Pharmacies Can Utilize Medication Synchronization Programs to Help Improve Cash Flow


Tiffany Capps, CPhT, pharmacy operations manager at Galloway-Sands Pharmacy in North Carolina and marketing communications manager at CPESN, discusses how med sync programs can help boost a pharmacy's bottom line.

The upcoming changes to direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees in 2024 have caused concern among independent pharmacy owners. The “DIR hangover,” as it’s popularly known, involves higher up-front fees and lower patient copays that many believe will lead to cash flow and financial issues for pharmacies.

But Tiffany Capps, CPhT, pharmacy operations manager at Galloway-Sands Pharmacy in North Carolina and marketing communications manager at CPESN, says that utilizing your medication synchronization program can help improve cash flow and put more money in your bank account.

Drug Topics sat down with Capps to discuss med sync programs during the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) 2023 Annual Convention and Expo.

Drug Topics: How can enrolling patients on high-dollar medications into med sync programs effectively improve a pharmacy's cash flow, and what benefits can pharmacy owners expect to see from this approach?

Tiffany Capps, CPhT: The concept of med sync is to be more proactive versus reactive. You're able to predict what you need, when you need it—not keep a stagnant inventory on the shelf. The most amount of money that's sitting on your shelf is the brand name medications. If you target those high cost items and get those patients enrolled, you're more able to predict when you're going to need those so they're not sitting there and tying up your cash flow, when that cash could be in your bank.

Drug Topics: Could you share some common challenges that pharmacies typically face with medication synchronization programs and how they can overcome these hurdles to make it a standard business practice?

Capps: I think there's probably 3 and they go hand in hand. Number 1 is staff buy-in, [the] second is staff training, and the third is sustainability. You can't have one without the other. For staff buy-in, everybody needs to know the why, everybody needs to be brought into the reasons why we have that med sync program, on all different operating efficiency levels. Then you have staff training. You can't have just one technician or one pharmacist who's your med sync champion. You have to have everybody involved in the process. Then there's sustainability. If you have that one person who's doing it and they leave, then who picks it up or if you have your med sync champion who's doing the calls, but you don't have your technicians trained on the dispensing bench, you're taking a couple steps forward and then 3 back. I would recommend starting with SOPs, building those out, but also the max my sync webinars are an excellent place for training.

Drug Topics: Can you talk about a couple different quick and effective workflow tips to optimize med sync programs that pharmacy professionals can implement immediately to boost their bottom line?

Capps: I guess the first and foremost would be pairing your med sync program with that appointment based model. Med sync is great for workflow efficiencies, cash flow, getting your inventory, right? But then you have to think about getting services outside of just distancing. And within med sync you already have an appointment based model built in, so add on your additional services, whether that's immunizations, clinic or testing, or anything else you can offer in your pharmacy.

Drug Topics: Are there any additional points you would like to talk about that we haven’t touched on?

Capps: If you are not tracking your med sync enrollment every month consistently, you don't know where you're at in the process. Everyone needs to know where you're at. Set a goal and track it the same way each month. And back to the question of challenges. One thing we noticed when we started the max my sync journey was pharmacies are asked, "What's your percentage of med sync enrolled?" And no one really knows how to answer that because there's not a standard formula for it. So, with max my sync, we created 3 formulas for pharmacies to work out what works best in their pharmacy, and then making sure tracking month after month consistently. You'll see just how much you're saving for it.

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