Improving medication adherence has been a long-time priority for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. Research consistently shows that one-fourth of new prescriptions are never filled at all, and even when they are, up to 50 percent of patients with chronic conditions fail to take those medications as prescribed. Fortunately, technology is available to improve medication adherence and address these challenges—not to mention the serious health consequences that accompany them.
Medication adherence solutions introduce countless benefits for patients, providers, and pharmacists alike. That’s why an increasing number of independent pharmacists are investing in technology to improve medication adherence, work more efficiently, introduce new patient care services, and streamline pharmacy operations—all while becoming a more competitive and profitable business.
Here are five ways independent pharmacists benefit from medication adherence solutions.
1. More Efficient Workflows
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits to using advanced pharmacy technology is the ability to automate manual processes to work as efficiently as possible. Automating time-intensive dispensing workflows with a medication synchronization (med sync) program can introduce efficiencies and free up more time for pharmacists to spend communicating with and caring for patients.
Plus, built-in, actionable care alerts also make it easy for pharmacists to target patients who need intervention counseling to improve their medication adherence—without taking time away from other daily responsibilities and patient engagement opportunities.
2. Better Patient Outcomes
Medication adherence directly correlates with better health outcomes (and less unwelcome adverse events) for patients—which is what most pharmacists would agree is their top priority. When patients take their medications as prescribed, they’re more likely to see positive treatment results. Additionally, adherent patients are also more likely to be engaged and proactive when it comes to their own healthcare.
Of course, the challenge lies in improving adherence, especially in high-risk patients with a history of not taking medications as prescribed. That’s where medication adherence solutions come in. With the right technology add-on, you can easily implement and manage a med sync program to improve both adherence and profitability. In the long run, your patients and your independent pharmacy business will be all the healthier because of it.
(Interested in deploying a med sync program at your independent pharmacy? Check out our med sync calculator to learn the financial impact it would have on your business.)
3. Increased Pharmacy Revenue
Even if taking care of patients is your first priority, you still have a business to run—and technology is a sure-fire way to improve your pharmacy business quickly and effectively. How can medication adherence solutions help you do that? Med sync programs lead to less missed refills and a more consistent prescription volume, which ultimately helps to increase pharmacy revenue and drive profitability.
In fact, our own research revealed pharmacists can identify $90,000 in additional annual revenue from increased refills for every 100 multiple medication patients enrolled in a med sync program. That’s not chump change! Additionally, higher medication adherence rates also make it easier for independent pharmacists to predict their weekly and monthly cash flow because refills are filled consistently each month.
4. Enhanced Clinical Care Services
Gone are the days of simply filling and billing; pharmacists today have a much more complex and ever-evolving role, and in order to stay competitive, they need to expand their services to become trusted community caregivers. Medication adherence solutions often include features that enable independent pharmacists to offer enhanced clinical care services. Plus, with complete confidence that your pharmacy’s prescription center is operating as smoothly and efficiently as possible, you can do so without being afraid to focus your efforts elsewhere.
Many of the medication adherence solutions available today provide much-needed support for a range of clinical care services such as:
- Flu shots/immunizations
- Point-of-care testing
- Durable medical equipment
- Medication therapy management
- Chronic disease management
Of course, you still need to get paid for the clinical care service you provide, right? Independent pharmacists can also make smart use of medical billing solutions like FDS MEDBILL to submit claims for reimbursement with accuracy and efficiency.
5. Improved Quality Scores
Now that quality scores are directly tied to reimbursement, there’s a significant financial incentive to improving medication adherence rates. In fact, analysis shows that 18 of the 45 unique measures in the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) star ratings relates to medication behaviors in one way or another. That’s 40 percent!
For pharmacists in particular, the Electronic Quality Improvement Platform for Plans & Pharmacies (EQuIPP) is responsible for guiding quality improvement efforts and connecting payers to those who meet a certain standard of care. EQuIPP measures pharmacies based on three different criteria:
- Comprehensive medication review
- Statin use in diabetes
Using medication adherence solutions to minimize instances of non-adherence will increase your quality scores and your reimbursements in the process. In addition to optimizing pharmacy reimbursements, EQuIPP’s performance metrics can influence direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees—meaning maintaining high ratings can lead to a lower rate of costly DIR fees for your pharmacy.
Improving Medication Adherence (and More) with FDS ENGAGE
Medication adherence solutions like FDS ENGAGE play a crucial role in increasing workflow efficiency, improving patient health outcomes, increasing pharmacy revenue, expanding clinical care services, and driving up CMS star ratings. With the right medication adherence solution at their fingertips, independent pharmacists can gain access to a wide range of modern tools that can strengthen the health of both their pharmacies and the patients they serve.
Interested in learning how technology can transform your independent pharmacy business? Request a demo of FDS ENGAGE to see the solution in action.