INDUSTRY WATCH: July/August 2013
Nextra is the name of the industry’s newest pharmacy system from Integra, the company that developed DocuTrack and DeliveryTrack. Nextra is a full-featured pharmacy system that uses a character-based interface while maintaining the flexibility associated with graphic-based solutions. According to the company, instead of expending resources processing graphics, the system focuses on core functionality such as data retrieval, transformation, and storage. This results in faster order processing by avoiding the wait for the system to repaint a screen or dialog.
A few of the features delivered by Nextra are IV and compound workflow, nursing home facility portal access, blister-card mapping, automated secondary billing, auto-faxing of forms with minimal-to-no user intervention, and automated NDC exchange. “Nextra minimizes medication errors with its intuitive workflow process, especially in the packing stage,” says Todd Barrett, owner of Covenant Pharmacy. He likes the automated NDC exchange feature. According to Barrett, when the packer goes to verify the medication pulled from the shelf, the Nextra system checks to see if the drug is the correct drug, strength, and dosage. If not, the system automatically reverses third-party billing and rebills with the new NDC and prints a new label with the correct NDC.
Nextra interfaces to eMARs; robotic systems; prior authorization solutions; e-prescribing; and dispensing and packaging, document management, and delivery management solutions.
“We have heard a consistent message from pharmacy operators across the country that they are seeking a system that is fast, reliable, efficient, affordable, and most of all, provided by a company known for exceptional customer service,” says Bill Cummins, business development director for Integra.
QS/1 has received certification to allow pharmacists to receive electronic prescriptions for controlled substances (EPCS) with the 10.6 SCRIPT standard from prescriber systems that have also been audited and certified. Certification is a two-step process. First is the audit of the software to ensure compliance with DEA requirements. The audit was conducted by ComplySmart. Second is certification with Surescripts.
“We also added the ability to accept digital signatures within the application,” notes Michael Ziegler, QS/1’s marketing and analyst senior manager.
In other news from QS/1, the company has announced a partnership with iMedicare to help pharmacies serve Medicare patients. iMedicare runs on an iPad and uses existing patient information in the QS/1 system to populate the necessary fields to quickly search and compare Part D plans. “iMedicare is a valuable resource that allows pharmacists to present plan options for a person,” says Q/S1 President Tammy Devine.
Now available from Epicor is a payment-processing solution that can be used on any smartphone or Apple iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch.
Epicor Payment Exchange Mobile, which is free to Epicor customers, can be used to accept credit-card payments, with a specially encrypted card reader to allow a card swipe on the smartphone, lowering the total cost of the transaction and protecting the transaction with advanced security technology. The customer signs with a finger or optional stylus, and the receipt is emailed directly from the device to the customer.
Epicor customers have the ability to track sales through online access and not have to wait for monthly statements. Also, there are no third-party processors or software to maintain.
PDX and Mirixa have entered into an agreement to integrate the MirixaPro platform with the PDX Classic Pharmacy System and the PDX Enterprise Pharmacy System.
“As the CMS Five-Star Quality Rating system becomes effective next year, pharmacies know it’s more important than ever to continue to improve patient outcomes,” says Jeff Farris, CEO of PDX. “Our relationship with Mirixa will increase the speed-to-market of an MTM solution our pharmacies need today to help them promote adherence.”
According to Peggy Crawford, Mirixa’s senior VP for operations and development, this is a first-of-a-kind integration for the company’s software.
Today’s Caregiver, a National magazine for family and professional caregivers, has given Medicine-On-Time’s consumer website, www.sortmymeds.com, the 2013 Caregiver Friendly Award.
“This award validates our efforts aimed at enabling caregivers to help those they care for maintain their independence and enjoy better health,” says Ian Salditch, CEO of Medicine-On-Time.
The site was developed to connect consumers taking multiple medications with pharmacies offering the MOT prescription compliance packaging. Through sortmymeds.com, consumers can find the closest pharmacy offering the personalized Medicine-On-Time service.
Now available is drive-through sigNature, an app in the MerchantSoft Mobile suite of Web-based mobile applications that follows the successful release of the emporos Mobile Delivery app several months ago.
The new app allows electronic signature capture for prescription logging. After scanning the POS register receipt, the handheld device is given to the customer to sign. The signature is then automatically synchronized with the POS and is available for reporting.
The app can also be used in a hospital environment where prescriptions are filled in one location and delivered in another.
CARE Pharmacies cooperative has designated Kirby lester as its preferred partner for pharmacy automation technology.
CARE Pharmacies, located in Linthicum, Md., is a member-owned-and-operated retail pharmacy chain of 85 independent and specialty pharmacies. “Our decision to partner with Kirby Lester underscores our continued commitment to support our member owners with the latest technology, to allow them to focus on serving their patients well,” says Mike Wysong, CEO for CARE.
The new app will allow ordering of refills and receiving of pickup and dosage reminders. Smartphone users can also access weekly specials. In development is a new four-inch label for the prescription vial with a QR code for refill scanning.
“Fruth’s mobile pharmacy solution is a logical extension of our commitment to family care,” says Lynne Fruth, the company’s president and chairman of the board. “Our customers’ mobile phones will make it possible to manage prescriptions for the entire family and access a wide range of our pharmacy services.”
