A common misperception held by some long-term care pharmacies is that contracting with retail pharmacies directly can be just as easy as working with a backup pharmacy partner. While it’s possible to contract directly with retail pharmacies, it’s not a scalable solution for long-term care pharmacies seeking to grow their business. Here’s why.
As long-term care pharmacies grow, adding new facility locations, the need for backup pharmacies grows exponentially as well.
When contracting directly, it’s incumbent upon the long-term care pharmacy to establish a relationship with a new pharmacy for each new facility it adds. On the other hand, backup pharmacy partners provide a ready-to-use national network that includes all major chains, most local independent pharmacies, as well as specialized IV pharmacies. When you contract with a backup pharmacy partner, you gain efficiencies by:
- Eliminating the need to identify and contract with a backup pharmacy for each facility individually
- Consolidating billing and invoicing into a single invoice each billing cycle, greatly reducing administrative burdens
- Obtaining access to consolidated data and analytics that detail program utilization and spending, providing visibility into backup utilization to support smart decision making
- Having a built-in courier network, such as Care Services’ Complete Delivery Solution
For many long-term care pharmacies, partnership with a backup pharmacy partner enables new business growth, including expansion into new geographies, by supporting fills for unscheduled medications as well as first dose or first fill services for new admissions.
There are additional advantages to having a large network to support your pharmacy. For instance, if your primary backup pharmacy location is experiencing a surge in business, a backup pharmacy partner will help you move medication processing to another in-network pharmacy. This helps you maintain service level agreements with your long-term care facilities and continue to deliver medications within the CMS 4-hour standard of care.
In cases of natural disaster or other weather emergencies, partnership with a backup pharmacy also proves beneficial. When needed, your backup partner will support you by moving prescription processing to an alternate pharmacy location in your city or wherever your residents have been relocated.
During weather-related events or other natural disasters, backup pharmacy partners will help you coordinate prescription processing at operating pharmacies, providing your patients continued access to needed medications until normal operations resume.
Finally, having a consolidated invoice that aggregates bills across all pharmacies greatly reduces paperwork and administrative expenses. Further, having access to your data at a consolidated or individual pharmacy level allows you to review how backup is being used across all of your locations to support informed decision making.
For these reasons, the Myth Busters team at Care Services debunks the belief that it’s equally as efficient to manage retail pharmacy relationships directly. If you’d like more information about how you can use us to help your expansion into new markets, contact us.
Have a myth you want to add to our list or have us review? Send us your ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until then, stay tuned for our next installment of Myth Busters.