If you have an urgent care clinic, then you know you are already providing much needed services to patients. You are offering medical help to those in need during extended evening and weekend hours. You understand that ailments and injuries do not always take place between nine to five each day.
Your patients appreciate the convenience you are providing. You save them money because they no longer must go to the emergency room for help. You save them time that they would normally have to wait if required to see their family doctor.
Because you are already providing excellent services that meets the needs of patients, you may be considering adding an additional benefit. You may be considering in-office dispensing of medications. Meaning, you would be able to prescribe medication at the point of care at the time you see and treat the patient.
Dispensing is becoming more popular among physicians. But is it right for you and your urgent care?
Below are some factors to consider when making your decision.
How Much Does It Cost to Start?
The cost to set up an in-office dispensing program is seen as minimal compared to other programs. Depending on the dispensing company you choose to hire, your cost can range from $5,000 to $10,000. Costs will vary, of course, based on the services you choose to add to your program.
This investment offers you an exceptional return on your investment.
What is the Return on Investment?
Many physicians and dispensing companies report that with the minimal investment, they can increase their revenue to between $5,000 and $10,000 a month.
The ROI is so high because providing medications at the point of care allow you to make money off every dose you prescribe. Think about all the prescriptions you have written just this week. Now think about making several dollars off each medication.
You can see how attractive in-office dispensing can be.
Plus, it truly helps your patients.
How Does it Help Your Patients?
In-office dispensing at your urgent care means patients can receive treatment and medication right away. They no longer must go to the pharmacy and wait long periods for their prescription to be filled. They don’t have to worry about their privacy being violated when the pharmacist loudly calls out their name in front of everyone else waiting on a prescription.
Patients can receive proper education, from you, on the medications they are prescribed. While education should be provided by pharmacists, it rarely happens. They are just too busy.
Patients are just as busy as you are. This convenience will make the more satisfied and more loyal. It can also make your staff happier.
How Does it Help Your Staff?
In-office dispensing programs streamline work for your urgent care staff and make their jobs easier. The software provided connects your billing staff directly with insurance companies. Meaning, all they must do is click the send button on the computer to send a patient claim for reimbursement.
Staff are provided with around the clock tech support from the dispensing company. They are given initial training that is included with the program cost.
Inventory, refills, patient reminders, scheduling and more are all done automatically, through the dispensing software. Even the labeling of medications comes pre-designed so that all your staff must do is enter the patient information one time. All other times they click print and adhere the label to the medication container.
How Does it Help You?
You must remain in compliance at the federal, state and local levels. In-office dispensing programs help you meet compliance requirements. It is designed to notify you of changes made to compliance laws and help you meet those requirements.
The dispensing company works with you to make sure the medications you prescribe are in-stock, and traceable. This applies to both controlled and non-controlled substances.
In-office dispensing makes you more money. This is money that you can spend on improvements to your urgent care, adding additional ancillary services, raising salaries or providing perks to both you and your staff.
You work very hard. You deserve to be rewarded with additional revenue that can benefit you, your staff and your family.
What is Involved in the Implementation?
Implementation is simple and completed by the dispensing company you hire. Everything from installing the software, setting up the printing capabilities, training your staff and storage of your medications, they will do it for you.
The software programs will be set up and will be individualized to the needs of your urgent care. They will connect you directly to the insurance companies in which you are credentialed. They will help ensure you are not in violation of any regulations.
The only thing you must do is choose which medications to dispense in your facility.
Are You Limited on Which Medications You Can Prescribe?
While you are not limited to prescribing certain medications in your urgent care, it is common among physicians to choose the most commonly prescribed to keep on hand. Otherwise you could get overwhelmed with too many options.
You will work with your dispensing company to determine the medicines your patients need the most. You may also want to consider dispensing durable medical equipment and supplies in your urgent care also.
If you patient needs a cane or wheelchair but the pharmacy, or local big box store, is closed, they are out of luck, unless you can provide it at the point of care.
If you are thinking dispensing is right for your urgent care, then it is time to get started.
Where Do You Start?
Finding an in-office dispensing company to hire is the one thing that requires a solid decision. Research companies and choose one that is all-inclusive. They should be focused on providing software, tech support, quality packaged medications, and ease of use for you and your staff.
Once you find the right company, everything else will fall into place and your urgent care clinic will begin noticing positive changes in your services and revenue.