For retail pharmacy owners, growth and revenue are always top of mind. Filling prescriptions is part and parcel of a thriving pharmacy business. In order to survive these days, however, pharmacies need to start doing more for their patients than just dispensing. Expanding their portfolio of patient care and other value-based offerings while still maintaining financial status quo can be difficult, but there is a solution. Here are three ways data analytics can help boost your pharmacy growth:
1) Becoming an “All-in-One” Pharmacy
It pays to know your patients. Improving the pharmacist-patient relationship can be a key growth factor for independent pharmacies. Better patient relationships can help improve medication adherence (which can translate to higher payer performance), while also allowing for clinical upsell opportunities. Point-of-care testing, vaccines, telehealth, wellness screenings, and medication therapy and chronic care management are all doors just waiting to be opened. “The industry continues to evolve towards a focus on patient care and clinical outcomes,” says Rich Bukovinsky, Executive Vice President of Business Development at FDS. “You have to leverage solutions that help improve financial growth while delivering exceptional care at lower costs.”
2) Med-Sync is a Mega-Opportunity
Med-sync (medication synchronization) is dominating the pharmacy marketplace. Mega-pharmacy conglomerates like CVS/Aetna and Amazon are leading the charge. However, independent pharmacies are taking notice. For example, Eastland, Texas-based Love Oak Pharmacy has grown their business by offering a med-sync program that packages medications and OTC products into a single box for easy pickup. Pharmacy owner Ben McNabb credits this amenity to analytics and medication synchronization software that captures all medication and dosage data in one place. Love Oak’s med-sync program is similar to Amazon’s Pillpack and other similar partnerships between PBMs (Pharmacy Benefit Managers), insurance providers, and pharmacy chains. If they want to compete with mega-chains, independent pharmacies need to embrace med-sync programs.
3) The Race for Star Ratings
CMS Star Ratings impact pharmacies. Because of them, it’s getting harder for retail pharmacies to participate in many Medicare Part D networks. While tied to reimbursements and DIR fees, these scores also impact a pharmacy’s access to insurer plans. What can be done? Focus on fixing non-adherence. It’s a critical issue for pharmacies, and it can torpedo a Star Rating in seconds. You can use analytics to identify non-adherent patients and take action. Once identified, you can follow up with them by phone or email. You can make recommendations for refill programs, or set up a med-sync program if you have one in place. Ensuring that patients stay adherent helps both the patients and the pharmacy. Pharmacies maintain a steady stream of income, and patients experience improved healthcare outcomes.
Pharmacies these days can’t get by with just filling prescriptions. Their patients have a lot of options to choose from — the way to stand out from their competition is by expanding the care they offer. But how do you make the shift from medication dispenser to community care provider? Use analytics to find your opportunities, then seize them.