We know it’s not getting easier. Your hospital pharmacy has three goals: reduce costs, generate revenue and improve care. One is challenging enough. How to do all three is probably keeping you up at night.

Here, we share the insights of four McKesson hospital pharmacy experts. They all point to technology as a way to achieve all three goals. Their tips appeared in earlier posts on McKesson.com.

Use technology to improve revenue recovery

“When you look at the challenges that lead to revenue gaps at hospital pharmacies, you realize it’s about managing data,” says Barbara Giacomelli, area vice president for McKesson RxO.

As a result, your hospital pharmacy should adopt a data-driven approach to your drug claims handling processes. Giacomelli says technology can help you track and report drug purchases, dispensed drugs and reimbursement rates. And it can do that by individual health plan and medication.

With that information, your hospital pharmacy can spot revenue gaps, according to Giacomelli. A gap happens when reimbursement falls short of the expected payment for a claim. The gap loses revenue for the hospital. After you find a gap, you can take the proper action to close it and receive correct and prompt payment for a drug claim.

You can read all of Giacomelli’s insights in “Improving Revenue Recovery Management for Hospital Pharmacies.”

Seek opportunities to be more efficient

“Health system and hospital pharmacies are increasingly charged with generating revenue and improving savings that contribute to the system’s bottom line,” says Mark Eastham. He’s senior vice president and general manager for McKesson RxO.

As a cost center, your hospital or health system pharmacy needs to control its operating costs. As a profit center, you need to come up with new revenue sources.

You can control costs by centralizing services across multiple sites. Services you can centralize include order entry, compounding, packaging and dispensing. To generate revenue, you can:

  • Expand into specialty drugs
  • Improve your revenue recovery management capabilities
  • Partner with outpatient infusion clinics
  • Utilize 340B drug discount opportunities
  • Grow your patient aid programs
  • Add retail and ambulatory pharmacy services

You can read all of the McKesson RxO team’s insights in “Top Five Health System Pharmacy Trends to Watch in 2018.”

Make patient assistance more effective

“Access to PAP [patient assistance program] management tools must be available to all patient touchpoints in real time,” says Craig Dolan, vice president of advisory services for McKesson RxO.

Managing your PAP is getting tougher. Drug costs, high-deductible health plans and more drug benefit tiers are making PAPs more complicated. You need to keep up with those trends to continue providing medications to your uninsured and underinsured patients, Dolan says. And you need to do so without draining your own drug budget.

Dolan recommends that you take the following steps to improve how you manage your PAP:

  • Educate and train your pharmacy staff on PAP changes
  • Adopt and use automated PAP management tools
  • Consider outsourcing your PAP to an experienced vendor

You can read all of Dolan’s insights in “How Hospital Pharmacies Can Optimize Patient Assistance Programs.”

Reach the Triple Aim by using technology

“By using technology to reduce operating costs, health system pharmacies free up time for staff to spend on direct patient care,” says Donna Schultz. She’s an outpatient customer experience manager for McKesson Pharmacy Technology and Services.

Like all hospital and health system pharmacies, your pharmacy wants to meet the goals of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Triple Aim. The goals are to improve the patient experience, improve the health of populations and reduce the cost of care. Schultz says technology can help you get there faster and with better results. For example, technology can:

  • Automate tasks and give you more time to spend with patients
  • Show your patients who are not adherent to their medications
  • Create cost-saving workflow and inventory management efficiencies

You can read all of Schultz’ insights in “Reaching the Triple Aim with Pharmacy Technology."

Related: Learn more about McKesson’s consulting and technology services for hospital and health system pharmacies

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About the author

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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