Why A Pharmacy Consulting Firm?
In a traditional independent retail pharmacy setting, many pharmacy owners, Prescription Department Managers (PDM) and Pharmacists in Charge (PIC) ask themselves this question: “Perhaps I could use some expert advice on some of the business decisions that are being made here?”. The use of an objective and experienced third-party pharmacy consulting firm in larger pharmacy organizations is much more widely accepted these days. Most large hospital systems, governmental and institutional pharmacies and large healthcare systems are much more likely to seek outside pharmacy consultants to assist them in their decision making process. They realize that two major absolutes exist in today’s pharmacy environment: Specialization and Objectivity. Many would agree that specialization and objectivity are “keys to success” in almost any industry, but nowhere is this more important than in healthcare and pharmacy.
The Age of Specialization
The complex nature of our society that exists today as the information age began in the early 1990’s and has peaked now according to experts, means that no individual alone could possibly operate a business when it comes to areas such as technology, human resources, legal requirements and finance. This is true not only for pharmacy, but for almost every field of industry (healthcare related or not). A friend who operates a large Internet company shared that over 20 years ago he employed one IT professional on his staff full-time. Now he has five full time IT employees: specialists in website hosting and email, VM & cloud solutions, IT infrastructure, database administration and programming.
Nowhere is specialization seen more than in the businesses of healthcare and the profession of pharmacy. Just understanding the technology in pharmacy alone takes quite an education and is an extremely time consuming undertaking. In one of our previous blog posts several years ago we took a good look at Medication Therapy Management (MTM), which included a discussion of Health Information Exchanges (HIE’s). Yet we didn’t really even touch on the majority of recent technological advancements in pharmacy such as e-prescribing, mobile health apps, and electronic health records (EHRs). When you add in the complexity of keeping up with and understanding the additions and changes in federal and state laws and regulatory agencies (DEA, FDA & State Boards of Pharmacy), it is clear that sometimes the help of an an expert is absolutely necessary. Lastly, let us just make a short list of additional areas that a pharmacy business may have to deal with and it’s pretty easy to see why having a pharmacy consulting firm as a business “partner” may be a really good idea:
– PBMs and insurance networks
– Sterile and non-sterile compounding <USP 795 & 797>
– Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs)
– Integrated Delivery Networks
– Internet pharmacies
Perhaps the famous Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard was correct in his observation that it is impossible for a human being to be objective about themselves. Many experts agree that this is especially true when it comes to being totally objective regarding your business or pharmacy operation. Large pharmacy business organizations, hospitals, government institutions and major healthcare systems know this to be true. They all internally have systems of checks and balances in place, yet consistently utilize objective third party pharmacy consulting firms such as Healthcare Consultants to take an unbiased look at their operations in order to maximize their operation’s efficiency and increase their revenue. Additionally, they receive vitally important feedback on operational policies and procedures, industry best practices and emerging technologies.
The need for objectivity for “smaller” clients is just as crystal clear. Sometimes it is even more necessary in an independently owned and managed retail or specialty pharmacy operation because the owner is emotionally tied to the business. We have all heard the phrase “making a decision based on your heart and not your head”. Sometimes an objective third party taking a look at your situation can make the difference between growing your business or closing it down.
The Nation’s Leading Pharmacy Consulting Firm
HCC is known to be a national leader in pharmacy consulting. Since 1989, our network of seasoned advisers and in-house specialists have provided expert guidance across all sectors of the pharmacy industry. We work with businesses of every size – from the corner drug store to national corporations and organizations – with only one goal in mind: to improve your pharmacy’s business operations. Some of the services we most commonly provide include:
- Pharmacy Performance Assessments
- New Service Line Integration (including compounding, specialty and long-term care)
- Institutional Pharmacy Realignment
- Regulatory Compliance Audits, Gap Analysis and Corrective Action Planning
- Recoupment Exposure Assessments
- Strategic Pharmacy Business Planning
- New pharmacy Startup or Expansion
- Pharmacy Performance and Efficiency Enhancements
- Pharmacy Business Management Consulting
- Pharmacy Business Planning
- Interim Pharmacy Management
- Policy and Procedure Development and Review
- Compliance Review
From major hospitals and healthcare systems to individual community pharmacies, HCC has been the nationally renowned pharmacy consultant firm of choice for over 29 years now. HCC can assist with expert advice in any area of your pharmacy business or practice. We urge you to contact us today to see how our Pharmacy Consulting services can help you improve your business now and be ready for the future. With a full-time staff of experienced in-house Pharmacy Consulting specialists, HCC can answer any questions that you may have in all Pharmacy settings. Contact us online or call us today at 800-642-1652 for a free consultation.