Every February, the most progressive pharmacy owners from across the country arrive in Orlando to spend an intensive three days working on their business. We like to say that the PDS Super-Conference is where passion meets innovation. Attendees bring the passion for providing patients with exceptional health care, and PDS brings the innovative strategies that empower owners to adapt and overcome the challenges they face in today’s marketplace, so they can best serve their communities.
This year was packed with incredible information that attendees and members are already leveraging to change the trajectory of their year. For those that weren’t able to attend this year, we have summarized the 5 Key Takeaways from PDS 2019 in this blog and in our latest on-demand webinar with VP of Business Development, Dr. Lisa Faast. Want to get ahead of the curve? Register today for PDS 2020.
Key Takeaway #1: Brand Identity for Independent Pharmacies
2019 is the year for independents to own our ‘Why.’ Pharmacy owners need to brand ourselves differently.
Consider the following questions posed by PDS founder, Dan Benamoz at the Super-Conference:
- Why should people choose us over their other options?
- What do we provide that is more valuable than convenience?
- How do we stand above what has become the status quo, public acceptance of mediocre health care?
How patients experience your pharmacy, the recommendations they get from you, and their other healthcare providers all play a significant role in their decision to stay loyal and come back. Independents must find a way to differentiate themselves from the competition.
Most patients don’t understand (or care) about the complex ecosystem of insurance and PBMs. They do understand the importance of an informed pharmacist that provides solutions to their specific healthcare needs without breaking the bank. This is the core of PDS’ Pharmacy Brand Promise; you can download your copy HERE, hang it proudly in your store to let your patients know that you’re here to support their needs. Already a PDS Member? Ask your Performance Specialist about access to the print-ready, customizable ads for you to use in your pharmacy today.
Key Takeaway #2: Professional Selling for Independent Pharmacies
Most of us have a vision of a typical salesperson; someone shamelessly pushing you into purchasing products you don’t want or need. In 2019, PDS is challenging pharmacy owners to change this view. The fact is that independents offer critical services and bring valuable knowledge to the community they serve.
We can only impact the health and wellness of our patients if we can communicate what we offer effectively. The ability to communicate and sell your services is critical to the success of your business and the industry. At the PDS, Super-Conference, we brought in three speakers to highlight different ways for attendees to improve their professional sales skills.
Amanda Gore – The Neuroscience of Sales
Your most effective sales tool is connection. Communication and performance expert, Amanda Gore, presented actionable strategies to build relationships and improve communication with your patients, your pharmacy team, and your family. Learn more about leveraging the science of the heart (yes, your feelings) and emotional intelligence to make an impact in your pharmacy and personal life.
Karl Scheible – Minding the Gap, Creating a Great Initial Conversation
We have to sell to do what we love, help people. Success in sales is a direct result of creating alignment between your attitude, behaviors, and technique. Get rid of your self-limiting beliefs, create new actions that empower you and develop a process that you can practice and scale to achieve results.
Dr. Robert Cialdini – Effective, Ethical Influence
Widely regarded as the ‘Godfather of Influence,’ Dr. Cialdini covered the specifics of the Six Universal Principles of Persuasion. Learn more about the principles that help your patients to overcome uncertainty, build relationships, and understand why they work. This knowledge empowers pharmacy owners to read situations and identify the best technique to convey your message.
In addition to the conference presentations, PDS has created a 2-day boot camp, led by sales expert, author, and keynote speaker, Karl Scheible. Learn how to more effectively communicate with prescribers and practice managers and change the trajectory of your business and the quality of care for your patients. Professional sales skills are incredibly important as the landscape of our industry continues to evolve. Don’t be left behind; you can learn how to ethically and effectively have more influence in your business.
Key Takeaway #3: CBD – Cannabinoids
CBD has been around for a few years now, but questions still linger around the product and the legality. Dr. Alex Capano, Medical Director of Ananda Hemp, presented the facts about the potential impact of this soon to be multi-billion dollar industry. It was an informative session that covered the emerging therapeutic potential of CBD and the multiple ways pharmacy owners can leverage this product to expand healthcare services and increase profits.
