Tag Archives: direct medication dispensing

Prepackaged Medicine

Why Should You Consider Prepackaged Medicine?

As a physician, you have goals for yourself, your practice and your patients. Personally, you may want to increase your income. You may also want to grow your practice and the services you provide within your practice, including prepackaged medicine.

For your patients, helping them achieve positive health outcomes is the goal.

There are tactics you can implement to help you get one step closer to meeting all your goals. With the use of prepackaged medicine, you, your practice and your patients can benefit.

What Are Prepackaged Medicines?

Prepackaged medicine has several advantages for both you and your patients.

Prepackaged medications are ordered from a dispensing company, who after receiving medicines from the manufacturer, use extreme safety measure to properly package medications.

You only order and pay for medicines you need, no extras. The medicines are separated and labeled for easy use.

Prepackaged medications can be streamlined for quick delivery because there is no compounding, mixing, or sorting that needs to be completed by you. The medicines are prepared, shipped to you and readily available before the patients even need them.

Prepackaging can even include how the products are presented and how they are protected before, during and after shipping.

Just a few steps to complete the entire process, improving operations in your practice and providing better healthcare to patients.

Prepackaged Medicines Bring in More Revenue

You worked hard for your education. You put in long hours to build up your practice. One of the rewards you deserve is a high income. Capitalizing on your talents and abilities is a good thing for you, your staff and your patients.

The more money you can make, the better you can pay staff. With additional income, you can hire qualified staff to help lessen your work load.

Ancillary services such as point of care dispensing makes it easier for you to increase revenue. You can mark up the cost of medicines while still being fair to your patients. You do not have to mark them up as much as a pharmacy might.

Dispensing medicines can lead to dispensing other items such as durable medical equipment. Patients need equipment just as much as they need medicine. From canes and walkers to diabetic supplies. If you are dispensing these items, you can make additional revenue.

Not only can prepackaged medicines increase revenue, it can make all office tasks easier for you and your staff. This gives you more time focusing on the patient and less time focusing on paperwork.

Prepackaged Medicines Streamline Office Practices

Your staff will be happy when they realize just how much easier their jobs can be when dispensing prepackaged medications to patients. Employees want to do an excellent job. They want to enjoy their workdays. They want you to have a successful practice.

Prepackaged medications can be streamlined for quick delivery because there is no compounding, mixing, or sorting that needs to be completed. The medicines are ready before the patients even need them.

You and your staff simply enter the prescription information into the computer. Next you print the label, retrieve the prepackaged medicine from the locked cabinet, adhere the label and deliver package to your patient.

It really is that simple. And due to the reputable software systems, you can implement, it becomes even easier for your staff to communicate with insurance companies, order refills of supplies and receive technical support around the clock.

Prepackaged Medication Software Technical Advantages

No one enjoys communicating with the claims departments of insurance companies. Your staff does not enjoy being put on hold to wait for someone at the insurance company to pick up the phone and take information.

In-office dispensing of prepackaged medicine make it easy to streamline communication with insurance companies. The software technology that accompanies prepackaged medication is set up to include direct contact with the claims departments of all insurance companies.

Your staff should have few steps to take to submit a patient’s records. They should also be able to avoid medical errors that happen due to human error.

Good software programs provide you and your patients with extensive, yet easy to understand, information about their illness or injury, and about the medication you are prescribing.

Keeping patient information confidential is not only important, it’s the law. A good medication dispensing software program will have features that protect your patients and your practice.

While there aren’t many occasions in which you will need help with the software program, no system is infallible.  Technical support,fortunately, is available to you around the clock. That means at 4a.m. when you go into the office early to get a head start on the day’s work, you can contact a support tech for help if you experience problems with the software.

Prepackaged Medicine Can Lead to Other Opportunities for Growth

Prepackaged medicine can be the launching pad for many other in-office services you can provide to patients. Your patients will be more satisfied if they can receive the bulk of their services in your office.

In-office dispensing can be followed up with much needed in-office lab testing. You could also add x-ray and diagnostic testing for your patients, or even diabetes education.

Some physicians even go further and add an urgent care clinic to their list of services. While this may seem like a huge undertaking, the others are much more doable with the cost of the equipment being the most expensive.

The more services you provide to your patients at the point of care, the better. You are showing you care about your patients by saving them time and closing the gap between the time you prescribe an order to the time they receive it.

Patient loyalty is key to a successful practice. With their loyalty comes referrals. You won’t even need to advertise your practice if you have loyal patients. Using prepackaged medicine to meet your patients’ needs will increase loyalty and naturally increase the number of people seeking your services.

Eventually, your practice will be working for you instead of you working for your practice.

 

Help Patients With Medicine | Proficient Rx

Help Patients by Dispensing Medication Directly

You became a physician for many reasons. But one at the top of your list is to help patients. Help can mean many things. Most often in the medical field, helping a patient means healing them from an ailment. Or if you cannot heal them, you provide treatments to ease their symptoms.

What you may not know is that you can also help patients by dispensing medication directly to them at the point of care.

Below are some of the ways in-office dispensing can help patients.

Saves You and Your Patient Time

Saving your patients time is a convenience they will greatly appreciate. Many take personal time from work to see you. Others must schedule rides because they are unable to drive themselves.

The last thing they want to have to add to their schedules is an unexpected trip to the pharmacy.

Even if the pharmacy is located right down the street from your office, it still takes time. Most of the major pharmacies take an hour to fill a prescription. Dispensing directly allows your patients to have access to their medication in less time and with less hassle, allowing you to better help patients coming through your door.

An in-office dispensary is not only convenient, it can help patients follow-through with taking the medicines you deem necessary.

You and your staff can also save time for yourselves by dispensing directly. You no longer need to communicate back and forth with the pharmacy. No more faxing prescriptions, refills or corrections.

