Pharmacy and DIR Fees for Medicare Part-D Plans

Pharmacy & DIR Fees for Medicare Part-D Plans:

Pharmacy and DIR fees are raising questions that most Pharmacy owners cannot answer. HCC has been receiving numerous questions regarding DIR fees and we have been intensely studying the issues regarding these fees on behalf of our clients. DIR fees stand for “Direct and Indirect Remuneration (DIR)” fees collected by a Pharmacy for Medicare Part D plans. The reason that DIR fees are such a hot topic of current discussions is how they relate to the recent “crash” of Diplomat Pharmacy stock prices. A little over two weeks ago, Diplomat Pharmacy’s stock dropped by almost 50%. The major reason for the specialty pharmacy’s stock actually dropping below its IPO offering price was attributed by the company’s management to DIR reimbursements. Diplomat’s Chairman & CEO (Phil Hagerman) cited that the way the DIR contracts now work is basically an example of PBMs versus Pharmacies with the PBMs having an unfair advantage.

Without time to go into the entire regulations (see Code of Federal Regulations Section 423.100 if you are interested in the legal specifics), Pharmacies involved in Medicare Part D must offer “covered Part D drugs at negotiated prices to Part D enrollees at lower levels of cost-sharing than apply at a non-preferred pharmacy under its pharmacy network contract”. The complexity associated with the fees is staggering!! Some plans have flat per-prescription DIR fees that range from $2.00 to $7.00 per prescription claim. Other plans require DIR fees that are a percentage of a prescription’s ingredient cost. To really complicate matters, DIR fees for many Part D plans are based on such performance criteria as generic dispensing rates and adherence metrics related to star ratings. Now pharmacy performance is becoming a key criterion for inclusion as a preferred pharmacy in a plan’s network. Many Part D plans now incorporate quantitative performance metrics into the computation of the DIR fee. For example, a pharmacy’s DIR fee could be reduced if the pharmacy: achieved better performance on the three adherence metrics used in the plan’s star rating, had better compliance with the plan’s formulary, dispensed a greater share of generic prescriptions, and/or dispensed more 90-day prescriptions. The specific criteria and thresholds are different for every plan and not publicly available. Note that these metrics are typically not relevant to a specialty pharmacy, which does not dispense the traditional drug classes with Part D adherence measures and dispenses few generic prescriptions.

It is becoming so complicated that some Pharmacy chains such as Walgreens have already opted out of participating. Is it worth participating for your Pharmacy business? As a Pharmacy owner it is crucial that you understand how this works. Most owners need help regarding DIR fee computations and estimating their financial impact.

In today’s environment of a constantly changing landscape in the pharmacy business, let an experienced, proven Pharmacy Consulting company provide you with the assistance you may need. We have a professional full-time staff of pharmacists with a proven track record in every area of pharmacy operations. Just a few of the services that we offer include:

– Pharmacy Performance and Efficiency Enhancements
– Pharmacy Business Management Consulting
– Pharmacy Business Planning
– Pharmacy Start-up Consulting and Implementation
– Interim Pharmacy Management
– Policy and Procedure Development and Review
– Compliance Review
– Pharmacy Exit Strategies

If you have questions regarding virtually any area of your pharmacy business or practice, we urge you to contact us today to see how our Pharmacy Consulting services can help. With a full-time staff of in-house Pharmacy Consultant specialists, HCC can answer any questions that you may have in all areas of your business. Call us today at 800-642-1652 for a free consultation.


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Additional Pharmacy Services Leads To Increased Profits

Additional Pharmacy Services Leads To Increased Profits:

Pharmacies today that are growing and showing increased profits are all doing one thing in common: they are providing additional pharmacy services to patients and customers. In today’s Pharmacy environment it is a must to expand what your business is doing! Not only to keep your existing customer base coming back, but to attract additional business and increase your profitability.  With such realities as the ACA (Affordable Care Act), the Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage (Medicare Part D), and decreasing reimbursements across all areas, it is imperative that all Pharmacies evaluate what they currently provide to their customers and to make adjustments as needed.

A decade old study from 2004 showed that less than 10% provided any type of MTM (Medication Therapy Management) to their customers. HCC has been consulting with Pharmacies for over 27 years now and although this percentage has definitely increased, we continually find that a majority of Pharmacists are resistant to changing their practices. We hear that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, but that will not work in today’s changing Pharmacy business practice. Areas of opportunity such as vaccinations by Pharmacists, on-site testing, patient education and even a reemergence of home prescription deliveries are becoming the norm rather than the exception.