Key Takeaway #4: Pharmacy Financials
With the multiple hats pharmacy owners wear, managing your financials on top of everything else can seem daunting. At PDS, we think that understanding the financial status of your business is critical for an owner to manage your assets effectively, make data-driven business decisions, and grow your business. If you don’t know the terms, you can’t understand the game.
PDS is now offering an expert pharmacy accounting service. Receive customized reports, traditional bookkeeping that provide unique insight on how to improve your pharmacy. Enjoy the confidence and clarity you get with PDSfinancials.
Key Takeaway #5: Go-To Plays of Successful Leaders
Leadership is learned and earned. Our final keynote speaker, Peyton Manning spoke about creating a positive culture in your pharmacy and developing leadership skills. What got you here won’t get you success at the next level; this is true in sports and in running an independent pharmacy business. Manning shared personal insights from both on and off the football field that resonated with anyone looking to grow as a leader.
Learn what 1,600 thriving independent pharmacies already know; get the impactful insights and scalable strategies to win in 2019. Attending the PDS Super-Conference is a critical component to the success of our industry; for 15 years we have unveiled innovative programs and ideas that have changed the way independents run their business. The above 5 Takeaways are a small piece of what attendees get from the conference. Don’t miss out on another year – register today and start seeing the impact PDS can make on your independent pharmacy.
Click HERE to watch our on-demand webinar with Dr. Lisa Faast as she covers more information about the 5 Key Takeaways from PDS 2019.
In a hearing on Monday, US District Court Judge Richard Leon stated that he is considering hitting pause on the $70 billion merger between CVS and Aetna. The deal is currently unopposed, but the public comment period remains open until December 15, 2018.
According to the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, final judgments must wait until the public comment period closes.
Judge Leon stated in a hearing on Monday, “I was reviewing your motion, which of course is not opposed, and I kind of got this uneasy feeling that I was being kept in the dark.”
Multiple organizations such as the American Medical Association and the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, have objected to the merger citing concerns over “substantial reduction” of competition in the PBM services market and increase prices for consumers.
Fast Facts: PBMs & Independent Pharmacy
- Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) control nearly 80% of all prescriptions filled in the US.
- The state of Ohio was charged $225 million over and above the average price for Medicaid prescriptions. Similar investigations are underway in Arkansas and Pennslyvania.
- Kentucky fined CVS $1.5 million for violations related reimbursement processing, including cases where Caremark gave the state’s Department of Insurance inaccurate information.
- CVS’ mandatory mail order pharmacy program results in millions of dollars wasted due to damaged, unwanted, or otherwise wasted medications.
What Can You Do?
We are urging all independent pharmacy owners, employees, and patients to take a few minutes to comment and share their input on the invaluable service that independents provide to the communities they serve.
What Do I Say?
Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency (PUTT), a non-profit organization, has shared a version of the letter they are submitting. Download this letter as a framework to personalize and write your own message.
Peter Mucchetti, Chief
Healthcare and Consumer Products Section, Antitrust Divison
Department of Justice
450 Fifth Street NW, Suite 4100
Washington, DC 20530
The Department of Justice will collect and publish comments in early 2019. We encourage everyone to exercise their first amendment rights, share their thoughts, and oppose the merger.
PDS believes independent pharmacies are the best place for patients to get the care they need, and therefore we believe independents deserve to thrive. This is why PDS is dedicated to equipping pharmacy owners with the skills and strategies they need to be successful and profitable.
Are you looking to increase your number of patient transactions? How about getting patients to take advantage of your unique products and services? The most straightforward and practical answer is to use the subtle art of sales.
There is often a negative association with the word ‘sales.’ Hearing the word ‘salesperson’ likely conjures up some particular images and ideas for most people. In the best light, they are of a typical salesperson, aggressive, pushy at one end, and ‘con-artist’ or manipulative at the other.
If you’re thinking that you’re ‘selling’ to your patients, frame it another way. The fact is that you’re doing a very important job in the community by helping them solve their health and wellness problems.
Imagine if your best friend tells you he’s struggling with a problem, and you have a solution, wouldn’t you speak up and say something about it?
If you have a product or service that can help others, it is your moral obligation as a healthcare provider to share it with them.
The rest of this post will cover how you can use Dr. Cialdini’s principles of persuasion to communicate new treatment options to your patients and increase sales.