Your nurses no longer spend time answering voice mail requests for prescriptions, then submitting the order to a pharmacist. Instead, the software system can automatically track refill information for patients.

You Can Track Patient Medication Use

You don’t typically know if your patients are following through with their medications once they leave your office. You are not certain whether they even pick up their prescription at the pharmacy. By dispensing medication directly, you can better monitor your patients medication use.

With your monitoring, patient treatment goals and outcomes will improve, and you will have concrete data as evidence, allowing you to better help patients.

One of the easiest ways you can track whether your patients are taking medications as prescribed is how often, or if at all, they request refills. By dispensing refills at the point of care, you can gain insight that will help you in working with patients.

The software that comes with a medication dispensing system can help you track patient results, allowing you to quickly print reports based on the data you need to set treatment goals.

Builds Trust That Encourages Follow Through

Patients come to you for solutions. However, not all patients immediately trust your advice. They want to get to know you better before truly investing in your treatments. Dispensing medication directly can help you build this trust.

In-office you can teach them exactly how to administer their medication. You can educate them on the benefits of taking their medication. You can teach them the benefits of the medication and discuss in detail potential side effects.

Your patients want to learn from someone they trust. The more time you can spend with them, the more they will trust you. Dispensing directly gives you that extra time.

When you patient receives their medicine at the point of care, they are more likely to feel obligated to fill it and take it as prescribed.

You can monitor their intake and measure their outcomes. Because the patient knows you will be able to see their chart to determine if they are taking their medicine, they are more likely to follow their schedule. They want to please you by taking their medications.

Pharmacists don’t usually know when a patient with a new prescription has failed to get it filled. They are too busy dealing with the patients who are waiting for their prescription. If your patient leaves your office with a prescription and decides they don’t want to go to the pharmacy, you and the pharmacist are not privy to this information.

With direct dispensing, your patients will leave your office with their medicine, not a prescription. They have no excuses for avoiding taking their medicine. They have no excuses as to why they couldn’t make it to the pharmacy.

Help Patients by Reducing Medication Errors

By filling prescriptions within your office, you help patients because they can worry less about pharmacist errors and more about getting well.

Because some medicines are similar in shape, color and size, pharmacists confuse one drug for the other.

Not only is dispensing the wrong drug a problem but dispensing the wrong dosage of the right medicine.Pharmacists make mistakes when it comes to delivering the wrong dose of medication to patients.

If a pharmacist dispenses a dose that is too low, a person may not benefit from any of the effects of the medicine. If the effects of the medicine are to keep blood from clotting or decrease blood pressure, there could be serious negative consequences if their dose is too low.

You can also feel confident that the medications you are dispensing must pass strict inspections. Both manufacturers and packagers take extra steps to maintain this quality with each drug, making consistency a reality within a drug class.

They do this by using quality control processes.

Quality control involves all the actions a company takes to make sure medicines are pure, safe and compliant with all laws and regulations.

Keep Patient Information Private

In addition, customers do not like providing personal information unless it is in a confidential setting. Standing in line at the pharmacy is not confidential.

Sometimes, pharmacists are simply negligent in providing counseling. In-office dispensing provides patients with a chance to discuss their prescriptions with the physician in a private setting. Because the physician is only dispensing to their patients, a much lighter case load than a pharmacist, fewer errors will occur.

Using in-office dispensing software programs and prepackaged medication provides an extra layer of safety and is easy for the physician and qualified staff to quickly deliver the prescription to the patient.

Ultimately, there would be no practice without patients. Providing the best care possible is how you can retain loyal patients and attract new ones. You can do this with doctor dispensing practices that allow you to follow your patient’s health from start to finish.

 

Dispensing Profitability | Proficient Rx

Increasing the Profitability of a Practice via Medication Dispensing

As a physician, you have many responsibilities. You maintain a full patient roster, so you can provide a secure job for your staff and yourself. The pressure of making enough money to maintain your profitability as a practice can be overwhelming at times.

Finding ways to reduce your stress while increasing your profitability allows you to make patient care your priority, not finances. Dispensing medications is proving to be a wonderful way to do this.

In-office dispensing is becoming more popular as physicians recognize the benefits for both the practice.

Why Medication Dispensing Makes Sense

Thousands of medicines are available for prepackaging. From decongestants to contraceptives to medicines associated with mental illness can be prepackaged and shipped to any clinic, no matter what level of medical degree or specialties exist within a practice.

Physicians find a great deal of comfort knowing each medicine ordered for inventory goes through an intense inspection process that meets FDA approval. Extraordinary steps are taken to ensure medicines are prepackaged correctly and are shipped in a timely manner. It is a top goal to make all custom orders a priority.

When most of your patients are taking at least one prescription, it is likely there are commonalities among the prescriptions you write. Some of your patients are likely on four or five prescriptions for similar problems.

Finding these common prescriptions is a great start to creating your list of medicines to dispense and increase your profitability.

Common Medications

The most common drugs prescribed by physicians last year included analgesics, antihyperlipidemic agents, and antidepressants.

Solid, compressed, time-release and coated are the most common types of solid form dosages today. Tablets appear to be the easiest form for most patients.

Solid form dosage medicines commonly used to treat the most common illnesses are in tablet form. These are used to treat patients with heart disease, as well as many other illnesses.

All these medicines are available in prepackaged form and can be dispensed in your office, giving you the profitability you need versus sending money to a pharmacy. In addition to dispensing common medications, you can dispense durable medical equipment for higher revenue.

Durable Medical Equipment

Patients would much rather purchase their needed equipment from you, at the point of care, rather than from a pharmacy who can mark prices higher than you will. The convenience alone saves your patients money.

It can mean more profitability for you, however.

Durable medical equipment, dispensed in-office, is a huge benefit for patients. Patients who need durable medical equipment often are handicapped or disabled in some way.

