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In-office dispensing is going away

This is unlikely based on the following facts:

Physicians are expected to provide education and care for patients, yet with payer-specified specialty pharmacies they may have no influence over whether the patient receives the right dose of medication at the right time.

As healthcare shifts to a more consumer-driven market, better-educated patients will seek treatment and advice from those they trust rather than those their insurance may encourage them to patronize. And just like infusion care, in-office dispensing provides the most effective side effect management and compliance opportunities for your patients.

In addition, in-office dispensing improves communication for all stakeholders – with providers, patients, and payers all connecting at the point of care.

None of the payers pay for claims submitted under an in-office dispensing program

This actually is not the case. Like many high-priced medications, payers will sometimes require prior authorization requirements to be verified before they will cover the payment. In others situations, payers may require a simple explanation and education on in-office dispensing and how it benefits the patient before approving a claim.

What are the initial costs incurred when adding First Coast’s dispensing program into my practice?

First Coast offers an array of solutions for you to choose the one that best suits your practice’s needs. Our Workers’ Comp Managed Program consists of no out of pocket costs and we bill and collect claims on your behalf. Our Cash and Carry program was created with the flexibility to have an option to pay your invoices either by credit card or on terms thereby eliminating initial out of pocket expenses. Our web based Dispense System software is free of charge. No costs are incurred for shipping on orders that meet the minimum requirements.

Who is allowed to dispense medication?

Persons allowed to dispense is dependent on the individual state’s regulations. While every state has its own set of regulations; the following five states are where dispensing is restricted: Massachusetts, Montana, New York, Texas and Utah. Dispensing is typically performed by the physician, physician assistant, registered nurse, or nurse practitioner. Generally, those allowed to dispense are licensed medical professionals.

How does your Dispense System Software work?

Once you have logged into the web-based software the process can be completed in the following steps: select the patient, select the medication to be dispensed, print the label and adhere it to the bottle. First Coast Health Solutions also offers a manual record keeping system that can be completed in a few simple steps: document the dispensed medication, peel off the segment label from the bottle and place on the dispensing log, peel off the pre-printed patient label with the documented information and adhere it to the bottle.

What are the advantages to First Coast’s dispensing software?

Our web based software program was created to streamline the process of dispensing medication. The software is a user friendly system that makes it possible for offices to dispense prepackaged medications quickly and easily. Some advantages to our software include the following: manage, order, track and dispense drugs right from your desktop. A simple internet connection ensures all drug information and up-to-date, accurate pricing. First Coast Health Solutions offers our web based solution free of charge to our customers.

What medications can I dispense in my office?

First Coast offers all legend drugs and controlled substances: Schedules 2, 3, 3N, 4 and 5, as well as OTCs, vitamins and nutraceutical products. We offer flexible formularies, brand and generic.

Where will I store the prepackaged medication?

For the storage of prepackaged medications, FDA and DEA regulations stipulate the need for a locked cabinet or drawer. Controlled substances must be stored behind a double lock; one of our dispensing cabinets behind a locked door will satisfy the double lock requirement.

How does dispensing benefit my patients?

Patient convenience and affordability are the top two reasons. Patients often appreciate physician dispensing because they can avoid a trip to the pharmacy as well as the need to wait for their prescription to be filled. Patients often save money by obtaining their prescription at the doctor’s office versus the pharmacy. Patient compliance and confidentiality of the in-office dispensed medication are other benefits.

How do I determine what price to charge my patient?

It is at your discretion to determine the price charged to your patients for the medication. Taking that into consideration, most patients save time and money as a result of in-office dispensing by eliminating the separate trip to their local pharmacy.

In-office dispensing is a growing ancillary program for many practices and a great way to increase revenues. Many providers are recognizing the ability to meet patient needs through physician dispensing as a compliment to their patient-physician relationships.

The program itself is quite simple and dispensing can be done quickly. In office dispensing can save you and your staff time on the phone with local pharmacies from fielding common questions about prescriptions, handwriting, and patient verification to name a few.

Pharmacy dispensing systems are tough to use. It’s not as easy as it sounds

The First Coast dispensing system is actually very easy to use. It was originally designed for small, independent pharmacies – those without a large team working behind the counter, and where multi-tasking is a common occurrence. The First Coast system runs over the web and is intuitive and easy to use. In our experience, most practices are up-and-running and adjudicating claims within the first day of training.