Bringing Pharmacy Home
With the cost of medications rising, customers are now more willing to travel outside of their immediate neighborhoods to secure prescriptions and health related services at reduced costs.
In this highly-competitive healthcare market, independent pharmacies might be wondering how they can compete with larger chain pharmacies and keep customer care closer to their community — and the answer is simple: Local provider contracts.
What is a Local Provider Contract?
A local provider contract is a formal agreement where a healthcare provider makes a diagnosis/diagnoses, supervises the patient’s care, and then refers the patient to a chosen pharmacist to perform specific patient care functions.
It has been shown that when patient care services are provided by pharmacists there is a more organized structure of patient care, health costs are lowered, and health outcomes are improved. Another study found that patients’ health significantly improved when doctors, healthcare providers, and pharmacists worked together to manage the patients’ care.
Because “scope of practice” laws regulate each state’s pharmacists’ patient care services, it is important to refer to your state’s laws when deciding on the services you might contract with health care providers.
Examples of Local Provider Contracts
When the term “contract” is used, most people think of red tape and legal jargon, and how they can make something so simple so very difficult. But a local provider contract doesn’t have to be intricate and daunting. In fact, a variety of patient care functions — such as initiating, modifying, or discontinuing medication therapy — can be delegated to a pharmacist using local provider contracts.
Some examples include:
• Contracting with local medical groups to provide immunizations
• Providing medication therapy management services
• Providing diabetes management services
• Providing other chronic care management
Forge the Relationship Between Patient, Provider, and Pharmacist
Local provider contracts can help strengthen the relationship between patients, providers, and pharmacists. These beneficial collaboratives provide care delivery, improve the efficiency and effectiveness of care, increase access to care, expand services to patients, and can leverage a pharmacist’s expertise in a way that complements the expertise of providers. This is all while making the healthcare process easier to navigate for patients.
Having ease of access to medical appointments, procedures, medication management, and a host of other healthcare services, can be a big draw for patients. By contracting with local providers, the overall cost of services can drop as well. Between convenience, reduced cost, and the documented improved outcomes, keeping care within the patient’s immediate neighborhood can pay off for local independent pharmacies in a big way.
To navigate the ever expanding and changing laws surrounding provider contracts, community pharmacies should consider partnering up with companies like alliantRx. We’re constantly monitoring changes in procedure that could affect your local and community pharmacies, and we’re dedicated to helping you maintain the health of your patients, keeping your stakeholders satisfied, and improving your pharmacy’s bottom line.
If you’re not a member yet, join us. If you are a member, make sure you’re leveraging your benefits and maximizing your pharmacy’s success.