To help patients move around, a doctor can prescribe specific mobility devices such as wheelchairs, walkers, scooters and canes.

Specific personal care aids include rods to help patients pull up their own pants and socks. They can also include raised toilet seats for patients who have trouble bending. Bath and shower aids can include handles and shower stools.

All personal care aids enable the patient to remain independent.

Artificial limbs are serving over two million Americans today.

Orthotic equipment is often prescribed by doctors for foot therapy and pain relief. Common orthotics include shoe inserts, possibly to help with arch support. Others include heat moldable orthotics, and shoe insoles.

Durable medical equipment can be dispensed along with durable medical supplies, which are different for your patients. Although different, still very much needed and an uncomplicated way to create extra profitability.

Durable Medical Supplies

Durable medical equipment is sometimes confused with disposable medical supplies. While both are needed and used by the elderly, ill and disabled, they are different.

The main difference is that durable medical supplies are items that help a patient care for themselves but are disposed of once used. Examples of supplies include blood sugar testing strips for diabetics. Durable medical supplies can also include disposable gloves that a patient or caregiver may wear during a daily treatment.

Supplies can also include bandages, catheter equipment, needles for injections and diapers. If it is used once and then thrown away, it is considered a durable medical supply.

These items at a pharmacy can be quite expensive. Because you can offer the supplies at a lower mark up price, your patients will recognize and appreciate this benefit. Dispensing medical supplies is a straightforward way for you to increase your profitability.

Keep Adding Ancillary Services For Profitability

Once you establish and see success with the ancillary service of dispensing medication, equipment and supplies, you can then proceed with even higher revenue services.

In-office dispensing can be followed up with much needed in-office lab testing. You could also add x-ray and diagnostic testing for your patients, or even diabetes education.

Some physicians even go further and add an urgent care clinic to their list of services. While this may seem like a huge undertaking, the others are much more doable with the cost of the equipment being the most expensive.

The more services you provide to your patients at the point of care, the better. You are showing you care about your patients by saving them time and closing the gap between the time you prescribe an order to the time they receive it.

The more ways you establish to bring in extra income, the higher your profitability. With providing just in-office consultations and check-ups, you are relying solely on those appointments, and those set fees, to support your practice.

Adding ancillary services can give your practice more avenues of support and greater financial security. On those days when patients may not show up for appointments, you can feel secure that your ancillary services are making up for any profit losses.

Having multiple streams of revenue is always a better option, for you, your staff and your patients.

Medical Dispensing | Proficient Rx

The History of Medical Dispensing

Medical dispensing refers to the ancillary service of a physician prescribing and filling medication orders at the point of care. Meaning, physicians can give patients their prescriptions before they even leave the office.

Medical dispensing saves patients time and is a great convenience for not only the patient, but for you and your staff.

Medical dispensing is relatively a new process. While pharmacies have been around for centuries, physician dispensing is now gaining popularity and taking the place of pharmacies around the world.

Medical Dispensing Origins

The first pharmacy was established by King James 1 in the 17th Century. This set the tone for how pharmacists and medical professionals would operate from then on.

If a person needed to visit what was then called an apothecary, they would be greeted by a staff member and the medicinal expert at the apothecary would create a product to help heal the patient.

As time went on, the patient would visit a medical professional who would then recommend a treatment for the patient. Up until 1951, pharmacists were prescribed medications, except narcotics, themselves.

But with the passing of the Durham-Humphrey Amendment to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, pharmacists were required to have a prescription from a physician. After obtaining a prescription, the patient would consult a pharmacist to obtain the recommended medication.

Pharmacists, in the 1980’s, however, were tasked with educating and consulting the patient about their medication. This was set forth in the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act. This placed a very important part of the prescribing process on the pharmacist.

Unfortunately, not all pharmacists go the extra mile to ensure patients are educated.

To be completely sure patients receive the best treatment and education, many physicians are choosing to dispense medications at the point of care. This is what is considered modern medical dispensing.

Medical Dispensing Now

While some accounts date back to the mid-1200s, physician dispensing as we know it now was introduced in the early 1980s. This is when the Federal Drug Administration began allowing repackaging of medications.

Because of the extremely strict regulations repackaging companies must follow, the FDA approved the physician’s ability to prescribe, fill and profit from the distribution of pharmaceuticals in-office.

Repackaging makes your job easy. It also allows you to feel confident your patients’ medicines are protected from cross-contamination or any other errors that regularly take place within pharmacies.

Repackaging Regulations

Repackaged medication simply means a medication is taken from its original packaging that comes straight from the manufacturer, and placed into a smaller, safer and simpler type of packaging. Repackaged medications are often separated into individual doses, making it easy for the patient to keep on track with their medication schedule.

Repackaging steps include environmental testing, labeling, securing controlled substances, and keeping good records throughout the process.

Medicines must be tested at this point to ensure they are of the same quality as they were when created at the manufacturing facility.

Records must include the date of repackaging, prescription name, physician who will be dispensing the medicine, and drug name. The strength of the drug must be listed, as well as the quantity.  These steps must be verified and signed by an authority figure in the repackaging company.

Keeping good records is required. Repackaging companies must keep quality records for at least one year after the date of being repackaged. This process allows all medicines, including controlled substances, to be traced and identified when needed.

Introduction of Electronic Prescribing

When computers began gaining popularity and were made accessible for everyone, pharmacies and doctors were able to take advantage of computerized benefits also. Meaning, medications could be ordered and prescribed online.

This eliminated hand-writing every prescription, cut down on typographical errors and misunderstandings between pharmacists and doctors. Electronic prescribing also created the ability for doctors to prescribe directly to the patient, at the point of care.

General guidelines have been established to ensure patient safety and doctor protection. For instance, the patient’s name, address, date of birth must be printed on labels used with electronic prescriptions. The doctor’s contact information must also be made available on the label.

