Health Systems Can Achieve More Financial Improvement With Integrated Retail Pharmacy

Learn how strategically integrated retail pharmacies can lead to better patient experience and higher financial performance.

By: Ram Arumugam

Read time: 4 minutes

Integrated retail pharmacies are a strategic asset to health systems when they provide various offerings within the hospital. These pharmacies help support patient care and expand services that in turn contribute toward positive cash flow for the health system. As the final interface on the continuum of care, integrated retail pharmacies directly contribute to reductions in 30-day readmissions, improved patient adherence, higher patient satisfaction and quality scores, and better population health management— all of which lead to higher performance.

Given the high cost of healthcare for patients, labor shortages affecting robust clinical care, and the expanded role of pharmacist and pharmacy technicians in supporting the wellness journey of patients—the important role played by integrated retail pharmacies is clear. Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic spearheaded the path for ambulatory care facilities to function as a focal point of patient care delivery, ranging from primary and ancillary clinical services to addressing financial toxicity and healthcare disparities for patients. Accessible almost daily without appointments, a pharmacy should be strategically placed in the roadmap for health system expansion as a value-generating center.

“The changing economic landscape, the patient perception of filling a prescription as a commodity, the looming primary care provider shortage, and the clinical expertise that pharmacists possess—are working together to push for a paradigm shift in how community pharmacists practice pharmacy.” - Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy1

Hospitals with robust, fully integrated retail pharmacy services are better able to take on more labor-intensive clinical functions, and this can also contribute to improved patient outcomes and higher patient satisfaction scores. For health systems that can optimize their eligibility of Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) and 340B-eligible prescriptions, there are various paths to fully maximize opportunities for patients and hospitals.

Do you already have a health system retail pharmacy, or are you looking to open one?

McKesson’s Payer Solutions for Health Systems is strategically positioned to support health systems through access and expertise, optimizing retail and outpatient pharmacy operations through financial success, clinical performance, improving continuity of care, recognizing better cash flow, and resource management. They can help:

  • Find options for market entry regardless of market consolidation and M&A by non-health system owned chain pharmacies and mail-order specialty pharmacies.
  • Expand existing pharmacy operations to propel your retail setting to a wider range of pharmacy services offerings from meds-to-beds to high-touch specialty services, embracing the digital transformation in healthcare.
  • Provide access to a distinctively tailored PSAO solution that meets your unique managed care needs, providing exclusive access to Prime Therapeutic’s IntegratedRx. This allows health systems to dispense through their in-house specialty pharmacy instead of through PBM-owned specialty pharmacies.

Learn how McKesson helps health systems achieve more.


  1. Taddei-Allen,P (2020). Evolution of the Pharmacy Benefit Manager/Community Pharmacy Relationship: An Opportunity for Success. J Manag Care Spec Pharm. 2020;26(6):708-10. Retrieved from Introduction: Pharmacy Reimbursement (

Subscribe to our monthly Prescribed Perspectives newsletter to have our exclusive content delivered directly to your inbox!