientele allowing insurance reimbursement. Today, depending on the extent and completeness of the MTM exercise, pharmacies can receive upwards of $60 per single event. It can take at least 30-45 minutes to complete a quality MTM event with the considerable documentation required and the scheduling mandated. The "flip-side" of this opportunity today, however, is that there are very few insurance companies and health plans who support this MTM effort with reimbursement as encouraged by prior government legislation. More health plans need embrace this reimbursement approach to pharmacies based upon pharmacist knowledge and effort.


It's About Finding "Another Eight Hours"


With all of the new time-requiring activities (medication adherence attention, medication synchronization opportunities and other required patient engagement activities), do you or your pharmacists have the available quality time to interact with your patient/customers? Glenn continually looks to increase workflow efficiencies because of his commitment to pharmacy service. His Bennettsville staff of Javier and 9 human resources (pharmacists Glenn and Steve, certified pharmacy technicians Anita (also office manager), Jackie, Courtney, Reva (also DME Coordinator) and two cashiers (Abigail and Amanda) ensure no telephone call rings more than 3 times before customer service initiates.


Glenn senses that eMobility (use of mobile cellular technology)...with upwards of 70% individuals today owning smartphones and computer tablets while accessing their mobile technologies as often as 60 times a day...may be an opportunity area for increasing Medcare ROI and patient engagement. Anyone spending time with Glenn and his staff will soon realize "Pharmacy is Still a Thrill".


Medcare Pharmacy, Bennettsville, SC., 1114 Cottingham Blvd., Suite B. Telephone: 843.479.7101

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