A new article to be published in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association takes the need for change even further. A couple of points from the article are worth pointing out:
– Back 10 years ago it was proven in a study that independent community Pharmacies accounted for providing the vast majority of specialized Pharmacy services. But this new article makes it clear that the large chains and grocery store pharmacies are catching up! This study revealed that the large chains and supermarkets are providing a larger share of “novel” services than the independents. In other words, the chains are taking customers and patients away from the independent community based Pharmacies by the delivery of community-based clinical services.
– An interesting side note of the article was that Pharmacies with 3+ Pharmacists on staff were much more likely to expand services and provide their customer base value added reasons to come back. Their services provided included vaccinations, prescription/medication adjustments and reconciliation, disease state management, disease state coaching and education, patient consultation & screening, specialty compounding, and point-of-care testing performed at their location, just for some examples.

In today’s environment of a constantly changing landscape in the pharmacy business, let an experienced, proven Pharmacy Consulting company provide you with the assistance you may need. We have a professional full-time staff of pharmacists with a proven track record in every area of pharmacy operations. Just a few of the services that we offer include:

– Pharmacy Performance and Efficiency Enhancements
– Pharmacy Business Management Consulting
– Pharmacy Business Planning
– Pharmacy Start-up Consulting and Implementation
– Interim Pharmacy Management
– Policy and Procedure Development and Review
– Compliance Review
– Pharmacy Exit Strategies

If you have questions regarding virtually any area of your pharmacy business or practice, we urge you to contact us today to see how our Pharmacy Consulting services can help. With a full-time staff of in-house Pharmacy Consultant specialists, HCC can answer any questions that you may have in all areas of your business. Call us today at 800-642-1652 for a free consultation.


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Facebook & Social Media for Pharmacy

Facebook & Social Media for Pharmacy:

Social Media for Pharmacies is a marketing tool that every Pharmacy owner and manager we talk to seems to struggle with. Having over 27 years of Pharmacy consulting experience, HCC can help you answer the questions that you may have regarding Social Media for your Pharmacy business. HCC was one of the first national staffing firms to utilize the Internet for marketing and we will gladly share with you what we have learned from experience. Keeping in mind that HCC actually has 3 full time in-house Pharmacists with decades of experience in both Social Media & SEO (as well as email marketing), we welcome calls regarding consulting on these subjects and are willing to advise others regarding what we have learned.

So here is our main recommendation to all Pharmacy owners: A Pharmacy should concentrate initially on Facebook. (Please keep in mind that we are separating Blogging from all other Social Media in this instance. If SEO or Search Engine Optimization is your primary objective, then Blogging is the key. Consultations regarding Blogging are also available if you have the need).

Here are some of the typical questions we hear from our clients:
– Is Facebook really necessary?
– How much time and money are required to be successful on Facebook?
– Should I do it in-house or outsource Facebook to a 3rd party vendor?
– How do I measure ROI (Return on Investment) from Facebook?
The questions could go on and on, but the basic answer is this: Facebook is here to stay! Your patients & customers have Facebook at their fingertips, and they’re talking about your business (and their friends and family who are potential customers are listening). The highest return on marketing dollars today is from Facebook. This is especially true when dealing B to C (Business to Consumer). This applies in accessing customers and potential new patients across all age groups. Pew Research recently released a study revealing that over 72% of adults are on Facebook. Ask yourself: What better way is there to get a new customer is there than from a satisfied customer who endorses your business to their friends?

Although it would require many hours to list all of HCC’s recommendations regarding starting and maintaining a successful Facebook strategy, here are some important points to keep in mind:
1. Facebook (and all Social Media platforms) is about engaging your audience. Dialogue is the key! Don’t just “push” information out, talk with your audience. Encourage open, honest and responsive communication in an attempt to share information and to become a resource to you social media followers and community.
2. Content is what Social Media is all about. Many years ago HCC contracted with an SEO (search engine optimization) “guru” who stressed that for Google search rankings…”Content Is King!”. This is true also regarding Facebook. New and “fresh” content is what keeps your audience engaged and reinforces the fact that you are an expert in your field and a valuable member of your community.
3. Monitoring your efforts is required. How else can you measure your ROI? As with all marketing, a good rule to use is a return of $4-5 for every dollar spent. Monitor what works and what doesn’t and make adjustments as needed.
4. Reviews are crucial! Studies show that people are over 90% more likely to write a review regarding a bad experience at a business than a good one. So actively ask for reviews! You will be amazed at how many customers will do this for you if you simply ask. The point is that negative reviews are a fact of life, so be pro-active and aggressively ask your patients to submit positive ones on your behalf.
5. Be yourself. Be authentic. Everyone’s personality is their own and this is reflective on Facebook and all Social Media platforms. With time you will develop a Facebook “style” that is unique to you.