Scarcity: Patients Love Limited-Time Deals (And Things They Have Less Of)
Leverage the emotional impact of FOMO (or the fear of missing out) to increase sales.
To apply this principle to your pharmacy business, offer limited-time deals for different audiences.
Scarce products and offers feel exclusive and valuable to consumers.
One way to showcase a limited time product is by placing it in a smaller end-cap area with signage that conveys urgency and scarcity.
When you’re discussing the product, highlight what they stand to lose by not taking action and speak to the specific issues the patient might be experiencing.
You can also experiment with offering exclusive perks reserved only for top customers. Once people realize that being a repeat customer comes with rewards, they’ll be more ready to act on purchases. In turn, you’ll increase revenue and often, your average transaction value as well.
Assure Your Patients You’re An Expert
Make sure you establish your credibility to your customers.
Why? Although we’ll never admit it, we want others to tell us exactly what to do. Especially by experts that we trust. You can do this by making recommendations, displaying your certifications where your patients can see them, and answering any questions your patients might have.
If you show that you and your team are trained experts, your patients will also be more willing to try new products or services that you recommend.
Offer events and classes that educate your patients, if you continually provide value around healthcare and wellness, your pharmacy will soon be known as a healthcare destination for the community.
People discuss excellent and awful experiences. If you’re providing great customer service, you can bet that you’ll start seeing the referrals come through the door. High patient satisfaction and experiences will ultimately drive more sales.
Consistency Is Key: Start With Small Commitments for Big Sales
When you’re selling something (especially if it’s a high-ticket item that people don’t buy on impulse), try to get your patient to commit to something small first.
As a pharmacy owner, this could be a free trial or samples of new products.
After they agree or “say yes” to you once, they’ll be more willing to “say yes” again to stay consistent with their previous action.
If you use this principle, you can break down many of the barriers your patients have when shopping, and over time, your patients will agree to bigger and more expensive recommendations.
The important thing to remember is to nurture your relationship with them and get several “yeses” first.
Influence at Work: Building a Better Pharmacy
Remember, using these principles to influence your patients isn’t wrong if you’re applying them ethically. Your mission as a healthcare professional is to help people who come to you with health and wellness challenges.
In fact, if you master ethical persuasion, you’ll be able to improve the lives of patients you wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.
PDS is proud to bring you the Annual Pharmacy Business Super-Conference with three days of actionable content. Independent doesn’t mean alone. Gain the knowledge and strategies shared by 1,600+ thriving pharmacy owners.
Owning an independent pharmacy is easy, said no one ever. This is why identifying unique strategies to grow your pharmacy and improve your bottom line is vital. So how do pharmacy owners do this? Owners can achieve this in many ways, two of which are by increasing the amount and frequency of pharmacy transactions, in addition to driving new patients to your business. While increasing volume isn’t the only way to grow your pharmacy (so many options!), it is one effective strategy. In this blog, we’ll highlight one of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to drive new patients to your pharmacy, by building and maintaining strong relationships with prescribers and increasing patient referrals.
Read on to learn more about how to increase referral traffic from doctors and other health professionals in your area. Building and nurturing strong relationships with local physicians is critical to creating a steady flow of referrals and new patients.
Identify Prescription Sources
Pharmacy owners can easily identify which prescribers make up the bulk of their business. Leveraging this data allows owners to enhance the partnerships with prescribers that regularly send you patients. Pharmacy owners can also reach out to those who may benefit from the specific services offered by your pharmacy, but for some reason or another, aren’t sending referrals.
The role of the community pharmacist is expanding to include enhanced services such as annual wellness reviews, medication therapy management, pharmacogenomics, and other clinical services. The expansion allows for greater collaboration between prescribers and pharmacists. Treating the roles of pharmacist and prescriber as complementary is key to developing good working relationships and achieving the best patient outcomes.
3 Reasons Why Your Pharmacy Should Offer Annual Wellness Review Services
- Nurture Relationships with Physician Partners – Working in partnership with a physician for AWV is a great step to streamlining communication between the two offices. This will benefit your pharmacy when it comes to requesting medication switches as well as offering ancillary programs such as diabetic education and flu clinics.
