TCGRx EVP of Sales and Marketing Matt Noffsinger talks about what you should really be thinking about when you hear the term “high-volume dispensing” these days. And here he offers two questions to ask yourself before you talk to at tech vendor and two examples of pharmacies making the most of a step-wise approach to high-volume pharmacy.
Matt Noffsinger’s Two Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Talk to a Tech Vendor
In today’s reimbursement environment, pharmacies are getting paid less and less all the time for the physical act of filling a script.
What people are interested in paying for, what CMS is paying for, what providers, what the payers are holding people accountable for, is performance. So you need not only to free up your labor to address performance, but you have to control your cost for filling a script too, since that’s still where much of the revenue is coming from. So before you go talk with a vendor about a new technology, ask yourself:
- Do you know what your cost to fill a script is?
- What are the key components that contribute to that cost?
If you can answer those questions, then you can look at your highest-cost area first and ask a vendor, “How do you help me with this?” If we tackle one component at a time, we can start whittling away at that total cost of filling a script. But you have to have a starting point to know where you want to go and what to address first.
Matt Noffsinger’s Two Examples of Pharmacies Building Business with High-Volume Solutions
Let’s take the example of an LTC pharmacy that’s sorting medications that need to go to 100 different homes. They are investing a tremendous amount of labor in that, but we’ve already solved for those sorting and delivery tasks for high-volume central-fill and mail-order pharmacies. There’s a solution that’s ready for long-term care pharmacies to take advantage of. In fact, we’re working on several projects right now to implement just those sort and delivery components in LTC pharmacy.
Another perfect example is a very high-volume specialty pharmacy in California where we’ve put in a software-based workflow that’s founded on the same principles as a high-volume, central-fill type of pharmacy process. What we did there was give them the ability to grow into high-volume dispensers and high-volume conveyor-based systems, but we started with a phase-one software implementation that establishes the workflow and gets the pharmacy’s personnel accustomed to smart routing to the different workstations, workload balancing, and a perpetual inventory system. They can now just start plugging automated modules into this workflow as they grow.