Although traditional advertising remains the focus of the marketing budget for most community pharmacies, large chains have set a clear example by investing in Google Ads, e-mail messaging, and social media channels. Without an effective social media presence, you will never know how your brand’s being talked about and seen online. Now is the time to take control of the information that everyone has access to.

As always, please contact us here at HCC if you have any questions regarding Facebook or any other Social Media platforms. Keep in mind that HCC actually has 3 full time in-house Pharmacists with decades of experience in both Social Media, SEO and email marketing, We welcome calls regarding consulting on these subjects and are willing to share what we have learned. With over 27 years in the Pharmacy Consulting business, 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. With a full-time staff of in-house Pharmacy Consultant specialists, HCC can answer any questions that you may have in all areas of your business. Call us today at 800-642-1652 for a free consultation.


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Pharmacy HIPAA Violations Rise – Develop Policies and Procedures

Pharmacy HIPAA Violations Rise – Develop Policies and Procedures:

Pharmacy HIPAA violations are on the rise again and the primary reason centers around the ever increasing digital and electronic platforms (such as EMR and other digital patient data records). There definitely has been increased scrutiny by the OCR in looking into patient privacy violations (and also increased penalties being seen including substantial fines and strict documentation and retraining mandates). The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 privacy rule centers around the protection of patient confidentiality, and a new system of routine audits for major healthcare providers began this year (according to Law360).

Pharmacy Times had a recent article citing the Major pharmacy chains as the biggest HIPAA offenders, with two of the nation’s leading pharmacy chains (CVS and Walgreens) having the most violations. A ProPublica investigation revealed that CVS had a reported 204 complaints and Walgreens 183. Other pharmacy chains also made the top 10 list of offenders, with Walmart being reported 71 times and Rite Aid pharmacy 48. The most commonly reported violations included pharmacy staff speaking far too loudly, compromising patient confidentiality, and dispensing prescriptions to the wrong patients. It is important to note that the infractions led to 30 financial penalties (plus a lot of bad publicity!).

Large Hospitals have recently been fined extremely large financial penalties for more serious transgressions. A prime example is the $750,000 fine that University of Washington Medicine had to pay out in December 2015. According to the HHS, the Hospital was fined following a major patient records leak with well over 90,000 patient records compromised by malicious malware that was opened in an email by a nurse. The records contained highly sensitive patient information such as patient birthdays and Social Security numbers. The biggest reason cited for the fines was actually the fact that they failed to produce, develop and implement a comprehensive set of policies and procedures to comply with the HIPAA rules. It was also noted that the staff was not provided adequate training in dealing with HIPAA requirements. Keep in mind also that along with the fines, bad publicity results in business severely suffering in almost all scenarios!

Does your Pharmacy have policies and procedures regarding HIPAA requirements in place? If so, when was the last time that they were reviewed by a qualified HIPAA Compliance Expert or Pharmacy Consultant? Additionally, do you provide adequate and documented training yo your staff regarding HIPAA? If the answers to any of these questions is no, we strongly urge you to call HCC today for a free consultation at 800-642-1652.

Healthcare Consulting is a full service Pharmacy Consulting firm that has been in business for over 27 years. HCC has been helping pharmacies plan, prepare and deal with issues such as HIPAA compliance since 1989. Just a few examples of our services include:

– Development of Policies and Procedures (including HIPAA Compliance and Documentation)
– Employee Training
– Patient Consultation Documentation
– Pharmacy Management Consultation

Although we all hope that we will never personally deal with such HIPPA violations, be prepared! HCC’s motto has always been that the old cliche “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” especially applies to running a Pharmacy business. Contact us on line or call us today for a Free Consultation at 800-642-1653 to discuss how we can help you.