Furthermore, the label must include dosage and how to consume the dose, strength and preparation, if any.

In-office dispensing software can prevent errors with medicine.

The Process of Medical Dispensing

Today, physicians who dispense medications at the point of care meet with the patient to determine if medication is needed to help them resolve an issue. If they can benefit from medication, the physician can then simply enter the medical information into the dispensing software. The next step is to print the label, adhere the label to the medicine package and distribute to the patient.

Even filling refill prescriptions becomes much easier for you, and using the dispensing software, helps remind your patients when they are due for a refill.

It really is that simple. However, there are a few things you can do to ensure this entire process is consistently successful. You can regularly take part in safety checks with your staff. Provide trainings that keep you and your staff updated on changes to laws and regulations.

The World Health Organization defines good dispensing practices as the way you provide medicine to your patients. Using good practices, you give the right patient the correct medication. The medication is labeled correctly, with all accurate data, including clear instructions for the patient to follow.

Working with an in-office dispensing company is the best way for you to ensure you are compliant and running your practice properly. They do most of the work, allowing you to focus on caring for your patients.

Medical dispensing offers many benefits. One of the most important is that it gives you the ability to track compliance. You have measurable techniques at your finger tips to see whether patients are sticking to their treatment plan and therefore, reaching their treatment goals.

Improving patient health outcomes is the goal of physicians. With the arrival and progression of medical dispensing, that goal is more attainable.

 

 

Doctor Dispensing | Proficient Rx

Providing Better Care with Doctor Dispensing

As a doctor, it’s hard to know what is going on with your patients when they are not in your care. Most of the time, they leave your office and you aren’t sure whether they are following through with their treatment plan. Doctor dispensing changes the game, allowing you to keep better tabs on your patient’s health and therefore, providing better care.

Below are some of the ways doctor dispensing allows you and your patients to collaborate better to achieve better health.

Improved Education

Gaining knowledge about the medicine you have prescribed should be done at the pharmacy. However, your patients rarely receive quality education from a pharmacist. There are several reasons patients do not seek education from a pharmacist about their medication.

One reason is that patients do not ask for education. They blindly trust that you know what is best for them.

Both patients and pharmacists are in a hurry. Patients tell themselves they will read the brochure or google information when they get home. Also, patients notice the pharmacist is busy. They ask patients if they have questions or need education, but you can see in their eyes they really do not have the time.

Furthermore, patients get embarrassed. They do not want all the other patients waiting in line to hear what medicines they are on and how to use them.

With doctor dispensing, patients can receive demonstrations and assistance in learning how to use medications directly from you, their care provider.

Doctor Dispensing Cleanliness

If the medicine you prescribe for a patient is dirty, it can negatively affect your patient. You want the medicines you prescribe to be created in a healthy environment.

Clean rooms help provide this healthy environment during the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals. Clean rooms focus on the air in the facility where drugs are manufactured. If the air is clean, everything else in the facility will be cleaner.

A clean room is defined as the space used to contain an area that needs to be free of particles that could potentially contaminate a product. They are also used to control temperature and pressure.

Cross-contamination can happen at pharmacies. People do not realize this, but medicines can be handled by pharmacy technicians and pharmacists that can pass germs to their medicines. While many pharmaceutical staff wear gloves, they do not change gloves often.

Germs and bacteria can travel a distance through sneezing and coughing. These germs can land on the preparation table where staff are working, where medicines are placed.

Prepackaged medications used with in-office dispensing prevent germs from getting onto medicines. The prepackaging companies have state of the art equipment that must pass federal and state laws surrounding cleanliness.

Patient Follow Through

You may not be able to force your patients to take their prescriptions, but you can make it easier for them. An in-office dispensing system eliminates the excuse of not being able to get to the pharmacy.

Doctor dispensing also allows you the opportunity to check their files to see if they are keeping up with refills. If they have never called in for a refill, they are most likely not taking their medicines.

This gives you a chance to contact the patient before their next appointment to find out why they are not taking their medications.

When you show you care by providing on-site prescriptions and status checkup calls, you are encouraging patients to follow through.

Immediate Relief

You can administer a first dose to patients in your office. Educating and ensuring patients know how to administer a drug to themselves.

When a patient is sick, they just want to take medicine, rest and heal. They want quick relief and their idea of wellness means getting rid of pain as fast as possible. Going to the pharmacy involves many steps: finding a ride, waiting for their ride, waiting at the pharmacy.

It can be hours before the first dose of medication can be taken. This means they spend several extra hours suffering when they could be at home, recovering.

Patients needing medical equipment and supplies can purchase products in your office, in your care. This too gives you the opportunity to teach your patients how to properly use their durable medical equipment or supplies.

Being able to get a cane immediately rather than struggling to get to a pharmacy can prevent the possibility of further injuries. Being able to get testing strips at the point of care and being taught how to use a blood sugar monitor can help the patient learn self-care a lot sooner.

Being able to help your patients immediately, can lead to their higher compliance rates and overall better health.

Using Nurse Practitioners

You cannot be with every patient. You do your best to see everyone scheduled but it is impossible to provide quality care in just a few minutes of consultation.

Nurse practitioners can help you provide better care. Nurse Practitioners can and are perfectly capable of providing a variety of services. If you have a Nurse Practitioner on staff in your practice, you can double the number of patients you see. This means you can serve more people and increase the revenue flow to your business.

The role of a Nurse Practitioner today is extensive and valuable. More than ever before, seeking a career as a Nurse Practitioner is popular among both men and women.

They are your right-hand man or woman, without needing to be right there with you always.

The use of a Nurse Practitioner for Drug Dispensing is both smart and efficient for your practice, offering higher quality of care because you can both spend more time with the patient.

