With 2020 behind us and a positive outlook for a new year, the opportunities for your pharmacy may seem endless. For many pharmacies, growth — in terms of avenues to help patients and to increase profits — is a key goal for the new year. As it rightly should be. But tangible growth only happens with a well-thought out and well-executed plan in place.
If increasing pharmacy profitability is on the to-do list for this year, here are four areas of focus you can act on right now to set yourself up for success:
1. Low Adherence
Adherence is one of those performance metrics that can have a huge impact on your bottom line. The PDC (percentage of days covered) threshold for adherence is 80% and getting started early in the year is key to achieving and surpassing this metric. As we explain here, patients who become non-adherent early in the calendar year have little to no chance of reaching this threshold, even if they begin to regularly fill their medications later in the year. Setting up a plan to tackle low adherence now and ensure patients stay on track with their medications will lead to better health outcomes and lower DIR fees. Med Sync, refill reminders, compliance packaging, and increasing patient education are all great options for tackling patient non-adherence.
What to do: Set up automated calls or texts in Amplicare to remind patients when their refills are ready for pickup.
2. Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment
There are many benefits of comparing plans for patients at the pharmacy, from building patient relationships and retention to proactively reducing DIR fees. While most plan comparison activity happens during the general Annual Enrollment Period in the fall, there are still opportunities to help patients throughout the year. The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, which runs from January 1 to March 31 each year, should be a key focus for any pharmacy helping Medicare patients this quarter. During this time, Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans can make changes to their plan options. As a bonus, some Medicare Advantage plans have no DIR fees, making them a mutually beneficial choice for both patients and the pharmacy.
What to do: Some Medicare Advantage plans have limited doctor networks. Use the Amplicare doctor lookup tool to verify your patients’ doctors are in network with plans they may be considering.
3. Dually Eligible Beneficiaries
Who are your dually eligible beneficiaries? These are patients who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, or who receive Extra Help through Social Security. They can also make changes to their plans once per quarter outside of the Annual Enrollment Period, which makes them a high priority group to focus on throughout the year. With many plans having $0 copays and premiums, comparing options for these patients could mean opportunities to help them find better care while helping your pharmacy’s bottom line. Learn more about the benefits of focusing on dually eligible patients here.
What to do: Not sure if your pharmacy is a good fit to help dual eligible patients? Take our assessment to find out!
4. Diversify Revenue
Prescriptions are a significant amount of a pharmacy’s revenue, but the New Era pharmacy knows that leaning in to other sources of revenue is just as important. For pharmacies looking to thrive, providing services such as immunizations, medication therapy management, and diagnostic testing is one part of the equation. Knowing how to get compensated for the services you provide is the other (having the right software can help here). With the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination rollout a core focus this year, setting your pharmacy up for success is key. In addition, OTCs such as supplements also help grow your bottom line while helping patients address medication side effects which often lead to non-adherence.
What to do: Watch this video to learn more about the New Era pharmacy and reach out to us to learn how we can help you get started.
To learn more, join our webinar, Driving Profit and Retention All Year through Medicare Plan Selection on February 4 at 2:00 p.m. EST.