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Medical Marijuana in Florida – Policies and Procedures/Pharmacy Consulting

Medical Marijuana in Florida – Policies and Procedures:

Medical marijuana in Florida has been a hot topic since Surterra Therapeutics announced in August that it would open a wellness center and sell cannabis in the USF area of Tampa. Although the company planned only to sell medical marijuana low in THC, the approval by the Florida legislature set the precedent for this in 2014 by stipulating exactly what can be dispensed to cancer patients and patients with seizures who choose to utilize medical marijuana as part of their treatment regimens. It is also important to take note that Surterra Therapeutics plans to distribute a “higher grade” dosage to terminally ill patients after approval of another Florida law passed in early 2016. Surterra partners with Homestead-based Alpha Foliage and is one of 6 Florida approved companies regarding marijuana dispensing (to see the entire list visit the Florida Health Department’s website).

The question of whether to participate in the Medical Marijuana Dispensing Program is not what HCC wants to debate here. It is a fact that the laws have now allowed for this. It is also projected to be greatly expanded, increased and profitable. What HCC wants to stress is that if you choose to participate…. do it right! Obtain Pharmacy Consulting before you begin dispensing. Having Policies & Procedures in place will ensure that problems down the road will be reduced. Everyone agrees that the State will “closely observe” how the dispensing companies control supplies, document and keep records. As HCC has been saying for over 27 years: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Healthcare Consultants is a leading national Pharmacy Consulting company offering expertise in all areas of pharmacy consulting. Known for being one of the nation’s leading pharmacy staffing companies for over two decades, Healthcare Consultants has been in the business of Pharmacy Consulting for over 25 years now. HCC is in the business of helping pharmacists establish, run, improve and make their businesses profitable. HCC is known nationally as one of the industry leaders in providing a full range of professional pharmacy consultation services to its vast array of clients. Owned and operated by pharmacists, Healthcare Consultants can provide proven expertise and experience in all facets of pharmacy operations, including retail, hospital and specialty pharmacy venues.

No matter what your pharmacy consulting needs may be, you can be assured that the experienced HCC staff has helped others with the same issues before. Let HCC and their expert team of pharmacy consultants help you solve your problems too! In today’s environment of a constantly changing landscape in the pharmacy business, let an experienced, proven Pharmacy Consulting company provide you with the assistance you may need. We have a professional full-time staff of pharmacy consultants with a proven track record in every area of pharmacy operations.

Just a few of the pharmacy consulting services that HCC offers include:

– Pharmacy Performance and Efficiency Enhancements
– Pharmacy Business Management Consulting
– Pharmacy Business Planning
– Pharmacy Start-up Consulting and Implementation
– Interim Pharmacy Management
– Policy and Procedure Development and Review
– Compliance Review
– Pharmacy Exit Strategies

If you have questions regarding virtually any area of your pharmacy business or practice, we urge you to contact us today to see how our Pharmacy Consulting services can help. With a full-time staff of in-house Pharmacy Consultant specialists, HCC can answer any questions that you may have in all areas of your business. Call us today at 800-642-1652 for a free consultation.

 

 

 


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Strategic Planning for Pharmacies – Pharmacy Consulting

Strategic Planning for Pharmacies:

Pharmacy strategic planning for a pharmacy business or operation is crucial in today’s complicated world of business. Being prepared for new legislation and the constantly changing Pharmacy insurance issues makes strategic planning a must. Strategic planning and Pharmacy consulting is an area that most pharmacy owners don’t take advantage of until it is too late. Being in the business of Pharmacy strategic planning and consulting for over 25 years now, HCC has been stressing for decades that addressing and preventing issues before they occur is the key to avoiding future problems and bad publicity that pharmacies so frequently encounter these days. With the rise of social media, digital mass media and internet “real-time” news, our advice that the old cliché that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” has never been more relevant.

Plan strategically for both the present and the future now. Consider getting professional Pharmacy Consulting now, before a crises occurs. With numerous laws and guidelines dictating pharmacy practice these days, many pharmacy owners are not even aware that they may perhaps even need help. Having an objective third party take a look at what you are doing and what your operational potential issues may be is a great way to prevent a future crises.

Healthcare Consultants has been in the business of Pharmacy Consulting for over 25 years now. Known as one of the nations leading full service Pharmacy Staffing companies, HCC is also one of the industry leaders in providing a full range of professional pharmacy consultation services to its vast array of clients. Owned and operated by pharmacists, Healthcare Consultants can provide proven expertise and experience in all facets of pharmacy operations, including retail, hospital and specialty pharmacy venues.

