There are many benefits of physician dispensing, one of the most important being an increase in healthcare revenue. Here is what to know.
Physician dispensing enables doctors and other healthcare providers to offer and sell a number of medications at the point of care, rather than simply providing the patient with a prescription and ordering them to take it to the nearest pharmacist.
When competently implemented, a physician dispensing system can greatly improve the reputation of your practice and provide you with an added value proposition to outdo the competition.
In most states, physician dispensing is automatically allowed under strict circumstances, such as whenever a patient requires lifesaving medication, or is struggling with immense pain and needs immediate relief.
But under regular circumstances, in states that allow direct dispensing, physicians and other doctors require permission from the local Board of Pharmacy and must fulfill several other requirements to begin dispensing medication from the comfort of their office. This leads to some questions – such as whether the whole process is ultimately worth the effort, financially and ethically.
The short answer is that it is worth it. Patients with access to direct dispensing services can benefit from improved outcomes, greater guidance from their family doctor, as well as increased convenience and improved medication adherence. For doctors, the most immediate benefit of direct dispensing is increased healthcare revenue.
What is Physician Dispensing?
In the United States, doctors have a limited right to dispense medication. All doctors must follow strict rules when it comes to the prescribing of controlled substances, and even stricter rules when it comes to storing and managing an inventory of controlled medications, especially certain painkillers.
While some states have little to no restrictions on physician dispensing, most other states require doctors to provide additional documentation and pay a certain fee to start dispensing prescription medication from the point of care.
But doing so can have distinct advantages, despite the initial investment to start providing this service. The most obvious benefit is that you can offer patients something invaluable: time. Direct dispensing allows patients to start treatment much sooner than if they would have to procure their meds otherwise, especially when the nearest pharmacy is a long drive away.
Why Bother with Direct Dispensing?
Providing your own patients with medication at the point of care also provides you with the golden opportunity to better explain how their medication should be taken and how it works, while giving patients the opportunity to ask any questions they might have.
Providing such information is a critical part of the pharmacist’s job, but some patients feel uncomfortable asking these questions at the queue and are more likely to address them in the comfort and privacy of a doctor’s office.
Patients won’t just have faster access to their medication – they are also guaranteed the access they need, because you can both prescribe and provide the right drugs to kickstart or continue a patient’s treatment.
When simply prescribing medication, it is entirely up to the patient to go buy and take the meds you have prescribed, and all you can do is inform the pharmacy ahead of time and follow up with either the pharmacist or the patient after the fact.
This can help reduce patient non-adherence, a major healthcare issue that often goes unseen, and contributes to roughly 100,000 deaths per year. Furthermore, there is a profit motive behind offering physician dispensing services, as it increases healthcare revenue.
Physician Dispensing Can Increase Healthcare Revenue
When dispensing medication at the point of care, your practice will have to buy the medication it wishes to stock. You may then sell said medication at a price you are comfortable with.
Physician dispensing solutions don’t just focus on selling prescription drugs – you can stock and provide generic and branded over-the-counter prepackaged medications as well, buying them at wholesale prices and working with patients to figure out the best pricing and compensation plan to complement their treatment.
Common pricing solutions for direct dispensing practices include cash & carry dispensing, which would allow you to stock and resell repackaged medication at prices comparable to what your patients usually pay at a local pharmacy – but with greatly added convenience. This is ideal when working with patients who are uninsured, or otherwise choose to pay out-of-pocket for certain medications.
Physician dispensing is also an excellent option for practices that often take on patients involved in personal injury or worker’s compensation programs. In these cases, you can work with a financial middleman to collect payment on the treatment of patients involved in cases of worker’s compensation or personal injury. Physician dispensing service companies often provide the necessary financial services to manage the direct dispensing needs of workers’ compensation patients.
Should Your Practice Incorporate Physician Dispensing?
If you are looking for an additional way to increase your healthcare revenue while improving your reputation, then physician dispensing is a simple and effective win-win. The only challenge is finding the right partner to work with, in order to implement it properly.
Why Work with Us?
We at Proficient Rx specialize in making direct dispensing as easy as possible and ensure that our clients can provide effective point-of-care dispensing as quickly and simply as possible to help you improve your healthcare revenue.
Our direct dispensing software is purely web-based and HIPAA-compliant, allowing for encrypted and safe record keeping, inventory management, and the direct and automatic reporting and monitoring of controlled substances.
Updates, downloads, and installation troubleshooting issues are done away with, and our program doesn’t require interfacing with any one specific computer at the office. Instead, our clients are free to benefit from the convenience of a safe browser-based backend and can communicate with our live customer service to iron out any issues as soon as they appear.
Our turnkey dispensing solution is available to healthcare providers and practices in states across the country. Give us a call for more information.