The new app and its website, m.fruthpharmacy.com, operate on a secure network created by San Francisco-based mscripts.
Surescripts has received full accreditationm from the Direct Trusted Agent Accreditation Program, an accreditation program for health information service providers. Accreditation is offered on a voluntary basis by Direct-Trust, an independent nonprofit association dedicated to securing the exchange of health information between providers and patients.
Paul Uhrig, chief administrative and legal officer and chief privacy officer of Surescripts, has been appointed vice chair of the board of directors of DirectTrust. Uhrig also serves as secretary and treasurer of the organization.
Kerr drug, a regional chain based in Raleigh, N.C., will use Simplify My Meds to synchronize patient refills through the chain’s central-fill center. “We have been moving beyond a simple dispensing model, which is critical in keeping pace with the changing retail pharmacy world, as well as how our patients interact with it,” says Kerr Drug CEO Tony Civello. “That is why we have already deployed programs like auto refill, mobile app, text messaging, and now, Simplify My Meds.”
Customers can request to have a pharmacist enroll them in the program and pick a convenient date each month for their prescriptions to be filled.
The company announced the opening of the central-fill operation in Raleigh in February, through a partnership with PDX and ScriptPro.
The service, announced by the company, is a corporate reporting solution for multiple-store owners and small-chain pharmacies. The software-as-a-service program, LibraRx Enterprise, provides the flexibility to view performance at the corporate level, as well as for individual stores. Users of the service can see cash flow and receivables, project future cash flow, and have access to payer information.
The company has also announced that it has moved its headquarters from Corporate Woods in Overland Park, Kan., to College Oaks, still in Overland Park.
Wholesale Alliance, Pharmacy First’s parent company, was started in 1996 as an adherence program designed to broaden revenue opportunities for independent pharmacies, previously offered only to national retail chains.
At the request of several prescription-monitoring programs, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) is building PMP software that will work seamlessly with NABP’s PMP InterConnect. Five states have agreed to test the new software. These include Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, and Nevada. Kansas will be the first state to test.
Appriss, NABP’s vendor that developed and hosts NABP’s PMP InterConnect, is working on additional enhancements for the next state to start testing.
NABP has also announced that Wisconsin has signed on with the InterConnect program, joining 24 other state PMPs that have agreed to participate. With 15 state PMPs now sharing data through InterConnect, the system is helping to address the problems of prescription drug abuse and diversion as highlighted in the June 5 issue of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s “Health Care Innovations Exchange.” Since its inception, healthcare providers in the 15 states have accessed InterConnect more than two million times.
Often a big barrier to managing a pharmacy immuNizatioN program is navigating the time-consuming process of obtaining a Medicare ID and paying the $500-plus application fee.
RelayHealth now offers pharmacies a way to avoid both. Through RelayRx Immunization Billing, pharmacies have instant access to a nationwide Medicare Part B immunization network, avoiding the time and cost of getting a Medicare ID. Also, there is no need to purchase medical billing software separately. Whether the immunization is covered under a patient’s pharmacy or medical benefit, the pharmacy will receive the appropriate reimbursement.
With RelayRx Immunization Billing, all claims are checked for eligibility in real time, with submitted claims having a payment rate of nearly 100%.
RelayHealth bills, collects, reconciles, and delivers payment to the pharmacy twice a month. Claim status can be tracked online, and there are no monthly minimums.
Digital Miracles in Colleyville, Texas, has developed an app for people who are blind, have low vision, are dyslexic, have lost the ability to read due to a stroke, or who simply are not literate. The app, Digit-Eyes, uses QR codes affixed to the bottom of the prescription vial to enable customers to record information on their iPhones and play it back on demand.
The technology for Digit-Eyes QR code recognition, recording and storing audio information, and playing audio on the iOS devices has been on the market for more than two years. The scanner is omnidirectional, so it does not require the customer to have it in view of the camera.
The customer brings up the Digit-Eyes app on the iPhone and scans the code. The phone displays the term “Record” in the language the customer uses. When the pharmacist is ready to tell the customer about the prescription, the customer holds up the iPhone and touches “Record,” and listens to the instructions. At home, the customer locates the QR code by touch, scans it, and hears the pharmacist’s instructions and answers to any questions. The Digit-Eyes software speaks in any one of 10 languages.
The RxMedic website now includes RxMedic University, which features a number of videos targeting the use of new technology within the pharmacy workplace. The videos are hosted by Dr. Charles Shively, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the Presbyterian College of Pharmacy.
Healthcare Data Solutions has released a white paper, entitled Safeguarding Your Pharmacies Against Fines and Audits, which provides information on how pharmacies can reduce the risk of fines and audits and remain compliant for reimbursement of Medicare and Medicaid prescriptions. The topics include: How to reduce the risk of costly fines; the importance of accurate, real-time data; why relying on multiple external sources presents concerns; and the cost of invalid NPI and DEA numbers and OIG exclusions. The impact of attention to these issues can be significant. According the the report, one national pharmacy chain client received 475,218 validation warnings on prescriptions In the last quarter alone, saving them millions of dollars. The paper can be requested by visiting http://bit.ly/15LHulm.