Growing Your Independent Pharmacy Business

Here are helpful tips and innovative ideas from AAP to help you grow your independent pharmacy business.

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.

CMS releases CY 2023 physician fee schedule

CMS has issued the final physician fee schedule for CY 2023, which updates vaccine payment information. The CY 2023 payment amount for influenza, pneumococcal, and HBV vaccine administration is $31.14. This amount will be geographically adjusted based upon the fee schedule area where the preventive vaccine is administered. With regard to COVID-19 vaccine administration, for CY 2023 the payment amount is $41.52. This differential will remain in place until the end of the calendar year in which the current Emergency Use Authorization declaration for drugs and biologicals with respect to COVID-19 ends. Thereafter, the payment amount for COVID-19 vaccine administration will be adjusted to align with the payment rate for the other Medicare Part B preventive vaccines. Learn more.

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.

Increase Pharmacy Revenue by Optimizing Your Expired Pharmaceutical Return Process

Join Adrienne Vandergriff, VP Sales & Marketing in this pre-recorded webinar. You will learn how to reduce expired products and minimize non-returnable products by returning items to the pharmacy’s reverse distributor in order to maximize their inventory ROI. They will also cover how to evaluate the pharmacy’s current return process and provider to ensure they are getting the most value possible.

YouTube player

About Return Solutions

Return Solutions is a 30-year veteran in the pharmaceutical reverse distribution industry and specialized in independent pharmacies. They simplify the credit reconciliation process by consolidating all credit due through their OneCheck Select program into a single check, issued directly to the customer, within as few as 10 days after a return. Manufacturer credit is listed on the check stub, vastly reducing time spent tracking credits. Offering both on-site and mail-in service, Return Solutions can meet the needs of your pharmacy with their flexible return options.

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.

Independent Pharmacies Under Attack: Protecting your patients’ personal information

Did you know that more than one-third of health care organizations in the United States were hit by ransomware attacks in 2020? Approximately 65% of these attacks were successful, and approximately one-third of the organizations that had data stolen paid up. However, only 69% of organizations that paid ransom actually got their data back. Here are some tips to help you protect your patients’ information. 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.

AAP Preferred Partner – Gerimed

Is your retail pharmacy providing compliance packaging, at home deliveries and counseling, and/or servicing assisted living, prisons or other LTC facilities? If so, you could benefit from the ComboMed™ program provided by one of AAP’s newest Preferred Partners, GeriMed. If you missed the webinar last week you can now watch the recording at your convenience!

What is ComboMed™?

A GeriMed program that allows an existing community retail pharmacy serving patients in both retail and LTC settings to gain access to enhanced reimbursement, better cost of goods, and other advantages traditionally associated with a ‘closed-door LTC pharmacy’ designation.

The webinar also covers GeriMed’s Long-Acting Injectables (LAI) discount program for LAI Antipsychotics.

YouTube player

Recognizing pharmacy techs as ‘heroes,’ Walmart vows to raise pay and hire more workers 

Walmart recently announced its plan to raise wages for its more than 36,000 pharmacy technicians working in Walmart and Sam’s Club stores. Additionally, the retail giant plans to hire an additional 5,000 workers in these positions this year. Are you ready to compete for staffing with Walmart? Read the full article from Drug Topics here.

Cardinal Health issues new alert on fraudulent activity

Cardinal Health issued a new alert regarding recently reported fraudulent activity. There are reports of individuals falsely claiming to be representatives from pharmaceutical wholesalers and courier service employees. This is an industry-wide issue, as criminals attempt to place orders and intercept delivery of the product. Be on the lookout, and read the full alert here.

Independent pharmacy tips for improving patient engagement and education

More than 90 percent of people in the United States live within five miles of a community pharmacy. Additionally, patients visit the pharmacy twice as often as they visit their primary healthcare provider. So, your pharmacy can make a significant impact on the lives of your community members, but you must get them through the door first.

One way is standing out from your competition by personalizing your services. From simple handwritten, thank you notes for a new patient to loyalty programs or just recognizing a birthday, the possible ways to connect with patients are endless. To learn more ideas about how to increase your pharmacy customer base, watch the AAP Preferred Partner webinar from TDS here.

Digital medication information reduces your printing costs

Have you ever thought about what it would take for your pharmacy to go green? If you could give your patients their medication information digitally, it would save you thousands of dollars every year in paper and toner costs. Our Preferred Partner, Vuca Health, has an innovative solution called MedsOnCue. Their platform has a library of informational videos about hundreds of medications, in both English and Spanish. 

