AAP Preferred Partners

Content provided by AAP’s extensive offering of Preferred Partners, curated to support the operations and profitability of its Members.

The 5 Most Common Medical Billing Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

Medical billing is… complicated. Making even the slightest mistake on a claim can lead to a delayed payment or, worse, an outright rejection. That’s why EnlivenHealth approached their medical billing team with the question “What are the most common medical billing errors, and how can we help pharmacists avoid them?” The answers are in this free webinar.

Join EnlivenHealth’s medical billing experts for a one-hour journey through the five most common medical billing mistakes that pharmacists make — and learn how to avoid making them!

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10 Ways to Get More Money Out of Expired Products

Expiring inventory is a fact of life in any pharmacy, but you may be leaving money on the shelf if you aren’t taking certain steps to effectively manage your inventory. These 10 tips will help you minimize the number of products that go out of date and ensure you can get the most credit possible from the products that do expire on your shelves.

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Navigating Medicare Open Enrollment: What Every Pharmacist Should Know

The Medicare Open Enrollment period is a critical time for patients and pharmacists alike. As more Baby Boomers become eligible for Medicare, the beneficiary population is expected to increase from over 65 million beneficiaries today (as of March 2023) to over 80 million beneficiaries by 2030. Now more than ever, pharmacists must take an active role during Open Enrollment by offering services that help patients understand their plan options. Equipping yourself with the right knowledge could mean a tremendous amount of money saved for both your pharmacy and patients. As you plan to help your patients with navigating their options for the coming year, here are a few things to know:

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PrimeRx™ Technician Training Webinar

AAP Preferred Partner – Mirco Merchant Systems

In this pre-recorded webinar, please join Robert Dahne, Software Trainer, Micro Merchant Systems for technician training on their PrimeRx™ system.

Micro Merchant Systems is a pharmacy technology company that has been providing exceptional management solutions to the Independent Pharmacy Market for 30 years. Thousands of pharmacies throughout the U.S trust their PrimeRx™ system to manage their Retail, Long-Term Care, Specialty, Compounding, 340B, Mail order, Physician’s office, Hospital & Health System Outpatient, and Hub Service Pharmacy technology needs.

Micro Merchant Systems Windows-based PrimeRx™ Pharmacy Management System serves as a local or hosted platform for their innovative solution offerings. At Micro Merchant Systems, they offer products, services, APPs, APIs, and vendor interfaces to keep the pharmacy running at the peak of performance.

For more information, please email Micro Merchant Systems at sales@micromerchantsystems.com or call (866) 495-3999 to set up a PrimeRx™ Demo. Visit online at www.micromerchantsystems.com.

LTC Pharmacy

As you know, there has much information and talk about LTC Pharmacy at Home.  The need for better pharmacy care for people who are homebound or need assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) is a reality with the increasing elderly population. According to projections in a new report from the Population Reference Bureau (PRB), the aging of the baby boom generation (those born between 1946 and 1964) could fuel a 75 percent increase in the number of Americans ages 65 and older requiring nursing home care, to about 2.3 million in 2030 from 1.3 million in 2010. New facilities are not being built today to accommodate people with institutional needs.

Those numbers stress the need to find new ways to administer care and pharmacy services to aging adults with medical conditions and impairments limiting their ability to care for themselves. Long term care (LTC) pharmacy at home is a new way for LTC pharmacies to care for people needing institutional care but who desire to stay in their home or are financially unable to be admitted into a facility.

Many of these people are participating in a home and community-based waiver (HCBS) program from their state where Medicaid pays for institutional care in their home, or they are homebound and need assistance with two or more ADLs (activities of daily living) or IADLs (instrumental activities of daily living). 

