Pre-packaged medication provides various benefits to direct primary care practices – here’s how it can help yours.
Pre-packaged medication is safely labeled and intuitively packaged to help patients remember when to take which medication, even when they can’t recollect what their doctor told them. Pre-packaged medication can help improve medication adherence by keeping a patient’s daily or weekly medication intake neatly organized in the form of individualized and customized pill packs.
Most medication repackaging firms source their medication in bulk from pharmaceutical companies and sell ready-made or customized pre-packaged medication, both branded and generic, to urgent care, hospitals, and direct primary care clinics.
The issue of medication adherence continues to plague the healthcare industry, with over an estimated 125,000 preventable deaths. Providing pre-packaged medication helps clinics improve patient adherence to their treatment plans and can help provide clinics with an additional source of revenue via direct dispensing.
Role of Pre-Packaged Medication and Dispensing in Direct Primary Care Clinics
Direct primary care facilities provide efficient healthcare via a subscription model, cutting out the health insurance middleman and improving the healthcare and financial relationship between the doctor and their patients. Part of direct primary care is working with patients to reduce costs and improve their treatment options, and pre-packaged medication – and, in turn, direct dispensing – plays an important role in this equation.
Maintaining a robust customer relationship with each patient for direct primary care clinics is critical to managing and growing your practice. To that end, pre-packaged medication and in-office dispensing can help:
- Improve patient satisfaction.
- Save time for yourself and your coworkers.
- Capitalize on the importance of patient convenience.
- Provide an additional revenue stream for your practice.
- Greatly improve your practice’s reputation within the community.
- Work with patients to find affordable solutions and alternatives to branded medication.
- Provide a unique value proposition as a direct primary care facility with pre-packaged medication.
- Increase patient adherence through easy-to-understand packaging and the convenience of point-of-care dispensing.
Let’s review a few benefits of dispensing pre-packaged medication from the point-of-care.
Patient Satisfaction and Convenience
The business model of a direct primary care clinic relies on the clinic’s own ability to negotiate prices and offer value to the customer to survive and thrive. Without health insurance managing risks and costs, direct primary care clinics need to diversify their revenue without jeopardizing patient care or putting profits ahead of quality healthcare.
This means paying attention to market trends and consumer interests. In the field of healthcare, this revolves around patient satisfaction and patient convenience. Both metrics are more important than patient care, highlighting that the average American patient is craving a better customer experience. A few of the ways you can improve that experience are through:
- Efficient care.
- Better amenities.
- Lower waiting times.
- Opportunities for savings.
Pre-packaged medication can help your practice save the patient’s time and your own while providing a service that genuinely helps improve patient care by tackling medication non-adherence.
Direct Dispensing and Medication Nonadherence
Medication nonadherence, wherein a patient ignores or forgets their doctor’s advice, fails to take medication as prescribed, or does not adhere to the treatment plan, is a pervasive issue undermining the efforts of every healthcare professional in the field of medicine. Medication nonadherence is most common in patients with chronic health conditions, especially the elderly when care becomes more complicated. The factors behind medication nonadherence are far from simple and are not limited to drug availability or treatment costs.
For patients with good insurance and drug benefits, adherence rates for chronic illnesses such as hypertension and diabetes remain around 50 to 60 percent, meaning as many as half of these patients struggle to properly follow their doctor’s recommended treatment plan. Commonly identified barriers to adherence include patient-related barriers, treatment-related barriers, and other related barriers, such as:
- Lack of motivation
- Cognitive impairment
- Cultural issues
- Treatment complexity
- Fear of side effects
- Financial or time constraints
- Poor patient-doctor relationship
- And more
Direct medication dispensing helps alleviate some reasons patients may struggle with medication nonadherence, such as cost, time constraints, lack of convenience, treatment complexity, and cognitive impairment. Pre-packaged medication is designed to simplify treatment as much as possible by providing clear instructions with each package, using label printing and special packaging to indicate what days and dosages to be aware of. Direct dispensing also allows doctors to improve patient-doctor relationships, work with them to reduce costs, and address concerns regarding treatment efficacy, side effects, and alternatives.
State-Level Rules and Regulations
Implementing direct dispensing of pre-packaged medication in your direct primary care clinic is a matter of state regulation. State rules on direct dispensing differ from state to state and are subject to change. Some states limit clinics to dispensing a set number of medications or limiting their inventory. Others have limits on when medications may be dispensed.
Some states strictly prohibit direct dispensing. However, for the most part, implementing direct dispensing is a matter of filling out paperwork and obtaining a special license. Be sure to discuss your local requirements with your Board of Pharmacy and contact them for an updated info sheet on your local regulations on direct dispensing.
The Logistics of Dispensing
Direct primary care clinics can benefit from the increased revenue and convenience of offering direct dispensing services to their patients. In contrast, patients benefit from saving themselves another trip to the pharmacy and the opportunity to discuss their medication with their doctor at the point-of-care. Proficient Rx specializes in offering pre-packaged generic and branded medication at affordable rates, alongside durable medical equipment, injection kits, and other crucial clinical products.
Clients can also manage and restock their medication inventories via a turn-key web-based solution that requires zero installation and functions from any Internet-connected terminal within the facility. This web-based direct dispensing solution helps practitioners track and manage patient data, keep an eye on their inventory, and accurately create and print packaging labels for prescribed medication, all at no additional costs while remaining HIPAA compliant.
It’s a win-win on both sides, a result of melding affordability with quality and convenience while taking advantage of simple-to-use software technology to reduce the logistical load of managing your inventory of pre-packaged medicine.