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Latest news and updates about the Medicare and pharmacy industries.

5 Benefits of Online Enrollments to Your Pharmacy

Posted on November 19, 2020 by FDS Amplicare Team

The Medicare Open Enrollment period is an important time for pharmacies, both in terms of profitability and in helping patients. But it’s not without its share of challenges. As the enrollment period continues, pharmacies can expect to see an increase in the number of patients needing help finding a new plan — in fact, our data shows that only 27% of enrollments occur midway through Open Enrollment (we share more about this here). Plus, with win-win and DIR mitigation opportunities available, you can find plenty of patients to help this period while increasing your pharmacy’s revenue and profits.

While you can’t enroll patients in a plan on their behalf, you are able to assist them with plan comparisons and completing an online application at the pharmacy. Online enrollments provide a fast, accurate, and streamlined way to enroll in a Medicare plan, compared to enrollments done over the phone. Both FDS Amplicare Match and Navigate, our new online patient-facing platform, provide this capability to help streamline the enrollment process for patients and pharmacies. Below, we outline five benefits of online enrollments and why you should consider focusing on them over the next few weeks:

1. Reliability

With online enrollments come a level of confidence that patients are picking plans that fit their needs and their budget. Navigate, for instance, allows you to share plan comparisons with your patients online. So when the patient enrolls via the portal or in the pharmacy, you can be sure that they actually sign up for the plan of their choice. We have heard instances of patients calling carriers who then direct them to enroll in plans preferred with a different pharmacy or with mail order.

2. Speed

CMS regulations require some level of “Needs Analysis,” which involves reading plan benefits, legal disclosures, and more. This analysis happens regardless of whether the patient calls Medicare.gov, the carrier, or an insurance broker and can take 30 to 45 minutes to complete over the phone. Enrolling online, however, is a much quicker process than can be completed in significantly less time. 

3. Convenience

Enrollment activity will spike over the next few weeks, which will lead to higher wait times for patients when trying to enroll over the phone. An online option provides the patient with the ability to enroll at their own convenience and eliminates the need for long wait queues. This is especially important as December 7 nears, since the window to select or switch plans will close for many patients. 

4. Accuracy

When comparing plans for patients, it’s important to take into account all the medications — including dosages — that they are taking. This way, you’ll be able to provide the most accurate coverage options for the coming year. With Navigate, medications are saved based on pharmacy data, thereby reducing the risk of errors that may occur if a patient doesn’t know or remember the specifics of all their medications. Incomplete information could result in the Needs Analysis recommending a plan that doesn’t fully meet the patient’s needs or requires them to switch pharmacies. 

5. Tracking

The ability to track the status of enrollments is another benefit of completing an online application. With FDS Amplicare and Navigate, when a patient enrolls online with a carrier we partner with, we are able to track the status of their enrollment. This helps to ensure the patient knows when their enrollment was sent to the carrier and when the carrier approved it. Furthermore, we are then able to update that patient’s plan in FDS Amplicare to generate more opportunities for them and for your pharmacy.

As you look toward the next few weeks of Medicare Open Enrollment, directing patients online is a great option to ensure you’re helping as many patients as possible. To get started with FDS  Amplicare Match and Navigate, reach out for a free demo

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