- Greater Involvement in Patient Care – This is an opportunity to keep patient files up-t0-date and ensures you are offering the best standard of care. The face-time with patients allows for your team to ensure patients are following protocol and share information on new programs that would benefit patient outcomes.
- Grow or Start Your Medication Synchronization Program – Create a goal to educate and register your patients about the benefits of synchronization.
Give New Health Professionals in Your Area a Warm Welcome
Did a new pediatrician or nurse practitioner recently join your local health community? Introduce yourself as the local go-to pharmacy by sending them a personalized note or setting up a one-on-one lunch. Take the opportunity to see what they need and how you can help them meet the goals for their practice and their patients.
Lend your experience as a medical expert to help prescribers maintain medication adherence, and enhance their healthcare plan for the patient. Building trust with local health professionals and developing a relationship is beneficial for both parties as well as the patients you serve.
Build Relationships with the Entire Staff
The key to getting the doctor’s staff to recommend your pharmacy is by staying top of their mind. You can do this by engaging the doctor’s entire team. That includes the medical assistants, nurses, receptionists — everyone!
- Send a handwritten note, flowers, or tasty goodies on the appropriate health care appreciation day to show your gratitude. Assisted Living Week begins September 12th and Physician Assistants Week begins October 6. When you give people gifts, they’ll feel obliged to provide you with something in return. Dr. Cialdini calls this the “rule of reciprocity.” In this case, you’re positioning your pharmacy to be top of mind when they want to refer a customer.
- Stop by the clinic on a regular basis to chat with the staff. The key is to be likable and bring value to the conversation. Don’t be afraid to offer genuine compliments or share something personal about yourself. Look for similarities and point them out to build connections. Bringing pharmacy news, coupons, or samples of new products and services can go a long way.
- Invite the local health professional community to your pharmacy for a quarterly, after-hours networking event. The goal is for them to meet your staff and learn about the services you provide. Make the event fun by wrapping the refreshments around a holiday or theme (February – chocolate; May – margaritas, etc.). You’ll have the health community looking forward to your events and referring patients to your pharmacy in no time!
Position Your Business as an Authority on Health and Wellness
One advantage independent pharmacies have over national chains is superior customer experience. Simply put, people talk about great experiences and bad experiences. If the patient is referred to your pharmacy and walks away having a great experience, they are going to share that with the prescriber, who will, in turn, refer more patients.
Take advantage of this by educating and informing your patients about services, programs, and philosophies on which you’ve built your independent pharmacy. When you give your customers (and prescribers) valuable information for free, your pharmacy is reinforcing its position as an authority in health and wellness.
You can talk about:
- Solutions to counteract drug-induced nutrient depletion issues.
- Where to get free calcium, kids vitamins (Pediatricians), prenatal vitamins (OB-GYN) and diabetic medications.
- Type II Diabetes and how to prevent it. You can even teach your customers how to cook healthy meals at home.
- Products that prevent sports injuries (Chiropractor).
- And much more…
When you help solve the patient’s problems, they’ll be more likely to accept your recommendations. If you start taking these steps today, you’ll notice doctors are more willing to refer customers to you. To maximize your pharmacy’s growth through referrals, you need to learn how to effectively and ethically persuade others.
PDS is proud to bring you the Annual Pharmacy Business Super-Conference with three days of actionable content. Independent doesn’t mean alone. Gain the knowledge and strategies shared by 1,600+ thriving pharmacy owners.
What we’re about to show you will likely make your blood boil. It did ours. These are pictures you must see to affirm your sneaking suspicion that yes, you are in fact getting duped by PBMs, such as CVS Caremark.
The images below were provided by a fellow pharmacy owner and were obtained during the process of filing a MAC appeal with the Medicaid HMO, Molina. Like many owners who bill to CVS Caremark, she noticed a consistent pattern of being underpaid on reimbursements. In response to the complaint, she received the following files which show the charges to Molina for the prescription, a stark contrast to what her pharmacy received.
|Prescription||Amount Submitted by Pharmacy||Molina Paid Caremark||Pharmacy Reimbursement||PBM Spread|
|Guanfacine HCL ER 2 MG tablets ER 24H||$320.00||$121.55||$7.60||$113.95|
|Neomycin-Polymixin-Hydrocor 3.5-10K-1 solution||$106.00||$50.32||$5.40||$44.92|
Images one and two show what Molina paid CVS Caremark for two prescriptions while images three and four show what the pharmacy was paid. This highlights the reality that pharmacies are regularly underpaid for prescriptions while the insurance plans are charged far more, and the PBM gets to keep a considerable spread of profits in their pocket.