Ultimately, there would be no practice without patients. Providing the best care possible is how you can retain loyal patients and attract new ones. You can do this with doctor dispensing practices that allow you to follow your patient’s health from start to finish.

Doctor dispensing helps you stand out from other physicians, showing just how much you care about your patients.

 

Dispensing Requirements | Proficient Rx

Dispensing Requirements For Dispensing In Office

There are quite a few dispensing requirements you need to meet before dispensing medicine at your point of care. All these requirements are worth the effort, which is minimal in most cases.

Below are the dispensing requirements you should focus on when setting up your practice as an in-office dispensary.

Pharmacy Board Application and Approval

Pharmacy board regulations will vary from state to state. However, they each have similar processes. Many times, physicians are held to less requirements than pharmacists are when it comes to setting up a point of care delivery system.

Registering with your pharmacy board will require you show evidence of your license and any examinations necessary to practice medicine in your state.

Register with Board every year to avoid any lapses with your credentials.

Dispensing Requirements at the State Level

Applications for physicians to dispense medications at point of care will vary by state. However, each application will ask related questions about your qualifications and intentions.

You will be asked to identify the specific medications you plan to dispense. You will also be asked basic questions about where and how the medications will be dispensed.

More specific questions may focus on whether the patient has access to a pharmacy or if it is difficult for them to obtain medications. The more conveniences you can provide for your patient, the more likely your application will be received.

Common regulations among States include the following:

  • State issued controlled substance dispensing license is required for those of you who wish to dispense Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) scheduled drugs.
  • Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant credentials updated and legal if you plan to allow them to dispense medications.
  • Your State issued dispensing license, if required, which it is in many States.

In addition to meeting these dispensing requirements, many States require you meet the Pharmacy Board regulations also.

Controlled Substances Requirements

The Drug Enforcement Administration makes it clear that when you dispense a narcotic of any kind, it must be for a legitimate medical reason. You must make sure it meets all the regulations showing it is valid. In addition, you must verify all information on the drug to make sure it corresponds with the patient.

This means you must verify the patients name, dosage, drug being prescribed, strength and quantity before you give it to your patient as part of their dispensing requirements.

Every few years you must register with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to dispense controlled substances.

Current State License and DEA Number

Your DEA number allows you to write prescriptions that are considered controlled substances by the government. Controlled substances are ranked and put into five categories. A DEA number allows your prescriptions to be tracked and reported in case of negligent practices.

If you do not already have a DEA number, you can simply apply online using form 224. This is the application for controlled substances registration. You cannot dispense controlled substances without this approval.

You will be expected to give personal information as well as background history. If you do not supply this information, you will not be allowed to register.

Your DEA number does not allow you to dispense medications that treat narcotics addictions. That is a totally separate application and registration process with different dispensing requirements.

Ability to Help Workman’s Compensation Patients Easily

Once you determine your workman’s compensation needs, whether medicine or equipment, you file claims for the patients whose insurance requires it.

There are times when insurance companies require the patient to pay for the equipment up front and be reimbursed for all the costs, or partial costs.

You can acquire the assistance of specialists who provide the equipment for you. They can also assist with the claims and offer many benefits that ease your workload. These companies are like those who specialize in medication dispensing.

Instead of dispensing medications, however, they are dispensing durable medical equipment.

Good Software Program

In-office dispensing software can prevent errors with medicine.

But before you commit to any system software program, check references. Get feedback from other users of the software program. You want honest feedback, not just reviews that are positive.

The key is that you are told about possible glitches before you purchase. This shows honesty from the software company. It can also show you a willingness on their part to fix all problems that arise.

If your computer program is crashing every time you try to prescribe and fill a medicine, you will get frustrated. And so will your staff and patients. Finding a software program that is reliable is one of the most important tasks.

In times where software crashes are unavoidable, you need technical support. The company you choose should provide support to you at free or low-cost services. The tech support staff should also be readily accessible to you during the time of the crisis.

Most quality software companies have around the clock services. You do not have the time to work with the software, your patients need you more. Finding a software program that comes with expert support is necessary for your practice.

Be the Good Doctor

The World Health Organization defines good dispensing practices as the way you provide medicine to your patients. Using good practices, you give the right patient the correct medication. The medication is labeled correctly, with all accurate data, including clear instructions for the patient to follow.

From the time you write a prescription until the time the medicine is given to the patient; all the actions in between can determine if your practices are good or bad.

There are a few things you can do to ensure this entire process is consistently successful. You can regularly take part in safety checks with your staff. Provide training that keeps you and your staff updated on changes to laws, regulations, and dispensing requirements.

Working with an in-office dispensing company is the best way for you to ensure you are compliant and running your practice properly. They do most of the work, allowing you to focus on caring for your patients.

Dispense Controlled Substances | Proficient Rx

Requirements to Dispense Controlled Substances

As a physician who wants to dispense controlled substances, you must follow both state and federal laws. When your state laws are different than the federal laws, you are required to follow the most stringent rules. Meaning, if you state laws are stricter than the federal laws, you must follow state rules.

Federal laws are often the least strict of the two. For example, federal law does not limit the length of time a prescription is valid, but most states have a six-month limitation.

Drug Enforcement Agency Requirements

You can dispense schedule II through V class of drugs only and you must follow all Drug Enforcement Administration rules strictly.

The Drug Enforcement Administration makes it clear that when you dispense a narcotic of any kind, it must be for a legitimate medical reason. You must make sure it meets all the regulations showing it is valid. In addition, you must verify all information on the drug to make sure it corresponds with the patient.

This means you must verify the patients name, dosage, drug being prescribed, strength and quantity before you give it to your patient.

Every few years you must register with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to dispense controlled substances.

State Board of Pharmacy Regulations

You must be licensed by your State’s Board of Pharmacy to dispense controlled substances. Once approved, you must follow their prescribing regulations.

