Happy 65th Birthday: Help Your Patients Navigate Medicare Enrollment

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Happy 65th Birthday: Help Your Patients Navigate Medicare Enrollment

Reaching the age of 65 is a significant milestone for many individuals as it marks eligibility for Medicare. As patients approach this milestone, it's crucial for them to understand how Medicare works and how it affects their healthcare, particularly in terms of prescription medications. Medicare enrollment isn't just important for patients—it also directly impacts your pharmacy. Medicare patients are the highest users of prescription drugs and a major source of recurring revenue for community pharmacies. Setting up time with patients to review their Medicare plan options can mean the difference between retaining that patient or potentially losing them if they choose a plan that doesn't allow them to keep filling at your pharmacy.  

Did You Know?

  • Prescription drug coverage is the most common change to Medicare plans, with 57% of Medicare beneficiaries making changes annually. 
  • Patients who review and switch Medicare plans yearly can save an average of $750 on prescriptions per patient. 
  • A remarkable 98.4% of patients who review their plans at a pharmacy will continue to fill their prescriptions at the same location six months later. 

We'll explore why helping patients navigate Medicare enrollment is vital to your pharmacy, how it helps those patients, and how it will increase patient engagement. We'll also discuss how Transaction Data Systems (TDS) can assist your pharmacy in helping patients seamlessly navigate through enrollment and beyond. 

Understanding Medicare Part D 

Medicare Part D, the prescription drug coverage component of Medicare, plays a vital role in ensuring affordable access to medications. When enrolling in Medicare, it's crucial to review various Part D plans to find one that suits your needs and includes your preferred pharmacy in its network. This is where your pharmacy can make a real difference. 

The TDS Solution - Medicare Plan Reviews

Through the Patient Engagement Center (PEC) pharmacies can assist patients in understanding their Medicare options by completing a Medicare Plan Review with your patients nearing their 65th birthday. 

What does the Plan Finder tool do?

  • Guides patients through a thorough review of Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans.
  • Compares crucial factors such as quality, out-of-pocket costs, and other relevant data points.
  • Quickly identifies patients who would benefit from a Medicare plan review, such as patients who are turning 65.
  • Uploads patients' current prescriptions and information for detailed review. 
  • Displays eligible patients who can make changes to their Medicare Plan, which is useful during Medicare Open Enrollment to identify all Medicare-eligible patients for plan changes.
  • Highlights newly eligible Medicare patients who are turning 65, providing them with timely support.

Medicare Plan Reviews streamline the process of reviewing and selecting Medicare plans, benefiting both pharmacies and patients. Conducting Medicare plan reviews enhance the patient-pharmacist relationship ensuring that patients receive personalized care on a year-round basis. This level of engagement can attract new high-value patients, grow customer loyalty, and improve patient outcomes. 

  • Enhance Patient Relationships:
    • Medicare Plan Reviews provide an avenue for pharmacies to interact with patients on a deeper level. By taking the time to review their Medicare plans, pharmacists can understand patients' specific healthcare needs and provide personalized recommendations. This personalized approach demonstrates a genuine commitment to patient care, fostering trust and strengthening the pharmacist-patient relationship. Patients are likelier to return to a pharmacy that shows a genuine interest in their well-being. 
  • Attract New High-Value Patients:
    • Offering Medicare plan reviews sets pharmacies apart from their competitors by providing an additional service beyond traditional medication dispensing. When potential Medicare beneficiaries learn about a pharmacy's commitment to comprehensive care, including plan reviews, they are more likely to choose that pharmacy as their primary healthcare provider. This attracts new high-value patients who seek trusted professionals capable of navigating the complex Medicare system and optimizing their healthcare coverage. 
  • Grow Customer Loyalty:
    • Conducting Medicare plan reviews throughout the year creates a consistent touchpoint between pharmacies and patients. Instead of being limited to occasional interactions during prescription refills, pharmacies can actively engage patients in discussions about their healthcare coverage and medication needs. This ongoing engagement demonstrates the pharmacy's dedication to patients' overall health and well-being. Consequently, patients develop a sense of loyalty towards the pharmacy that consistently provides comprehensive care and supports their healthcare journey. 
  • Improve Patient Outcomes:
    • Medicare plan reviews enable pharmacists to identify potential gaps or issues in patients' healthcare coverage. Through careful evaluation, pharmacists can suggest alternative plans or identify opportunities for cost savings, thereby optimizing patients' coverage. By helping patients navigate the intricacies of Medicare plans, pharmacists contribute to improved healthcare outcomes, increased access to necessary medications, and potentially reduced out-of-pocket expenses. This positive impact on patient well-being reinforces their trust in the pharmacy's expertise and encourages long-term loyalty. 

Turning 65 and becoming eligible for Medicare is an important milestone that requires careful consideration, particularly regarding prescription drug coverage. By partnering with TDS and utilizing Medicare Plan Reviews, pharmacies can play a vital role in guiding patients through the Medicare Part D enrollment process. This not only benefits patients by helping them make informed decisions about their healthcare but also strengthens your pharmacy's position as a trusted healthcare provider. Through engagement, trust, and personalized assistance, pharmacies can navigate the complexities of Medicare and ensure pharmacy continuity for patients turning 65. 

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