In today’s environment of a constantly changing landscape in the pharmacy business, let an experienced, proven Pharmacy Consulting company provide you with the assistance you may need. We have a professional full-time staff of pharmacists with a proven track record in every area of pharmacy operations. Just a few of the services that we offer include:

– Pharmacy Performance and Efficiency Enhancements
– Pharmacy Business Management Consulting
– Pharmacy Business Planning
– Pharmacy Start-up Consulting and Implementation
– Interim Pharmacy Management
– Policy and Procedure Development and Review
– Compliance Review
– Pharmacy Exit Strategies

If you have questions regarding virtually any area of your pharmacy business or practice, we urge you to contact us today to see how our Pharmacy Consulting services can help. With a full-time staff of in-house Pharmacy Consultant specialists, HCC can answer any questions that you may have in all areas of your business. Call us today at 800-642-1652 for a free consultation.


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Pharmacy Audits and Inspections – Be Prepared!

Pharmacy Audits and Inspections:

Pharmacy inspections and audits are a fact of life for every pharmacy. It is a safe assumption that your pharmacy will be audited at a minimum of every two years. In today’s world of computerization and Social Media, a bad outcome that is documented publicly can literally cost you tens of thousands of dollars. The bad publicity that we have seen many pharmacies experience can lead to lost patients and revenue that could have been avoided. The key to avoiding a bad inspection or audit? Be prepared!

Every licensed pharmacy is inspected by their Board of Pharmacy every year or two. Yet many pharmacies are still caught off guard and aren’t prepared or in compliance resulting in an unfavorable (and expensive!) outcome. More problematic are unanticipated regulatory state or DEA inspections. Add in the unexpected audits by a Pharmacy Benefits Manager (PBM) and it is no wonder that many pharmacy owners tell us that they have trouble sleeping at night! How does a pharmacy prepare for all this? The answer is HCC!

Pharmacy compliance audits assess a pharmacy’s level of compliance in regards to procedures stipulated by regulatory or contractual arrangements. Basically pharmacy compliance audits can be placed into two categories:

  1. Third Party Provider Audits – Every pharmacy that is a contract provider of prescription services is subject to a clause in its provider agreement that allows an audit of the pharmacy’s records, including hard-copy prescriptions, signature logs, computerized records of refills, and invoice records.
  2. Regulatory Agency Audits – Pharmacies obviously are subject to audits conducted by state or federal licensing agencies such as the DEA and State Board of Pharmacy.

HCC’s regulatory experts can perform mock inspections and identify areas of weakness and concern. Our consultants will, upon completion of the inspection, prepare a Gap Analysis and corrective recommendations and discuss these with you and your team. If significant issues are found, our consultants are available to assist in the implementation of the corrective actions and perform a re-inspection to confirm compliance.

Our experts are also available to review your prescription filling and billing processes to identify areas that may put you at risk of a payer audit and recoupment demands. HCC’s consultants will work with you and your team to correct areas of concern and develop risk mitigation strategies to prepare your pharmacy for the unexpected, but inevitable, audit.

Don’t wait until you get the audit notice or find the state inspector at your counter! Call HCC and be ready. With over 25 years of experience in dealing with pharmacy inspections and audits, let HCC help you be prepared. Eventually your pharmacy will be the subject of a pharmacy audit. Don’t let an audit notification be a crisis situation and threat to your pharmacy business. As the old cliché says: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Contact us on line or call us today for a Free Consultation at 800-642-1652 to discuss how we can help.


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Compliance to USP 797- Pharmacy Compounding Consulting

Compliance to USP 797:

Compliance to USP 797 regarding Pharmacy Compounding is always an important issue for all compounding pharmacies to address as quickly as possible. HCC reported to all specialty compounding pharmacies last year that actions proposed by the Michigan legislature may have been just the beginning of things to come. Directly related to the 2012 meningitis outbreak that has been linked to the now defunct New England Compounding Center (NECC), many states now are considering legislation for additional compliance regulations for compounding pharmacies that even include increased criminal penalties for many violations.

To help our clients and anyone involved in a Pharmacy Compounding business, HCC would like to share the following Risk Level Assessment guide that recently was published in the United States Pharmacopoeia—National Formulary (USP-NF) entitled “USP Tests and Assays Chapter 797, Pharmaceutical Compounding, Sterile Preparations.” This deals with new requirements for the compounding, preparation, and labeling of sterile drug preparations and applies to health care institutions, pharmacies, physician practices, and other facilities that prepare or compound sterile preparations.