While the definition of pharmacy services required to be provided to people qualifying for LTC pharmacy services, a new coalition and others in the industry are providing clarity on these needed services.   The independent community LTC Pharmacy, whether in closed door pharmacy or in a combination pharmacy (retail and LTC), is the best solution in providing pharmacy care to these patients and to assist in decreasing hospitalizations and emergency department visits. We know that people who do not take their medications correctly – too much, too little, wrong time, wrong dose – frequently have complications that result in ER visits and hospitalizations.  A new coalition, the Alliance for LTC Pharmacy at Home is developing strategies to define, promote and get these services paid by insurers (https://www.pharmacyathome.org/). 

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GeriMed logo image - LTC pharmacy services

Diversifying Revenue

Your patients rely on you to dispense the right medication for their unique needs. The same level of care should be taken when it comes to your pharmacy’s financial health. We’ll explore strategic and effective ways to diversify your pharmacy’s revenue and ensure long-term success. So, grab your pad and pen, and get ready to lay a foundation for financial well-being for your pharmacy.

Why Diversification is Crucial:

Diversification is important for several reasons. First and foremost, it helps protect your pharmacy against economic downturns and changes in the industry. By diversifying your revenue streams, you’ll be less reliant on any one source of income, which can help you weather any storms that come your way. Additionally, diversification can help you attract new customers and build loyalty with existing ones. By offering a wider range of products and services, you’ll be better able to meet the needs of your customers and keep them coming back to your pharmacy. Read More >>

Rely on Prescription Refill Automation for Improved Efficiency and Pharmacy Productivity

A late-2021 analysis by Deloitte about “the future of the pharmacy” includes what may seem to be an obvious observation, but one that still warrants repeating: “Most people don’t realize that pharmacists can perform a range of complex clinical functions around therapy optimization, not just dispense pills.”

The analysis reaches the conclusion that, while the COVID-19 pandemic provided an opportunity for pharmacists to increase their role in providing hands-on patient care, there was no proportionate reduction in the time required to dispense medications. In fact, the article notes, dispensing demands have only increased, as reduced reimbursement and dispensing fees, along with increased direct and indirect renumeration (DIR) fees have caused many pharmacies to actively look to increase prescription volume.

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Guide to Buying an Independent Pharmacy

What do you need to consider when buying an independent pharmacy?

Whether buying your first business or tenth, acquiring an independent pharmacy presents unique challenges. Similar to any retail business, you’ll be performing your due diligence evaluating:

  • Location: What’s the neighborhood like demographically? What kind of walk-by or drive-in traffic might you expect? What type of competition are you up against?
  • Property: Is the building owned or leased? What repairs or renovations will be needed? Can it support the business needs you envision?
  • Inventory: What OTC, DME, beauty, giftware, or other categories of inventory are currently sold? What is included as part of the sale?
  • Staff: What are the current staffing levels and related costs? Who are the current team members? What are their skills? Who is essential?
  • Financial viability: Is the business worth the price?

But when you buy an independent pharmacy, there are more dimensions to understand about each of these elements. They involve additional evaluation, regulation, legal, and financial guidance to determine what may or may not be a good buy for you. Below is a guide to some things to consider as you make your plans. Read More >>

ComboMed™ Webinar by GeriMed

In this pre-recorded webinar, please join Jessica Swicegood and Cole Page from GeriMed to learn more about their program ComboMed™.

ComboMed™ has garnered prominence from independents nationwide for the enhanced revenue ($3-$4 more per script, zero DIR fees) it brings to retail independents servicing LTC. From the traditional SNF setting, to ALF, Group Home, Psychiatric, Correctional, ICF-IDD, Hospice, and the fastest-growing segment in LTC—Medical at Home, odds are you’re likely servicing LTC already and don’t know it. Or if you do know it, you’re not receiving the benefits of this program on your Med D LTC claims.

Click here to watch.

How to Improve Pharmacy Patient Retention through Medicare Plan Consultations

Your patients are the lifeblood of your business. With an increased number of pharmacy alternatives popping up these days — including mail order pharmacies and online pharmacies — how can you ensure your patients stay your patients?

Did you know you can create a customer retention strategy through Medicare plan consultations that keeps your current customers engaged and happy? You can, and we’ll get to that shortly.