We’ve also attached the documents for download here.
What This Means
There are approximately 22,000 independent pharmacies in the United States. If we looked at the Guanfacine prescription alone, the yearly payout to PBMs is $29,832,000 if the baseline assumption is that pharmacies nationwide fill this script once a month.
MAC list pricing by PBMs puts independent pharmacy owners at a considerable disadvantage. Adding insult to injury, the majority of the pharmacy owners on the PDSadvantage message board are in agreement that the appeals process is ineffective. A best-case scenario is periodic price adjustments depending on the appeal, which, in the long run, never affect changes in pricing for pharmacy owners as a whole. Overall, this process is designed to force busy owners to choose between below cost reimbursements or an endless cycle of appeals with little change in outcome. Many argue that the effort invested in submitting appeals isn’t worth it because the core of the problem isn’t addressed, and it takes up precious time that should be spent on growing the business, not in the pharmacy.
Fight Smarter, Not Harder
CVS Caremark and other Pharmacy Benefits Managment companies, such as the other 2 of the “Big 3,” OptumRx and Express Scripts, will continue to intentionally narrow the gap between reimbursement and acquisition cost while keeping the appeals process ineffective in the face of repeated price adjustments. This leaves independent pharmacies underwater. We at PDS don’t count ourselves among those who think fighting is futile. The answer is fighting smarter, not harder by making these issues and any other unfair regulations IRRELEVANT to how you operate your pharmacy business. Here and now, we can affect change that will make issues like unfair MAC pricing a blip on the radar. If we come together, our own collective and individual success will be exponentially greater than any threat the PBMs can sling. Filing appeals is a start, but alone it is not the answer. Informed pharmacy owners know that the focus should be on putting effort toward strategies that directly impact your bottom line.
Taking Matters into Our Own Hands, Together
There are over 1,800 pharmacy owners and professionals that know the value of fighting smarter with a proven plan, backed by a community that supports and stands with them. This gathering happens every February in Orlando, Florida.
Independent pharmacy owners just like you gather with the experts and titans of the industry to:
Give owners proven, sustainable strategies that will pay immediate dividends
Light the passion for pharmacy most owners lose in the landscape of this unfair game
Give you the confidence to battle MAC pricing, DIR fees, below-cost reimbursements and any other obstacle in your way – and win
Find your people. Fellow owners that are walking the same path as you. The value of this support and knowledge-sharing is priceless. If you’d like to continue to file appeals and disputes on your own, we commend you. At least you’re doing something and making your voice heard, but that is not your only recourse.
Attend the PDS Super-Conference and see for yourself why we are so confident in our ability to change your life that we have a conference guarantee. If you don’t see the value of after the first day, we’ll reimburse your travel up to $500 and give you an additional $300 — no questions asked.
With our SyncRx+ Intensive training course coming up, we’ve had requests for the Facebook Live video we posted below. In it, our very own Dr. Lisa Faast discusses the benefits of synchronization in your pharmacy and answered questions from pharmacy owners about our SyncRx+ program.
Watch the short video below and you will discover:
- Benefits of a medication synchronization program
- Managing the growth of a synchronization program
- Mitigating inventory and staffing challenges
- Identifying ideal patients for your program
- Setting goals for your synchronization program
- Managing compliance with patients
Still have more questions? Watch a free on-demand webinar, Sync or Sink: An Insider’s Guide to Successful Synchronization, hosted by the developer of the program, Jason Turner. He answers more in-depth questions about the program and exactly what to expect from the training plus the incredible results you’ll see. Watch it now here.
SyncRx + Intensive incorporates the traditional synchronization adherence model and adds an MTM component. The program will help improve your pharmacy’s performance through data mining, improved quality measures, workflow efficiency.
