Fundamentally, the Long-Term Care (LTC) Pharmacy market is growing at a strong, steady pace with continued upside projected for years to come. By 2020, it’s projected that there will be over 12 million people above the age of 65 with a vast number of them choosing to live in residential communities that offer multiple levels of support and care.
According to a report by McKesson, these people will present with numerous comorbidities (that are chronic and require significant management) and will average 12 prescriptions per month with 70+% brand name pharmaceuticals. That could equal gross margins between 30 to 40 percent. In other words, the LTC Pharmacy business is here to stay and will continue to expand and grow at an unprecedented rate.
Expanding in the LTC Pharmacy Market
Once you’ve tackled the operational issues that come with expansion, such as regulatory requirements and compliance packaging guidelines, then you need a way to manage and bill in the most efficient way possible. Whether you are a retail pharmacy considering a move or are already ensconced in the LTC pharmacy market, there’s a good chance that expanding business and improving technology will require you to upgrade your pharmacy management platform/system soon.
The problem is data conversion can be an expensive and time-consuming proposition taking away valuable time and revenue! It never feels like the right time!
For example, during the conversion process, it can take 10-15 minutes per bed to manually enter each new patient. If a pharmacy has 1,000 beds, that’s approximately 200 man-hours that have to be covered by existing employees (on top of their normal workload). Now consider a 15,000-bed pharmacy conversion requiring nearly 3,000 man-hours (the equivalent of 8 FTE’s over 2 months). Very quickly, it becomes overwhelming!
The efficiencies gained by bringing in a third-party partner that specializes in conversions may be the most effective way to convert your electronic data. When time is of the essence, you need an experienced partner with proven results that understands the complex LTC pharmacy business.
When examining options and evaluating partners, considerations include:
- How efficiently can they extract data from an old system and migrate it to the new system?
- Can they build or write custom software that integrates with your existing and new systems, including UX and UI design?
- How much downtime will you experience during the conversion process and how will you meet your patient care obligations with a 24/7 business?
- Will your customers’ HIPPA information be secure during the conversion process?
Once you find a reliable third-party partner for converting data for LTC pharmacy, consider the ways they can also be helpful during crunch times including:
- Onboarding patient information from new facility expansion
- During end of month processing
- When there is an influx of specialty pharmacy requests that may require prior authorizations (i.e., flu season illnesses/hospitalizations)
One thing is for sure, there’s only upside for the LTC pharmacy industry. The pharmacy organizations that will prosper in this expanding market, will be the ones that adapt to expanding technology and the efficiencies gained. Utilizing a solid pharmacy management system coupled with third-party partner support not only increases revenue and the bottom line but also frees up pharmacists to perform value-added (and billable) services within the LTC residential environment (i.e., CPT Code 99605 = medication therapy management services by a pharmacist).
Contact us to open a conversation about third-party electronic data conversion today for your LTC pharmacy.
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