Such regulations make it very aware that Schedule III and IV controlled substances cannot be prescribed more than five times or for more than six months after the initial date of prescription. A new prescription must be written if needed after the six-month limit.

Refills are prohibited under DEA regulations.

In addition, you must check the prescription drug monitoring program when verifying prescriptions.

Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

Governments have established programs called the prescription drug monitoring program to help physicians verify whether or not a patient has been listed as an abuser of certain drugs. This monitoring system has been a terrific way to prevent patients from doctor shopping for someone to dispense controlled substances .

Doctor shopping has been used for years by addicts who try and manipulate physicians to get prescriptions for narcotics.

Documentation Requirements

One of the most important regulations when you dispense controlled substances is to keep good records. You must document everything about your prescription and dispensing practices include who is receiving the drugs, why they are receiving them and why they are necessary.

Packaging and Labeling Requirements

Controlled substances must be contained in secure packaging to avoid contamination of the medicine. Packaging much also be child-resistant to avoid any potential accidents. Controlled substances labels must be detailed and list the patient’s name, address; phone number and reason for use.

They must also list potential hazards, warnings and the prescribing doctor’s name.

Dispense Controlled Substances In An Emergency

There may be times when your patients need immediate assistance. You can dispense controlled substances in these urgent situations. However, you must be able to prove it was an emergency and that no other form of treatment was available.

The drug you prescribe must also be limited to the treatment time. Meaning, you cannot continue to provide controlled substances to your patients after the emergency, unless you write a prescription for it.

Partial Dispensing

You may not always have the exact number of controlled substances on hand to fill a complete order. In these situations, you can fill a partial prescription. The remaining medicine is to be picked up later.

Partial prescriptions must be documented as such, along with detailed descriptions of why the medicine is only partially prescribed. Include information about the patient as well. If they are terminally ill, mark that information on the prescription.

Dispensing Without a Prescription

Believe it or not, there are conditions under which you can dispense controlled substances without a prescription. The specific details are outlined in the regulations handbook.  The regulations state you cannot dispense more than 8 ounces of any opium related product, and 4 ounces of any other controlled substances.

You only have a 48-hour period in which to dispense a controlled substance. This means that if you patient needs an opiate for pain and you do not have a prescription written, you can give them a maximum of 8 ounces in a two-day period.

Provide Information on Treatment for Controlled Substances

Your duty as a doctor is to protect the well being of your patients. Prescribing opiates and other addictive medicines is part of your duty. Patients are in pain and you can help them by easing that pain with medication.

There is nothing wrong in doing this. However, some of your patients will take advantage of your duties. This happens when patients become addicted to their medicine.

If you find one of your patients is addicted to their medication, it is then your duty to provide them with information on how to break their addiction.

Being addicted to narcotic can quickly lead to damaging mental and physical health of your patient. As you know, their tolerance to the medicine you prescribe grows quickly. Soon, a patient you were able to help in the beginning with pain, becomes a patient you dread seeing.

You know they are only seeking more controlled substances to feed their addiction. They will go to great lengths to maintain their addiction, including doctor shopping. Checking the national drug registry and any in-state programs you have access to that can tell you about your patient’s drug history.

As their doctor, it is up to you and your staff to introduce treatment options. They may refuse it, but that is okay. You simply need to provide them with the right information, so they can obtain help when they are ready.

If you feel their life is in danger due to their abuse of their prescriptions, you can make the referral to a treatment facility. You have the authority to recommend hospitalization for them if you feel it is needed.

The most important thing to remember is don’t forget to document everything. If it is not documented, it did not happen.

 

Direct Dispensing Benefits | Proficient Rx

The Convenience of Direct Dispensing in Today’s Day and Age

Direct dispensing means you are prescribing medicines or medical products that aid your patients in their recovery from an illness or ailment. With the modernization of how patients can acquire items, it is fortunate that you can be a part of this movement.

Medical vending machines exist for a wide range of products. Even legal marijuana can be purchased from machines. Vending machines are just one example of how convenience is becoming a trend in our nation.

Everyone wants to be able to meet their needs quickly, and for less money. They don’t want to be hassled or bothered. And they certainly don’t want to wait in long lines with other sick people.

Some patients will forego medication altogether if they feel it cost too much or if they must wait many hours to retrieve what they need.

Direct dispensing provides many conveniences for patients, making you look like a hero. Your patients recognize how much you care when you do things to make their life easier, especially when they are ill.

Keep reading to find out just how convenient direct dispensing can be.

Financial Convenience

You can work with a medication dispensing company to get the lowest costs for your patients. You can lower the price of medications while still making a nice profit for yourself.

Your patients are not all wealthy members of society. Many are struggling to make ends meet. Some are living paycheck to paycheck and may even be missing payments on occasion.

Your patients will appreciate the reduced costs you can provide them.

The software that is provided by the dispensing company makes it easy to submit claims directly to insurance company billing departments. This means you can receive your payments a lot faster than before.

Refill Convenience

Refills are so much easier for patients when using in-office dispensing. Often, patients call to get their prescriptions refilled at a pharmacy and are told they need doctor approval for a refill. They then make an appointment to see the doctor, who then approves the refill.

Sometimes patients can just call in to the practice and leave a voice mail regarding the needed approval. Either way, this can take days. By then, patients may have run out of their medication and put their health at risk.

With direct dispensing, the patient can call directly into your office to place the request for refill. You can check their records to determine if a refill can be approved. They go by your office and in just a few minutes, pick up their prescription.

Convenience of Immediate Relief

Patients can be taking their medication within minutes when you dispense at the point of care. You can even administer a dose to them in your office. This reduces anxiety in patients who dread making that trip to the pharmacy only to wait for hours before they can start taking their medication.