There is no shortage of options for owners looking to impact pharmacy growth. Successful independent pharmacy owners must maintain a balance between growing profits, investing in the business, and managing operational cash flow. This formula is not new. However, in light of significant industry shifts and stringent regulations; the balance is more challenging to achieve. Success is a matter of surrounding yourself with the right team in an environment that will cultivate pharmacy growth. The PDS Super-Conference and premier sponsor Live Oak Bank are the solution partners you need to establish successful programs and unlock capital for your pharmacy.
In an industry where large competitors have unlimited access to funds, and you need capital to implement essential profit programs; where do you start?
Step 1: Know Your Pharmacy Market
Understanding where your profits are coming from is the first step in taking your business to the next level. Passively waiting for the next prescription to walk through the door does not work anymore. The waiting game will not keep you operating at full potential. Actively targeting the most profitable aspects of your business keeps you on top of market conditions and prepared to adjust course in the face of changes.
Step 2: Managing Pharmacy Cash Flow Effectively
Cash is king, we all know it. Your pharmacy should have enough cash flow to reinvest back into your business and employees from marketing to new equipment, all while maintaining salaries and keeping the lights on. Mismanagement of or inattention to cash flow will limit how far you can take your pharmacy. It affects how banks look at you when applying for loans, and your ability to scale successful initiatives.
These are just a few of the tips that we cover with independent pharmacy owners at the Annual PDS Super Conference. Our goal is to provide owners with the tools and solutions to establish a solid foundation, kickstart pharmacy growth, and provide ongoing support you navigate the industry in the coming year.
Live Oak Bank is one of the largest investors in community pharmacies in the industry and has provided nearly $750 million in loans since 2010. They provide funding and packages to address all of your pharmacy needs.
- Quick loan closes – approximately 47 days
- Favorable terms with low-interest rates
- Low equity requirements
As your dedicated solutions partner, Live Oak Bank can assist your pharmacy with everything from facilitating prescription file purchases and software solutions to streamlining improved inventory management. As a major sponsor of #PDS2017 Live Oak Bank will be in attendance, making it the perfect time to stop by their booth and learn more about their loan capabilities, low-interest rates, and equity requirements.
Data Analytics For Pharmacy owners
We have said this countless times before; pharmacy owners play an unfair game. This isn’t just a maxim we tout to tug at your emotions. The unfair game is the core of why we wake up every day to champion pharmacy ownership. If you think you’re doing okay or getting by just fine, check out some of our pharmacy owners who are nailing data analytics among other strategies and winning the game.
Our winning strategy for lasting success is and always has been, an introspective one. The chances are that any deterioration on the outside will indicate a decay within. What is the first thing you look at when you start assessing your pharmacy business opportunities? Your team, customers, pharmacy data, financial statements, even yourself, should all be audited and tested to bat.
This is why our PDS2017 Keynote speaker is so relevant to our cause.
Paul DePodesta Has Made His Name Creating Actionable Strategies
Based on Data Analytics
During the show, he will get attendees to rethink how their system works by asking what Paul calls the naive question, ”If we weren’t already doing it this way, is this the way we would start?” By applying an analytics-driven mindset to common pharmacy issues, Paul will help PDS Super-Conference attendees rethink:
- The idea that prescription volume equals pharmacy profits. Would you rather fill 100 scripts at $5 each or two scripts for $250?
- The tools of the trade. Would you rather keep guessing at who your best customers are or experience tools that will revolutionize the way you visualize your data to target your plan?
- The resolution that pharmacists must accept any customer and prescriptions that walks through the door. Wouldn’t you rather control where you get your profits instead of being at the mercy of the cash register?
For those unaware of why Paul is a results-driven analytics titan, he is the inspiration for the Moneyball Methodology used in the major motion picture “Moneyball,” starring Brad Pitt. Sound familiar?
He served as Assistant General Manager of the Oakland Athletics from 1999 to 2003. At the time of his hire, Oakland was one of the worst teams in the league, coming off of six losing seasons while posting one of the lowest payrolls in baseball. In an industry entrenched in ingrained thinking and outdated systems, the stagnant team needed the unique management and creative approach that A’s GM Billy Beane and Paul DePodesta brought to the table.