Pharmacy Compounding–USP <797> Risk Level Assessment
Risk Category Requirements, Guidance & Examples
Immediate-Use
  • For emergent use, or situations where low-risk compounding would add risk due to delays
  • No storage or batch compounding
  • Continuous compounding process lasting less than one hour
  • Aseptic technique utilized
  • Administer less than 1 hour after preparation begins, or discard
  • Simple transfer of sterile nonhazardous drugs or diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals
Low-Risk Level
  • Simple admixtures compounded using closed system transfer methods
  • Prepared in ISO Class 5 LAFW
  • Located in ISO Class 7 buffer area with ISO Class 8 ante area
  • Examples include reconstitution of single-dose vials of antibiotics or other small-volume parenterals, preparation of hydration solutions
Low-Risk Level with <12 Hour Beyond Use Date
  • Simple admixtures compounded using closed system transfer methods
  • Prepared in ISO Class 5 PEC
  • Compounding area is segregated from non-compounding areas
  • Administration must start no later than 12 hours after preparation
Medium-Risk Level
  • Admixtures compounded using multiple additives and/or small volumes
  • Batch preparations (e.g., syringes)
  • Complex manipulations (e.g., TPN)
  • Preparation for use over several days
  • Prepared in ISO Class 5
  • Located in ISO Class 7 buffer area with ISO Class 8 ante area
  • Examples include pooled admixtures, parenteral nutrition  solutions using automated compounders, batch-compounded preparations that do not contain bacteriostatic components
High-Risk Level
  • Non-sterile (bulk powders) ingredients
  • Open system transfers
  • Prepared in ISO Class 5
  • Located in ISO Class 7 buffer area with separate ISO Class 8 ante area
  • Examples include CSPs prepared from bulk, nonsterile components or final containers that are nonsterile and must be terminally sterilized

 

Various studies to date have shown that many compounding pharmacies have been slow to react to the guidelines of US797 regarding compliance. The most often cited reasons include:

– Leadership’s lack of knowledge &/or support
– Financial and budgetary restrictions
– Physical plant limitations
– Lack of available training & competency resources
– Time required to implement changes

If you are a compounding pharmacy, the time to get into compliance is now! Do not let small issues with regulatory compliance turn into serious threats to YOUR pharmacy. Be pro-active regarding the requirements to the USP 797 guidelines. Healthcare Consultants has been helping pharmacies since 1989. Let us help you ensure that your compounding pharmacy has no issues by contacting us today for a complete Compliance Review. Reach us online or call today at 800-642-1652.


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Specialty Pharmacy Consulting – Get Help Before Making Mistakes

Specialty Pharmacy Consulting:

The recent news regarding Valeant Pharmaceuticals International has once again brought the topic of Specialty Pharmacy into the national media spotlight. It is yet another incident where utilizing the services of an expert Pharmacy Consulting firm would have paid off. Of course, this is assuming that the large drug maker did not intentionally break the law when it attempted what is being termed a “backdoor approach” in obtaining ownership of Philidor Rx Services. The outcome, however it is decided, brought a tremendous amount of media attention to the company which was denied a California permit to operate. The additional consequence of their actions led to a drastic plunge in the company’s stock prices (a staggering 40% drop).

The company is known historically for obtaining drugs and manufacturers and then raising prices significantly while cutting research and development budgets to the bare minimum. Examples in the past include Medicis (known for it’s skin care products) and Bausch & Lomb (known as the major player in eye care). The tie-in to specialty pharmacies is that the company then encourages MDs and patients to utilize their own line of mail-order and specialty pharmacies to meet the insurance “hassle” associated with the drugs. Specialty pharmacies are seen as a solution for expensive drugs, usually giving patients reduced costs and convenience, while maximizing the insurance reimbursements from those companies that cover the drug.

In the meantime, other drug manufacturers are responding and taking action to minimize concerns regarding their relationships with specialty pharmacies. They do not want the attention to center on the real problem: inflating prices for drugs to increase profits.  Allergan stated that just 3% of its transactions are with specialty pharmacies, Endo claims less than 10% & Horizon Pharma has admitted to using both community and specialty pharmacies but said it holds no ownership stake in any pharmacy.