The system can integrate into your pharmacy’s system and deliver the medication information video straight to your patient’s computer, smartphone or tablet. To learn more about MedsOnCue, watch our AAP Preferred Partner webinar from Vuca Health here.

Tips for making your pharmacy more successful

We know that every pharmacy faces different challenges. That is why we partner with a variety of vendors to give you choices that address YOUR business needs. Our Preferred Partner, Rx30, can make your pharmacy faster and more efficient by optimizing your workflow and customizing it around you.

Check out the AAP Preferred Partner webinar about the types of tools they can provide your business. From integrated pharmacy point-of-sale to insurance claim reconciliation or pharmacy inventory management, Rx30 has a solution for you.

How independent pharmacies should bill for medical services

Independent pharmacies are the cornerstone of every community. And the role your pharmacy plays in your community is constantly evolving. You are not just filling scripts. You are doing healthcare counseling and testing. In many underserved areas, you are becoming the primary care provider for many patients. 

But the question is – how do you bill for all of these services you are offering? In this Preferred Partner webinar, EnLivenHealth explains some of the programs they offer to help you navigate the medical billing system. Watch the webinar here.

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.

Engaging Patients Through Their Healthcare Provider

In this pre-recorded webinar, please join Scott Meadows, Regional Sales Director and Matt Henson, Marketing Manager as they talk about patient engagement and education. As the physician shortage continues to trend in 2022, now more than ever, pharmacists are taking on a more active role in direct patient care. This influx of new patients can bring additional revenue opportunities for your pharmacy.

In this webinar you will learn:

· Tips to increase patient safety

· Strategies to boost patient engagement

· The important role community pharmacies play in healthcare literacy

YouTube player

Transaction Data Systems is pharmacy-focused and solution-centric offering a central system strategy that seamlessly connects all aspects of pharmacy operations. TDS offers a complete, end-to-end approach to solution innovation in the community pharmacy industry.

The Snowball Effect: How Medical Billing Is Evolving and What It Means

The future of pharmacy lies in going beyond the fill. Join Jason Ausili, Pharm.D. for an insightful webinar on the evolving trends of medical billing in the pharmacy industry. If you’ve been holding out on starting your medical billing practice, this webinar is a great place to begin.

During this webinar, you’ll learn:

  • How Medical Billing Is Transforming Pharmacy: The clinical care landscape has changed drastically in just the last two years. Join them for a short history lesson so you can better understand what’s coming in the future.
  • What Care Can Pharmacies Bill For? Point-of-care testing, vaccinations, and test-and-treat COVID-19 opportunities have been the talk of the town, but what other clinical care services can you bill for? They share examples.
  • How to Create Your Own Snowball Effect: Setting up a medical billing practice means new revenue streams for your pharmacy. They share best practices on how to get started.
YouTube player

EnlivenHealth™ builds advanced patient engagement, financial management and population health technology solutions that enable retail pharmacies and health plans to measurably improve the health of their patients and members, while ensuring the long-term health of their business. With the recent acquisition of FDS Amplicare, EnlivenHealth™ now offers the industry’s most comprehensive suite of SaaS technology solutions that help retail pharmacies and health plans to transform and thrive in this new era of digital-driven healthcare. 

Going Paperless with MedsOnCue

Please join Michelle Barney, PharmD, Vice President of Clinical Operations in this pre-recorded webinar while she introduces VUCA Health’s MedsOnCue solutions which aim to help pharmacies better engage their patients and provide digital patient education sheets and Medication Guides. Viewers will also learn about VUCA Health’s extensive, patient-friendly, medication education videos.

Are you tired of printing medication guides and patient education sheets? VUCA Health’s MedsOnCue helps your pharmacy go paperless. In all 50 states, pharmacies can now offer a paperless alternative to the traditional leaflets given with every prescription.

YouTube player

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.

YouTube player

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.

Rx30: Your Success is Our Success

In this pre-recorded webinar, please join Larry Stephenson, VP of Strategic Sales, to learn why Transaction Data Systems (TDS) is the leading technology partner for pharmacy for you and your patients.

YouTube player

For over 40 years, Transaction Data Systems, Inc (TDS) has been dedicated to the success of independent pharmacy. TDS, with its portfolio of products and services including Rx30, Computer-Rx and Enhanced Medication Services, provides pharmacy management systems and innovative technology solutions to the pharmacy industry. Proudly supporting the largest install base of independent pharmacies in the industry with systems in all 50 states, TDS is the leading provider of Independent Pharmacy Management Software.