When a patient is sick, they just want to take medicine, rest and heal. They want quick relief and their idea of wellness means getting rid of pain as fast as possible. Going to the pharmacy involves many steps: finding a ride, waiting for their ride, waiting at the pharmacy.

It can be hours before the first dose of medication can be taken. This means they spend several extra hours suffering when they could be at home, recovering.

Patients needing medical equipment and supplies can purchase products in your office, in your care. This gives you the opportunity to teach your patients how to properly use their durable medical equipment or supplies.

Being able to get a cane immediately rather than struggling to get to a pharmacy can prevent the possibility of further injuries. Being able to get testing strips at the point of care and being taught how to use a blood sugar monitor can help the patient learn self-care a lot sooner.

Convenient Office Management

Direct dispensing is making the work of office staff easier than ever before. With direct dispensing software, everything from patient records to reporting is streamlined. In just minutes you can access a patient’s records, and run reports to see if they are compliant or due for a refill.

You can also run reports comparing and differentiating all your patients.

The software makes restocking your supplies, printing labels, and billing insurances quick and efficient processes. Your staff can access technical support any time day or night.

Your staff no longer must stack and store paper files. They no longer must give up desk space. And keeping records for the length of time required can be done using the software, not filing cabinets.

Using the dispensing software is so easy, even the staff who are afraid of change will not have problems adjusting.

Convenient Compliance For Direct Dispensing

You are set to higher standards than any other professionals. You are a physician and must remain compliant with all rules and regulations set forth by federal, state and local governments.

Direct dispensing software helps you remain compliant. It makes it easy to track, record, report and print information you will need to turn in to the specific agencies during audits and inspections.

You can scan and input all necessary data needed to show your compliance.

You will be required to show the pharmacy board in your state that you are compliant. You will also need to comply with controlled substances laws and reporting requirements. You must make sure your physician assistants and nurse practitioners remain in compliance too.

Furthermore, you will need to prove you are dispensing appropriately, according to good practices. Policies, procedures, processes and controls will be inspected.

Dispensing software makes monitoring and updating all of these less difficult.

 

 

In Office Dispensing | Proficient Rx

Why In-Office Dispensing Instead of The Pharmacy?

Pharmacies are not bad. They are not evil, and this is not an attempt to downgrade pharmacies. This is an attempt to separate the facts and state the facts on how in-office dispensing has more benefits than going to the pharmacy.

Prescribing and filling prescriptions at the point of care is becoming more popular among physicians. Many physicians implement in-office dispensing into their practice simply for the extra income it provides. Many find there is very little work required, but the increase in revenue is significant.

After a while, physicians begin to realize in-office dispensing has added value, other than the extra income. Most of these benefit your patients and your staff, something you may not have even expected in the beginning.

These added benefits, such as saving time, improved patient health outcomes and educating the patient are a few of the rewards offered through in-office dispensing.

Below is a list of five additional reasons in-office dispensing is a better choice than going to a pharmacy for both patients and staff.

Pharmacies Are in the Retail Business

Going to a pharmacy these days is more like going to a retail store. Pharmacies quickly learned to capitalize on the massive waiting periods for patients. They implement marketing techniques to manipulate patients into buying products they do not need while waiting on the medicine they do need.

Over the last decade, pharmacies have moved from simply prescribing medications to selling groceries, beauty and health products, school and office supplies and even pet supplies.

Patients, unless they have remarkable insurance plans, are already spending a lot of money on their prescriptions. Spending even more on impulse buys at the pharmacy can hurt their financial status.

Even the mom and pop pharmacies are growing from medicines being their primary source of income to relying on selling convenience products to patients.

With direct dispensing, you can save your patients money and time by providing them with their medication at the point of care, and without all the temptations of buying extra products. Plus, the lack of a wait time means they do not have time to shop around anyway.

Medication Compliance

Pharmacists do not have to ensure patients are compliant with their medicines. While it would be nice, and ethical, they are not required to do so. They are not even required to report their suspicions or concerns to you when they feel a patient may be abusing their medicine.

Pharmacists do not automatically check to see if a patient is refilling their medicine on time. They are not aware of when patients have stopped taking their medications altogether unless they are prompted to look up their information in the database.

With hundreds of patients being served each day, it is unlikely they take the time to measure compliance, even if it is important to them.

Lower Medication Errors With In Office Dispensing

Pharmacy errors are increasing each year. Medication errors can include the following: giving the patient the wrong medication; giving the patient someone else’s medication; pharmacist authorizing the wrong dose on the medication; pharmacist or pharmacy technician contaminating the medication.

These errors happen, and they happen on a regular basis across the country.

The use of pharmaceutical technicians is also a concern. They are not trained as well to spot errors, prevent cross-contamination and keep up with the enormous demands of busy pharmacies today.

Convenient for Patient and Your Staff

The conveniences you are providing for clients by dispensing in-office helps you retain patients in your practice. It also encourages current patients to recruit new patients for you, saving you a lot of money in marketing. There is no better advertising than to have happy patients share how much you care about them.

One of the conveniences in-office dispensing provides to your patients is time. Waiting in long lines at the pharmacy is dreaded by your patients because while they are waiting, they are thinking about the many other tasks they could be completing.

Another convenience is that your patients can have access to help sooner. Meaning, they can start healing several hours earlier than if they had to go to the pharmacy.

In-office dispensing saves patients’ money because you do not have to mark up your costs as much as a pharmacy with a large staff must do.

Your staff also feel the benefits of in-office dispensing. They no longer must communicate via fax and email with the pharmacy. They are provided with a simple computer software program that basically does all the work for them.

With just a few clicks, prescriptions are entered, labels printed, labels adhered, and the patient is headed home to recover. This takes ten minutes or less, saving staff and patients hours of time.

