|ASAP Puts Dollar Value on Technology||| Print ||
The results of a year-long analysis of the technology used in pharmacy and the investment pharmacists make in computer systems, supporting databases, and related technology were recently announced by the American Society for Automation in Pharmacy (ASAP).
The organization felt that the technology used and costs incurred are overlooked when presenting the profession’s contribution to patient safety, medication compliance, and prevention of fraud and abuse — all areas that should factor in to justify higher reimbursement from prescription drug plans.
Realizing that a pharmacy’s prescription volume will determine the range of the technology deployed, the analysis used three prescription volume breakpoints in its analysis. The analysis found the total technology costs for a pharmacy filling 100 to 200 prescriptions a day are $0.57 per prescription, while the cost for a pharmacy filling 300 to 500+ a day is likely to be $1.24 per prescription. The cost for a pharmacy in the 200-to-300 range would be $0.91. The analysis did not attempt to allocate the cost to operational improvement in the pharmacy versus consumer benefits. This will be left to the user of the data to decide. It was emphasized that the costs do not reflect the total cost to fill a prescription, just the technology-related costs.
The vast majority of the technology-based products and services benefit patient safety. The analysis identified 21 technology-related systems and services that fell into the patient safety category. There were 8 in the medication compliance category and 12 in the preventing fraud and abuse category.
The analysis is being made available to national and state pharmacy associations in hopes that it will not only provide another basis for gaining higher reimbursement, but also demonstrate how pharmacy is at the leading edge in the use of technology. According to ASAP President Mark Sancrainte, R.Ph., “This analysis provides a compelling case for demonstrating pharmacy’s use of technology and its many benefits to the consumer.”