In 2022, 80% of independent community pharmacies surveyed for the 2023 National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Digest reported offering synchronized medication refills. Medication synchronization, or med sync, allows pharmacists to coordinate a patient’s prescription refills so they can be conveniently picked up on the same day.
Not only is med sync beneficial for patients in that it improves medication adherence, and patient loyalty, it allows for regular check-ins and discussions about medication management and potential side effects and any concerns the patient may have. Medication synchronization allows pharmacists to operate at the top of their license to provide critical services, like comprehensive adherence programs, while also generating additional revenue.
If your pharmacy is part of the 20% that haven’t yet implemented this tool, you may be missing out on key opportunities to improve your cashflow. As you look for new ways to boost revenue, adding or increasing the scale of an existing med sync program can help:
- Streamline workflow. Medication synchronization solutions can help streamline pharmacists’ workflow and create potentially cost-saving efficiencies, especially necessary amid ongoing staff shortages throughout the pharmacy industry. For example, with fewer phone calls to remind patients about prescription refills, pharmacists will have more time to perform other services that may generate additional revenue.
Of the independent community pharmacies that offer med sync solutions, 93% synchronize all chronic medications to a single monthly pick-up date, 60% report calling patients four to 10 days before the monthly pick-up date, and 37% call patients the day before the pick-up date, according to the 2023 NCPA Digest. Additionally, automated reminders—such as those available through technology like interactive voice response (IVR)—can help further reduce the burden of having to call patients to remind them of pick-up dates.
- Improve patient adherence. Medication nonadherence for chronic conditions is a major source of morbidity, mortality, and unnecessary healthcare costs in the United States. However, studies have shown that patient participation in med sync programs can enhance patient adherence to prescribed medications, which can, in turn, lead to better health outcomes and a reduction in ER visits or hospitalizations. Additionally, pharmacists can benefit from increased patient loyalty and satisfaction, contributing to a more stable customer base.
- Enhance patient care services. With more time freed up through medication synchronization, pharmacists can focus on expanding clinical services such as medication therapy management, immunizations, and comprehensive health screenings, which can create new revenue streams. In addition to generating revenue growth, expanding clinical services will help establish pharmacies as a trusted resource and partner in promoting the well-being of the patients served. Of the independent community pharmacies that offer med sync solutions, 68% say pharmacists meet with patients as needed to review medication use, according to the 2023 NCPA Digest.
- Manage inventory. By coordinating medication refills, pharmacists can better predict the demand for specific medications, reducing the risk of overstocking or understocking. Anticipating what they’ll need helps to minimize holding costs and potential losses associated with expired medications or the inability to return surplus stock. The dollars tied up in inventory can make or break a pharmacy and whether it has enough cash flow to pay bills and keep the doors open.
- Simplify billing and reimbursement. With synchronized medication refills, pharmacists can bill and process insurance claims more efficiently. For instance, pharmacists can submit claims for multiple prescriptions filled on the same date, which can simplify billing and lead to more accurate reimbursement. Also, the increased regularity in prescription refills can lead to a predictable and steady cash flow as billing cycles become more consistent.
Looking for ways to optimize your opportunities to provide beneficial services and increase cashflow? Contact Outcomes to learn how your pharmacy can get started today.
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