BestRx Demo

In this pre-recorded webinar, please join Stephen Barnes, Director of Sales and Marketing, as he walks through a brief overview of the BestRx Pharmacy Management System. This demo will allow you to view the main part of the system at your leisure. For an in-depth demonstration of BestRx and BestPOS, please contact BestRx directly to schedule an appointment with their Sales Team and take advantage of all available discounts.

YouTube player

BestRx is relentlessly committed to the success of independent pharmacies. For two generations, BestRx has studied and come to understand the unique needs of independent pharmacy, delivering easy-to-use software solutions for the best value in the industry. They are not just a pharmacy software solution; they are a community partner.

The Numbers Game: Preventing Issues with COVID-19 Vaccine Billing

The COVID-19 vaccine is making its way to pharmacies. But as pharmacists prepare to administer the vaccine to their communities, questions are popping up. How many doses are out there? When will certain members of the community be able to get theirs? How do you bill not just for the vaccine, but also for administering it? What if your claim is rejected?

In this pre-recorded webinar please join, Jason Ausili, Chief Clinical Officer Pharm.D and Tim Wickis, Product Manager for an informative look at the numbers around COVID-19 vaccine billing. They will explore the data, provide updates on distribution and phases and look at how to bill for the COVID-19 vaccine through the medical benefit.

During this webinar, you will:

  • Get updates on vaccines on the market, availability and the phased approach
  • Explore real numbers on reimbursements, vaccine volume and claim rejections
  • Learn how to bill for the COVID-19 vaccine through the medical benefit
YouTube player

FDS strengthens the health of pharmacies and their patients. At FDS, they help their clients build the clinically focused New Era Pharmacy, enabling their business to thrive now and successfully transition to a provider of community and population health with data, technology and clinical services.

They are not just a technology company but a team of pharmacy experts with experience and playbooks developed from their work with more than 10,000 pharmacies and partnerships with leading PSAOs. Their clients have improved adherence and care coordination in their communities while achieving significant increases to revenue and profitability.

Why TDS? Your Total Pharmacy Solution

In this pre-recorded webinar, please join Larry Stephenson, VP of Strategic Sales, for an introduction to their Rx30 and Computer-Rx pharmacy management solutions. Learn about TDS and their commitment to community pharmacy, and discover how a total pharmacy management solution can benefit your business.

YouTube player

For over 40 years, TDS has been dedicated to the success of independent pharmacy. TDS, with its portfolio of products and services including Rx30, Computer-Rx, Enhanced Medication Services and Pharm Assess, provides pharmacy management systems and innovative technology solutions to the pharmacy industry. Proudly supporting the largest install base of independent pharmacies in the industry with systems in all 50 states and the Virgin Islands, TDS is the leading provider of Independent Pharmacy Management Software.

NHA – What the Research Says about Advanced Skills Performed by Pharmacy Technicians

In this pre-recorded podcast, join Jessica Langley-Loep, Executive Director of Education and Advocacy at NHA as she interviews a leading researcher on the pharmacy technician practice, Dr. Kenneth Hohmeier, associate professor, director of community affairs and the community-based pharmacy residency program director for the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Together, they discuss how pharmacies can expand the roles of pharmacy technicians to improve workflow.

YouTube player

Since 1989, National Healthcareer Association (NHA) has been a leading provider of nationally-recognized allied health certifications, including the CPhT certification for pharmacy technicians. NHA can help you invest in your team, your business and your future. They offer a comprehensive suite of product solutions for every step in pharmacy technicians’ careers, including learning tools and CPhT certification.

ScriptPro Storage and Retrieval System

During this webinar, Kristen Meschede, Customer Communications Manager, and Doug Urban, Senior Technical Sales Specialist, will discuss the issues inherent with the traditional pharmacy “will call” model. ScriptPro developed the Storage and Retrieval System to solve your “will call” worries. 

This webinar provides a deep dive into ScriptPro’s newest robot and includes the following:

  • Benefits of a robust will call system
  • Demo of the SRS in action (previously recorded video)
  • Frequently asked questions
YouTube player

ScriptPro creates innovative, seamlessly-integrated robotics and workflow systems that optimize pharmacy services. As patient care progresses from inpatient to outpatient and long-term care settings, the need for advanced systems to support medication therapy is evolving. Their solutions include strategic planning and financial management services that help health systems succeed in a dynamic and financially-challenging environment.