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 has had an impact on my pharmacy operation image. Customers understand how we accomplish customer service. We are about fast, efficient and accurate medication delivery. Our RxMedic Pharmacy Robot ensures this.€
Dowdy’s independent Medcare Pharmacy chain has locations in Bennettsville and Clover, South Carolina and in Indian Trail, North Carolina. The primary operation in Bennettsville is located some 20 miles from the North Carolina/South Carolina border. For those who have visited the PeeDee area of South Carolina, Bennettsville is close to Cheraw 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.
Why is Medcare Pharmacy So Successful?
€It’s about customer service and knowing your clientele,€ said Dowdy. €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,€ he added. €Most folks just don’t know the complexities that will determine their co-pays. Insurance matters can be very time-consuming. The RxMedic pharmacy robot frees up our workflow so we can bond with our customers,€ commented Dowdy.
Current Pharmacy ROI Challenges Come From All Directions
Dowdy also offered some comments about his current pharmacy ownership challenges to ensure ROI €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,€ said Dowdy. €I’m pleased that about 70% of our prescriptions filled are processed by the ADS,€ he added.
Pharmacy Patient Care Case Managers May Be An Answer
As Dowdy works to offset the current pharmacy ROI challenges, he is considering some different revenue-generating options. Using newly licensed PharmD’s dedicated to this concept, Dowdy 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.
It’s About Finding More Time
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? Dowdy continually looks to increase workflow efficiencies because of his commitment to pharmacy service. His Bennettsville staff, for example, ensure no telephone call rings more than 3 times before customer service initiates.
Dowdy senses that eMobility (use of mobile cellular technology) may be an opportunity area for increasing Medicare ROI and patient engagement. For pharmacists, attention to eMobility trends is important. There are upwards of 70% of individuals today owning smartphones and computer tablets –accessing their mobile technologies as often as 60 times a day. So pharmacy automation systems need to be able to adapt their technology to interface with these devices. Anyone spending time with Glenn and his staff will soon realize €Pharmacy is Still a Thrill.€