You already know the world of healthcare is constantly changing. But how do you successfully navigate those changes? There’s always a stream of new advancements, laws, and trends to keep up with if you want to stay competitive.

Five of our most-read blogs from the past few months address some of these changes. Whether we’re delving into the future of pharmacies or helping you stay compliant with new CMS regulations, our experts help you navigate the ever-evolving healthcare landscape with confidence.

The future of pharmacy

In “Why the Future of Your Independent Pharmacy Depends on Patient Care,” Mark DeWoskin discusses changes to how independent pharmacies will operate in the future. DeWoskin is the Regional Franchise Director for Health Mart. To stay competitive, he suggests independent pharmacy owners do three things:

  • Use technology to help with inventory management
  • Create a business plan and revisit it annually
  • Plan for increased one-on-one patient care

This last point is especially important for all pharmacy owners. Because there’s a shortage of primary care physicians in this country, pharmacists should start planning for increased patient care in the future. “Five years from now,” DeWoskin explains, “pharmacists will be spending most of their time on individualized patient care.”

Staying up to date with new CMS changes

Until January 2018, CMS hadn’t updated conditions for home health in more than 30 years. A lot has changed in that time. The number of people receiving home health care has increased. And the quality of care you can provide in the home has improved. In “Complying with CMS’s New Conditions of Participation for Home Health Agencies,” Maria Lugo discusses new regulations home health agencies (HHAs) must now comply with. These changes relate to patient assessments, performance improvements, and communication within care teams. Lugo is the VP of Post-Acute Care Field Sales for McKesson Medical Surgical. She offers several tips to help HHAs meet the new conditions of participation:

  • Have a solid electronic health record (EHR) system in place
  • Take advantage of remote health monitoring so patients can self-test and send information to providers
  • Invest in training and education for all members of the care team

HHAs aren’t the only ones affected by recent CMS changes. Long-term care facilities have also had to adjust to recent changes, like the new survey process the CMS launched last fall. This process focuses on measuring the quality of patient care.

Patti Baicy is Director of the Clinical Resource Team for McKesson Medical-Surgical. In “Preparing Long-Term Care Facilities for New CMS Survey Process,” Baicy recommends your long-term care facility do three things to prepare for the new survey process:

  • Educate your staff on the new performance metrics (called F-tags,) including infection prevention and antibiotic stewardship
  • Ensure you have patient care plans in place within 48 hours of admission
  • Practice a mock survey periodically

Using these tools, your long-term care facility can stay prepared and keep giving your patients quality care.

Switching to product standardization

As value-based reimbursement models become the norm, health systems will need to find ways to deliver better care at lower costs. One way to do this is through product standardization. In “Leveraging Product Standardization for Health System Efficiency,” John Pildis discusses the benefits of this method.

As the VP of Materials Management for McKesson Medical-Surgical, Pildis says you can standardize everything from low-tech supplies like hand sanitizer to specialty drugs and high-tech devices like implants.

Pildis says product standardization can:

  • Improve operational efficiency by reducing the number of vendors and products
  • Simplify inventory management
  • Free up time once used for product for clinical purposes
  • Reduce the cost of carrying deadstock and expired items

As Pildis notes, “Complexity creates a huge hidden cost to the health system and supply chain.” By switching to product standardization, you lower your costs while streamlining processes.

Starting your own pharmacy in a competitive market

The idea of striking out on your own as an independent pharmacist can be intimidating. But with the right strategy, you can still become a successful business owner. In “ Starting an Independent Pharmacy,” Christopher Cella speaks about how pharmacists can make the transition to pharmacy owner.

As the National VP of RxOwnership, Cella outlines five steps to starting your own pharmacy in today’s market:

  • Consult peers who have started their own pharmacy
  • Create a business plan, complete with a proposed competitive advantage
  • Gather a team of experts such as accountants, attorneys and insurance agents
  • Research and choose your pharmacy’s location
  • Weigh your financing options

With the right planning, becoming an independent pharmacy owner is still achievable. And the pride you’ll feel on opening day will all be worth it after your hard work.

As you can see, many of the changes to the world of healthcare concern both long-term shifts and specific changes to CMS conditions. Our experts are here to help you understand both the latest healthcare trends and new regulations, so you can do your job with confidence in this fast-paced, ever-changing field.

Related: Learn more about McKesson’s services on buying, starting, or selling a pharmacy

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McKesson editorial staff is committed to sharing innovative approaches and insights so our customers can get the most out of their business solutions and identify areas for operational improvement and revenue growth.

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