We all want to start the New Year off on a positive note, and not just personally, but professionally too. In the pharmacy world, getting a jumpstart on the New Year is particularly important, because let’s face it, the landscape is changing, and these changes prompt the need for adjustments to help ensure your business thrives and your patients receive the best care possible.
As well, as DIR fees increase, the need to generate additional revenue has never been greater. Here is the good news: the scope of pharmacists’ work and opportunity for reimbursements is expanding. We believe now is the ideal time to adopt new workflow habits and offer enhanced clinical services to grow your practice’s revenue while improving the quality of patient care and implement our recommendations for the top 5 things pharmacies should do at the beginning of 2020.
Here are our top 5 things pharmacies should do to start to start 2020 right
#1 – Get Updated Insurance Info
New year, new insurance. Chances are this is a likely reality for at least some of your patients. Rejected claims are not only frustrating, they jam up your workflow and often require you to spend hours on the phone to clear things up with insurance companies and patients. Wouldn’t you and your staff prefer to use that time doing something else more productive, like providing value-based care? This is why you and your staff need to proactively engage patients, and ask them to share their new insurance cards. If they are waiting for a hard copy of their information, just let them know that many insurance companies provide a digital copy of new cards via the insurance company’s mobile app.
At PrescribeWellness, we have made this process incredibly easy – patients are able to simply text you a photo of their new insurance card, which is instantly delivered to the PrescribeWellness Message Center. What once took a morning’s worth of waiting, can now be done within a few clicks.
#2 – Confirm & Collect Mobile Phone Numbers
Speaking of texting patients, now is a fantastic time to start. It comes as no surprise to hear that 96 percent of Americans own a cell phone1, but did you know that patients who are texted prescription pickup information are expected to come into the pharmacy approximately 16 hours sooner?2
In addition to facilitating faster pick-up times, texting is also a smart and efficient lever for pharmacy workflow improvement. Consider this: in the time it takes to call one patient, you could text a dozen patients, or initiate a text campaign that simultaneously messages hundreds. Patients actually prefer to receive reminders and notifications from their pharmacy via text. In fact, according to our research, more than half of Americans would choose a pharmacy based on its ability to communicate with patients via text message, and 84 percent would like to receive medication-related or refill reminders over text.
In addition to alerting patients of specialty services that the pharmacy might offer, texting patients can be a valuable tool in your practice for driving refills, renewals, and overall adherence. As a first step, you need to collect and verify mobile numbers. Try a one-time phone/voice campaign to remind patients to confirm their cell phone information! Once they have identified text as a preferred method of communication, ensure patients are aware that they may receive a text message from either the pharmacy’s number or a similar number – this can help assure patients that this is not a scam. Then, you are off and running – think about how much time you will save!
1Pew Research, Mobile Fact Sheet, June 2019, https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/fact-sheet/mobile/.
2Implementation of a text message reminder service in an independent community pharmacy: A retrospective analysis of time to prescription pickup and satisfaction, Beatriz Manzor Mitrzyk, Anisa Bici, Mathew Barras, Jeffrey Holm, Vincent Marshall, Karen B. Farris, October 2018,https://www.japha.org/article/S1544-3191(18)30412-6/pdf.
#3 – Start New Workflow Habits
Throughout community pharmacy, goals tend to be pretty similar: improve patient loyalty, convenience, adherence, and of course, care. The challenges we face in achieving these goals are also common throughout the industry: lack of time, capital (human and financial), and efficient processes. The best way to overcome these challenges? Adopt new habits and implement important changes to your staff’s daily workflow.
PrescribeWellness offers community pharmacies a comprehensive solution that allows your staff to work faster and smarter. For example, our solution allows you to send physicians faxes and daily medication reminders directly from your Patient Engagement Center. This not only saves time, this practice also drives patient adherence. By implementing solutions such as PrescribeWellness’ Med Sync program, pharmacies can begin to tether patients to their practice. In fact, medication synchronization programs have shown to improve adherence three times over!3
3Krumme, Alexis A., et al. “Medication Synchronization Programs Improve Adherence To Cardiovascular Medications And Health Care Use.” Health Affairs, 1 Jan. 2018, www.healthaffairs.org/doi/full/10.1377/hlthaff.2017.0881.
#4 – Offer Clinical Services
Community pharmacy continues to evolve, introducing new challenges, and new opportunities for providers and business owners. This evolution starts with transitioning your practice from a pill distribution center, to a true healthcare destination committed to value-based care. From Point-of-care testing and year-round vaccinations, to hormonal contraceptives and Medicare plan reviews, there is no denying that pharmacists are emerging as primary care providers, and that clinical services are the future of independent pharmacy. Further, health screenings and other enhanced services are now emphasized in many pharmacy school curriculums. Some states have even passed legislation that recognizes pharmacist provider status, with other states granting the legal authority to bill for non-dispensing services.
At PrescribeWellness, we are committed to ensuring your success as a provider of enhanced clinical services. Together, we can go #BeyondTheFill by implementing solutions that help you optimize your practice. For instance, available to you are templates that help you take control of documentation and billing. PrescribeWellness also ensures that you are kept up-to-date on the latest regulations in your state to ensure you are following best practices and that you are taking advantage of available opportunities. There is no better time to begin offering enhanced clinical services than now.
#5 – Take Advantage of Opportunities
Unfortunately, profit margins are continuing to shrink and DIR fees are not going away. So, what can you do? Make sure you are taking advantage of every single opportunity, and do not leave money sitting on the table! Thankfully, PrescribeWellness has solutions and services to help. With a proven track record of nurturing pharmacy revenue through innovative payer programs and other enhanced clinical services, PrescribeWellness is ready to assist and improve your business through transformative pharmacy practices. Take for instance Collaborative Practice Agreements (CPAs). Innovative programs, such as CPAs, provide unique business relationships that introduce additional revenue opportunities for work that you and your staff are already doing!
With unparalleled accessibility and availability, independent pharmacies are uniquely positioned to offer better and more convenient patient care. As an industry leader in health care optimization, PrescribeWellness is committed to optimizing the workflow of community pharmacies around the nation to ensure success in the new era of value-based care.
Not enough time to support these our 5 things pharmacies should do recommendations? We are here to help. Learn more about PrescribeWellness’s virtual pharmacy staff solution, VRxAssist, designed to do the heavy lifting for you!