Before we understand how you can improve patient retention, however, let’s first look at what patient retention is and how you calculate your patient retention rate. Read More.

Considerations When Starting a New Pharmacy

Starting a new pharmacy can seem like a daunting task, and it certainly is one. However, the road to opening a pharmacy that runs successfully from day one means making the right decisions long before the doors are opened. This article is meant to help independent pharmacists navigate the process of establishing a new pharmacy more easily and successfully.

Create a Business Plan

There’s a well-known adage (often attributed to Benjamin Franklin, though there seems to be no evidence that he ever actually said it) that goes, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” When starting a new pharmacy, this is especially true. Therefore, the first thing to do is write out a business plan that includes the following items:

  • Executive Summary
  • Description of Business
  • Description of Services
  • Marketing Plan
  • Financial Plan

Read More.

Resurgence in COVID cases raises vaccine hesitancy concerns

It’s back.  Americans who thought they had successfully put COVID-19 in the rearview mirror are slowly coming to realize that the virus is not quite done with them.  As of mid-July the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported a 7-day moving average of 124,000 daily new cases – a 15.7 percent increase over the prior week.

The surge in new cases, driven primarily by the Omicron BA.5 variant, has fueled discussion about reimposing mask mandates, and the possibility of additional booster shots.  This, despite evidence the latest variant is more resistant to existing vaccines than previous strains. Read More.

What is Long-Term Care (LTC) Pharmacy in 2022

Thirty years ago, pharmacies were just realizing the opportunities available to them in the long-term care space.  At that time, long-term care pharmacy and pharmacists were servicing residents living in nursing homes (SNF) and that was the end of the story.  In 2022, the healthcare spectrum has changed.  Everyone is looking for a way to decrease healthcare costs and provide better care.  Adverse drug reactions account for many hospital admissions – according to a recent meta-analysis, one in ten hospital admissions are for elderly patients.1 This makes pharmacists—more specifically, long-term care pharmacists— part of the solution for both costs and care; especially as the definition of appropriate long-term patients and services continue to be defined. Long-term care pharmacies can be a closed-door pharmacy servicing only long-term care residents or a long-term care pharmacy can be in a “combo” pharmacy where both retail and long-term care pharmacy are being offered under a retail license.

As you know, long-term care pharmacies provide services above and beyond what is delivered at the counter of a typical retail pharmacy for a walk-in patient.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has specific requirements for pharmacies servicing Medicare Part D beneficiaries in long term care facilities2.  LTC pharmacies must have the capacity to provide specific drugs in units of use packaging, bingo cards, cassettes, unit dose or other special packaging commonly required by LTC facilities.  They must also have services available twenty-four hours, seven days a week for emergency calls. These are but a couple of the services needed to take care of patients in a long-term care setting. Many pharmacies have added other services such as medication reconciliation, medication management, medication regimen reviews (MRRs), etc., in addition to the ones specified by CMS. Read More.

Optimize Medication Returns in the Pharmacy

Expiring drug products are a problem in every pharmacy. But out-of-date pharmaceuticals don’t have to be an unmanageable business expense. The right business partner can turn expired medications into cash.

Medication returns vendors, more formally known as reverse distribution or reverse logistics providers, manage between 3.5% and 4% of all pharmaceutical sales, according to a 2018 estimate from the Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) Research Foundation. That’s more than 120 million units annually, worth more than $13 billion, based on 2016 pharmaceutical product sales of $450 billion.

“Return Solutions comes to the pharmacy quarterly and goes through our entire stock to pull everything that is expired or set to expire in the next few months,” said Lisa Stahlman, RPh, pharmacy manager at the WellSpan Pharmacy in Dallastown, Pennsylvania. “A few weeks later, we get a check. I’m sure there are plenty of pharmacies that don’t use a returns company, but it’s so much more time-efficient and cost-efficient than trying to keep up with return policies and requirements for every manufacturer on your own.” Read More.