By Paul’s final four seasons in Oakland, the A’s won more regular season games than the New York Yankees, who during the same period spent $350 million more on player payroll than did the Athletics. By his unique approach and commitment to leverage data to maintain a level of unimagined success, he and Billy Beane revolutionized the way baseball teams are built. His work has been recognized by various publications, including Fortune, who named him one of the Top 10 innovators under 40.
At PDS Super-Conference, we’re not just going to make you more money. We’re going to revolutionize the way you see your pharmacy to get you fast results you have never dreamed were possible. Pharmacy data analytics is available to the independent industry and PDS is helping owners stay competitive in an increasingly challenging business landscape.
Data-Analysis for Independent Pharmacy Owners
Are you the type of independent pharmacy owner who is content to drift along with the dated model of taking whatever business happens to walk through the door? Don’t settle for “business as usual” and “my pharmacy is doing just fine.” The unfair game PBM’s are playing won’t change until you start to look at your profitability differently. Discover where big money can be made in independent pharmacy–it’s right under your nose, and you don’t even know it.
Pharmacy Development Services (PDS), believes that the success of each independent pharmacy is a win for everyone and we are ready to show you the level of commitment we have to your success.
Improve Pharmacy Profitability
The average independent pharmacy operates on very thin profit margins, forcing owners to reevaluate ways to keep costs low and profits high on a regular basis. Not knowing where to look first can be frustrating and overwhelming. Here are the three methods of improving your pharmacy profitability you should regularly assess in your business.
How to Buy Smarter with Pharmacy Wholesalers
Typically, a single wholesaler will not meet all of your purchasing needs nor provide the best pricing for all prescription purchases. A good way to avoid relying on one wholesaler and putting your already thin profit margins at risk, is to have several secondary suppliers as a point of comparison. Taking advantage of the Pharmacy Development Services (PDS) industry-exclusive message board in PDS Advantage will enable you to get peer recommendations, insights and customer service feedback, before making commitments.
Know Your ‘Top 20’ Prescribers
Not all prescribers are created equal so ramping up your profits should start with identifying your most profitable prescribers. A deep dive into your data will show you which prescribers are moving the profit needle, and which ones keep you busy behind the proverbial bench. Prescribers may land on your list for a number of reasons, but volume should not be one of them. Once you have identified key providers, start implementing ways to stay top of mind by providing value-added services and exceptional customer service to keep the referrals coming in your door.
An often overlooked way to increase your pharmacy’s profitability is to ensure you are recouping the maximum on insurance reimbursement claims. There are three strategies every pharmacy should implement and enforce to remain confident that you are not leaving any profits on the table.
- Regularly update U&C price points — This information is critical to setting an accurate cash price for prescriptions and receiving the maximum on insurance reimbursements. It should be standard operating procedure to examine your switch data to identify claims that paid at U&C.
- Ensure accuracy with DAW claim codes — Incorrect coding can result in the accrual of significant losses. Train your team to be attentive when submitting DAW codes, because not doing so will negatively affect the profitability and efficiency of your pharmacy; the reimbursements will be inaccurate; the pharmacy will lose time over claim resubmissions and misinformation on claims may trigger the most dreaded consequence — a pharmacy audit.
- Consistently update AWP information — Pricing and reimbursements models are still largely based on AWP, and ‘bad data’ leads to inaccuracies that affect profits. Pharmacy owners should make sure their software is updated daily with the latest pricing information. Many third parties lag in their updating of AWP, which will mean a pharmacy will have to invest time to reverse and resubmit claims to capture lost profit.
Independent pharmacy owners often believe they cannot impact their pharmacy profitability. However, the strategies above can result in thousands of dollars in profits each month. Yet, most pharmacies haven’t changed the management of prescriptions and processes in years. If you are waiting for prescriptions to come in the door, dealing with inventory and purchasing headaches and finding little time to implement new initiatives or improve your current processes..you are doing it wrong!
Running a reactive pharmacy is ineffective and killing your bottom line…but there is a better way! SyncRx Plus is a program that incorporates the traditional synchronization adherence model and with an added MTM component. The implementation of this program will improve your pharmacy’s profitability through data mining, improved quality measures, workflow efficiency and by leveraging your third-party contracts.