Confidentiality

Dispensing medications in-office helps your relationship with patients. It means you can speak directly with your patients without the noise and interruptions from everyone else in the area. This means your patients can ask questions without the fear of others hearing them.

Confidentiality is a big deal to patients. If they feel their confidentiality could be or has been violated, they will be hurt and angry.

Patients do not want to ask personal questions in front of a line of people like they must do at a pharmacy. There are no confidential areas at pharmacies that provide the secrecy patients are seeking.

Even those who do choose to speak with a pharmacist are forced to whisper, and then made to feel rushed so the pharmacist can return to filling more prescriptions.

In your office, you can offer patients security the pharmacy cannot. Patients are expected to trust their doctor and their pharmacist. Providing confidential services is one of the best ways to make sure this happens.

In your office, you can meet with them privately to discuss their prescription, educate them on their illness and the medication you are prescribing, and improving the chances that they will follow through with treatment.

Your number of successful outcomes will increase. And for you, this means you have reached

increase practice revenue | Proficient Rx

How to Increase Practice Revenue with Doctor Dispensing

All physicians can benefit from extra revenue, and today, it is easier than ever before to add services to your practice that cost little to start but can bring in a great deal more income. I’m sure you have thought about what you could do with extra revenue. You could increase practice revenue and grow your practice, increase salaries for your employees, provide better insurance and education for your staff. You could even make renovations to the building, adding up-to-date equipment that will improve patient services.

Doctor dispensing is an ancillary service that is proving to be a winner when it comes to increasing practice revenue. It’s a winner because it does not cost much money to implement, yet your return on investment is very attractive.

In office dispensing is the real money maker for you here, but there are many options to help increase practice revenue. Following the below suggestions can help you increase practice revenue by prescribing and filling prescriptions at your office.

Dispense Durable Mobility Devices

Durable mobility devices refer to specific items that help your patients who have experienced illnesses or injuries. They can also help the elderly who need assistance completing daily tasks.

Some patients require the use of mobility devices such as wheelchairs, canes, crutches and walkers. Patients who have injuries or diseases that make it difficult for patients to move around. The availability of durable medical equipment has improved the quality of life for many patients who would otherwise not be able to function.

By providing durable medical equipment in your office, you are helping your patients receive immediate assistance as well as working to increase practice revenue. Most insurance companies will pay for the equipment. However, patients can purchase them outright when they want.

Dispense Personal Care Aids

Personal care aids can help your patients monitor their own vital signs. Heart monitors allow patients to check if there are any abnormalities in their heart rate. If so, they know to contact you. Heart monitors are also a way for you to measure how their heart, so you can make a better diagnosis.

Blood pressure monitors are another example of personal care aids. Checking blood pressure several times a day can prevent further damage to a patient’s health. They can keep records of their blood pressure and report them to you.

People with diabetes need to be able to check and monitor their blood sugar numbers throughout the day. Knowing these numbers can enable a patient to know what to do to control insulin levels. Doing so can literally save the life of a diabetic.

Dispense Prosthesis and Orthotics

Some of your patients may have lost a limb or been born without a limb. A prosthetic limb can give your patient the ability to complete tasks they would otherwise not be able to do. It can give them back their independence, which is one thing they desire.

Even if your patient has not lost a limb, they may still have problems with them. Some patients may require orthotics due to foot related injuries or deformities. Orthotics can offer a patient freedom from pain and normality and can increase practice revenue for you if you provide them directly.

Dispense Medical Supplies

Medical supplies are much different than medical equipment. Supplies are disposable. They are typically used one time and then thrown away.

Medical supplies consist of bandages, gauze, and tape. Other supplies include irrigation tools and rubber gloves that can prevent contamination.

Needles and test strips are considered medical supplies also.

Supplies can be used by the patient, the doctor, nurse and even the caregiver. They are made to increase patient self-care, while preventing the spread of any diseases or infections.

Increase Practice Revenue: Dispense Common Medications

The real money maker is direct dispensing though. Dispensing only the most common medications you prescribe keeps your inventory low but your returns high. You are not required to stock one or two of every medicine available. Instead, you pick medications to store based on the needs of your patients only to increase practice revenue and efficiency.

Some common medications include anti-depressants, blood pressure medications and drugs for controlling cholesterol. Other common medications include diabetic medications, as well as insulin and supplies.

Thyroid issues are becoming increasingly problematic among women and men around the world, making medicines such as Synthroid common.

Many of your patients will visit you due to allergies, nausea and vomiting, attention deficit disorders, and asthma. There will be injuries suffered by your patients such as burns, cuts, and fractures. These can be treated with medicines and supplies at the point of care.

Dispense Controlled Substances

Many patients require treatment with the use of pain medication. You may be hesitant to prescribe pain medication due to the drug problem facing America today. However, by prescribing controlled substances at the point of care, you have a lot more control.

You can control how many pills your patients receive. You control whether they get a refill or not. You can track their refill requests. You can test their blood to see if they are compliant. You can dispense one pill a day, if that is what is needed.

The point is, you get to control how your medicines are used in treatment. There are good patients, who do need pain medicine, that will not abuse the medicine. Don’t let the ones in actual need suffer because other patients abuse the medicine.

Practice safety and use your expertise to determine the patients who will benefit from a controlled substance. Limit the amount you prescribe and continue to treat the patient until they no longer need the medicine.

These are a few ways to increase practice revenue directly. However, you will also notice indirect ways of increase practice revenue. For instance, point of care dispensing increases patient satisfaction; and satisfied patients are loyal patients.

Doctor dispensing saves your patients time. Avoiding the travel and waiting times they would spend at the pharmacy, they can spend that time recovering. Patients feel as if they can start their healing right away, not hours later.

They also make referrals to family and friends, who will want to become patients of your practice. Your business grows, as well as the amount of income you make. When you increase practice revenue it can lead to the ability to add other ancillary services.