Many doctors and clinics from a broad variety of practice specialities, such as urgent care, orthopedic, pain management, and occupational health clinics are setting up physician dispensing or in-office pharmaceutical services in order to prescribe and dispense patients’ medication at the time of their visit. Other practices are taking notice of this trend and considering physician dispensing solutions to increase their revenues while improving the overall patient experience.
However, before setting up your in-office dispensing solutions, there are a few things to consider to ensure a successful in house pharmacy program. This blog post aims to provide you with what you need to know before you proceed.
Reasons why you should consider physician dispensing service
An in-office pharmaceutical service has several advantages, one of which is the convenience factor. Both patients and providers appreciate the ease of being able to complete an office visit from start to finish; including receipt of any prescriptions that were indicated. This option is especially helpful for those who are elderly or disabled as it eliminates the need to stop at a pharmacy and invites the opportunity for better discussion and understanding of the patient’s medication regimen.
Having complete access at the point of service to all medications and supplies prescribed is something all patients appreciate.
It is also profitable. Reports indicate an increase in clinic revenue from 10-15% when they choose to offer an in office dispensing option to their patients.
Important points to consider before setting up physician dispensing
If you do decide on providing physician dispensing solutions, the ability for proper record keeping, inventory management, label creation, and regulation compliance is crucial. One of the most important considerations is whether the company offering an in-office dispensing program also has a capable medication dispensing software, such as the one First Coast Health Solutions provides.
Similar to making any major purchase: research is key! Choosing an in-office dispensing solution can increase revenue, but that percentage increase is largely dependent upon the dispensing partner you choose. It is worth gathering data and doing a bit of research before selecting a dispensing management company.
Dispensing in-house can help save time and money. When writing prescriptions the traditional way, there are many unconsidered labor costs that physician dispensing helps to eliminate. Such as:
- Verification calls to pharmacies
- Back and forth Email communications
- Faxing prescriptions
Offering medications at the point-of-care also adds value in terms of compliance. Studies indicate in-office dispensing improves patient compliance with medications. There is a reduction in unfilled prescriptions which also decreases healthcare costs for chronic conditions.
In-office dispensing has many benefits for both patients and providers but there are restrictions in some states. A consultation with a dispensing company will help you navigate the rules and regulations in your area.
How to decide if a physician dispensing solution is the right choice
Have you decided to get started with physician dispensing at your office? We have a few tips to help you if you are still unsure if it is the right choice for your practice.
Physical space for the dispensary
Your practice will have to determine if it is the right fit for an in-house pharmacy. Do you have the physical space for storing all of the medications you plan to offer? This is usually what takes up the most space. Otherwise, as long as you have a printer and computer, you have everything you need to get started.
Also consider patient flow. Do you have enough patients to make revenue? If you have a high retention rate of patients then it may be a good business decision. Will the dispensary have a checkout window? Or will this be a separate area? The easier the flow, the more convenient and beneficial it will seem for patients.
Staff involvement is also important. Most practices involve staff to communicate with patients that the service is available. Once they understand the benefits, patients are likely to be in favor of getting their pharmacy from your practice. Make sure everyone is educated on the benefits, so that the information can be relayed accurately to patients.
Employing the right staff is also key. Trusted staff must set up and maintain in-office dispensing.
What steps do I take once I have decided on in-office dispensing
Deciding to start an in-office dispensing system can be overwhelming, but we are here to guide you through the process.
Make sure you know the supply of medications (formulary) you will want to prescribe. You will need to determine the most frequently prescribed medications within your practice.
It is also important to have knowledge regarding contractual agreements with insurance partners. Your practice must align with their reimbursement process requirements. A strong billing department can help navigate the world of insurance reimbursement and proper payments.
Consider First Coast Health Solutions for Medication Dispensing Needs
If you are looking to work with a physician dispensing company, First Coast Health Solutions can help. First Coast Health Solutions is committed to providing the highest quality service for your in-office dispensing success.
We have a comprehensive set of tools to start and maintain a successful in-office medication dispensing system. Our team has worked with a variety of medical facilities- from single providers to wide scale hospital systems. First Coast Health Solutions can help you succeed!
Contact us for additional information or to have your questions answered. We are happy to partner with you as your physician dispensing experts!
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.