Whether Philidor actually lied in it’s license application to the California Board of Pharmacy resulting in it’s license being denied, the issue highlights what HCC has been telling our customers for over 25 years now: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!  Healthcare Consultants is a leading national Pharmacy Consulting company offering expertise in all areas of pharmacy consulting. Known nationally for being a leading pharmacy staffing company, Healthcare Consultants has been in the business of Pharmacy Consulting for over two decades. HCC is in the business of helping pharmacists establish, run, improve and make their businesses profitable. Owned and operated by pharmacists, Healthcare Consultants can provide proven expertise and experience in all facets of pharmacy operations, including retail, hospital and specialty pharmacy venues.

No matter what your pharmacy consulting needs may be, you can be assured that the experienced HCC staff has helped others with the same issues before. Let HCC and their expert team of pharmacy consultants help you solve your problems too! In today’s environment of a constantly changing landscape in the pharmacy business, let an experienced, proven Pharmacy Consulting company provide you with the assistance you may need. We have a professional full-time staff of pharmacy consultants with a proven track record in every area of pharmacy operations.

If you have questions regarding virtually any area of your pharmacy business or practice, we urge you to contact us today to see how our Pharmacy Consulting services can help. With a full-time staff of in-house Pharmacy Consultant specialists, HCC can answer any questions that you may have in all areas of your business. Call us today at 800-642-1652 for a free consultation.


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Pharmacies Closing & Shutting Down Are On The Rise!

Pharmacies Closing & Shutting Down Are On The Rise!

As we discuss and celebrate the tremendous trend in Pharmacy expansions recently, it is easy to overlook the concurrent independent pharmacy closings  that are also on the rise. In past blogs we have talked about the benefits that a proven Pharmacy Consulting firm such as Healthcare Consultants can provide to a pharmacy owner regarding exit strategies, yet many businessmen still find themselves forced to shut their pharmacy doors because of a lack of knowledge and/or sufficient planning. There were actually over a dozen instances of pharmacies closing their doors and filling their last prescriptions in just the last 30 days alone. Here are just a few examples:

– In Mount Airey Pennsylvania (part of Northern Philadelphia), Cooperman’s Pharmacy closed their doors after 93 years of servicing patients in their neighborhood.
– The Oak Hill Pharmacy located in Evansville, Indiana shut down last week after being what the customers called “a neighboorhood institution” for over 5 decades.
– The historic Shindler’s Pharmacy in Bandon, Oregon filled it’s last prescription on October 7th. Many local residents claim that it was the oldest Pharmacy within a 50 mile radius of Bandon.
– Main Pharmacy located in Masontown, Maine will shut it’s doors at the end of this year according to owner Lydia Main. This closing of a Pharmacy is of particular interest because it was completely avoidable and could have been averted had Ms. Main seeked out and received proper pharmacy consulting!

Declining reimbursements from insurance companies, reliance on cash purchases, mail-order pharmacies being “pushed ” by insurance companies, and big chain pharmacies moving into local neighborhoods are just a few of the reasons that the last independent community pharmacies may be forced to shut down.

Although we can all remember the corner drug store that we grew up with no longer being in business, independent community pharmacies still hold about a 30% share of the overall drugstore market as shown by industry statistics. Staying in business largely depends on having (and keeping) a devoted customer base, plus offering unique services and products.

But if you are considering closing or shutting down your pharmacy, Healthcare Consultants Pharmacy Staffing can help you do it right. There are many things to consider and items that must be addressed and taken care of. A few of these include:

– Handling the custody of the existing prescription files
– Controlled drug inventory records
– The names and addresses of who will be acquiring the legend drugs
– Documentation and destruction of all pharmacy labels and prescription pads
– Confirmation of return of DEA registration and all blank DEA 222 ordering forms

And these are just few. Plus all closing requirements are required to be performed in writing within a specified time period.

If you are considering shutting down or closing your pharmacy in the future, contact HCC today. Healthcare Consultants has helped many pharmacy owners through this tough transition. We can help make sure that you are prepared for what needs to be done and that all requirements are met and agencies satisfied. This is another example where we stress that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound a cure”.

Keep in mind that Healthcare Consultants has been helping pharmacies since 1989. Just a few of the services that we offer include:

– Pharmacist staffing (temporary, vacation & fill-in coverage)
– Equipment needs assessment
– Audit preparation
– Compliance reviews
– Policy & Procedure review and recommendations

Contact us on line or call us today for a Free Consultation at 800-642-1652  to discuss how we can help you


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