He adds that when you see dwindling reimbursements and unnecessary retroactive fees and all sorts of things that are putting pressure on the business side, it’s hard to keep the doors open and continue to provide those services to patients. “We’re working hard, though, and trying to figure out ways to do alternate revenue streams or improve efficiencies and make this model work so that we can continue that one-on-one relationship and ultimately hopefully improve patient care outcomes.”
Alternative Revenue Streams
For some pharmacies, it’s getting harder and harder to make a living just filling prescriptions, and as a result, Wilson says that he is exploring other opportunities. “How can we bring in services that improve the health of our patients and generate revenue outside of being tied to a drug product? Chronic care management is something we’re exploring, collaborating with physicians to help improve patient care outcomes and be able to get paid under Medicare Part B versus Part D.”
Wilson says that he’s always tries to make business decisions based on the needs of patients. “I still believe that, but I think it’s getting harder and harder. We’re at a critical point in the reimbursement model that we have right now.” Caswell is expanding over-the-counter medications and products in his stores. He’s also exploring ways to open new revenue streams, including offering immunizations, diabetes and cardiovascular education, smoking cessation, and nutrition classes.
But in order to do that, he says he’d have to hire another pharmacist to either provide the services or cover for him while he does it. “I’ve got to be able to balance another salary with the potential revenue for offering those classes.”