The healthcare industry is evolving at a rapid pace. A shift to value-based care is affecting everyone, from pharmacists and providers to biopharma companies and health systems. Everyone is expected to offer more to patients. That could be more services. More attention. Or simply more options. But with the push to offer more, you still have to keep your business financially secure.

These goals can sometimes seem at odds with one another, but they don’t have to be. Here are some strategies to balance both clinical and financial goals, so both patients and your balance sheet can reap the benefits.

1. Partner with a PSAO

For pharmacists, value-based care models mean performance-based reimbursement. The amount you are reimbursed depends on the quality of care you provide. But just how is that judged? Is it through patient outcomes? Are you measured on how you handle certain disease categories?

To help you understand and meet these metrics, independent pharmacists would be wise to find someone who can help. Consider partnering with a pharmacy services administrative organization, or PSAO.

Eyad Farah expands on this in “The Right PSAO Partner Can Enhance Your Independent Pharmacy’s Performance”. Farah is the Vice President and General Manager of Health Mart Atlas. He explains that a quality PSAO can help your pharmacy understand and meet performance metrics. In addition to helping you meet your metrics, a PSAO can help your pharmacy:

  • Identify extra reimbursement opportunities
  • Reduce DIR (direct and indirect remuneration) fees
  • Review and explain complex contracts
  • Expand your preferred pharmacy networks

Meeting performance metrics is just the start. With a PSAO, you have someone to help you look for additional revenue. You have someone to help expand your preferred networks. And doing this allows you to meet the demands of today’s value-based care models.

2. Balance new drug costs with smart planning

For hospital pharmacies, carrying new drugs is a financial and clinical balancing act. You want to offer the best therapies for patients without blowing your budget. In “New Drugs Require Strategic Planning for Hospital Pharmacies,” we spoke with Terry Smith, RPh, Vice President of McKesson RxO, about how to walk that line. “Manufacturers continually market new drugs—the pace is incredible—but [they] can be costly,” Smith says. “It’s critical to manage their appropriate use and access to them in a fiscally responsible way.”

Smith suggests taking the following steps when adding new drugs:

  • Have the right staff in place from the start who are trained on these new drugs
  • Use drug spend and management tools to keep a close eye on your inventory
  • Prioritize additional financial opportunities (i.e. formulary management, Six Sigma processes and purchasing controls)

By using these strategies, your hospital pharmacy will be better equipped to offer life-changing therapies while keeping its budget balanced.

3. Find additional revenue streams

Running an independent pharmacy isn’t always easy from a financial standpoint. Between direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees and lower reimbursements, keeping your cash flow steady can be challenging. In “How To Improve Revenue At Your Independent Pharmacy,” Robin Page, RPh, offers creative ways to boost your revenue. Page is Regional Franchise Director for Health Mart, and she’s seen firsthand how doing the following can help:

  • Provide clinical services like flu vaccines.
  • Don’t overstock prescriptions or over-the-counter products
  • Offer next-day delivery to reduce on-hand inventory
  • Staff your pharmacy wisely; make sure there is an even distribution of labor

Keeping a close eye on your inventory and adding new services for your patients will improve your cash flow and add more value for your patients.

4. Provide patient access support services

For biopharma companies, it’s no longer enough to create an innovative new drug. You have to consider what you’ll offer patients and providers to help them access it. R’Kes Starling, Vice President of Specialty Pharmacy Services, explains this in “Why Patient Support Services are Critical for Your Drug Launch.” If you want your drug to be successful—and help as many patients as possible—consider patient access support services.

Here are some services to consider:

  • A patient assistance program that offers co-pay help
  • Offering doctors preauthorization help when they need health plan approval
  • Educational materials to teach physicians about your new drug; this helps them become early adopters

Remove obstacles standing in the way of patients receiving your new drug. By getting more involved in patient support services, your new drug has the chance to help more people.

5. Streamline the non-acute supply chain

How you manage the supply chain throughout your health system directly affects patient care. This is especially true for your non-acute care sites. With so many different locations and inventory lists, managing the supply chain across dozens—if not hundreds—of sites can be complicated.

Not only that, but many times nurses end up performing supply chain tasks when they could be spending that time with patients. Luckily, there are things you can do to streamline your supply chain. Tackling them will help you improve patient care and lower costs. In “How to Improve Supply Chain Efficiency for Non-Acute Care,” Scott McDade offers ways to do this. McDade is the General Manager of Health Systems for McKesson Medical-Surgical. He works with health systems every day to streamline their supply chain.

Here are a few ideas he suggests:

  • Have a supply chain person from the system manage supplies and inventory so nurses can spend more time with patients
  • Invest in supply chain analytics; data can help with predictive ordering and other tools can make tasks more efficient
  • Get everyone on a common ordering platform to lower costs and spend less time training clinicians

When you boost the efficiency of your supply chain, it helps your health system reduce costs. And it frees up clinicians to spend more time on patient care.

From pharmacies to biopharma companies and everything in between, clinical and financial goals don’t have to be at odds with one another. Find ways to make operations run more smoothly. Support patients at every step of their treatment. And empower clinicians to spend more time on one-on-one care. When you do, everybody wins.

Related: Learn more about McKesson’s patient access support services for biopharma companies

McKesson

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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