OK, Boomer: here’s a quick fact for you. In 1960, the median age of the US population was 29.5. Today, it’s 38.2 -- the oldest median age in US history. Members of the Baby Boom generation are now between ages 56 and 74. What’s more, the number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to nearly double from 52 million in 2018 to 95 million by 2060.
As more Americans are living longer, patients want pharmacies that provide convenient and affordable programs to help them manage chronic diseases. Ben McNabb, co-owner of Love Oak Pharmacy in Texas, recognizes the importance of creating high-value care and providing personalized customer service. “The foundation of our business is focusing on adherence and then building clinical services on top of medication adherence,” says McNabb. “We believe that whatever we can do to help the patient is good for our business and good for our community.”
Med Sync + Adherence Packaging
Prior to the addition of the pharmacy’s strip packaging technology, many Love Oak patients participating in the med sync program were having a difficult time adhering to their medications. “The biggest difference between regular med sync and adherence packaging is the fact that you're doing a monthly med rec and you're more in tune with exactly how the patient is using the pills,” explains McNabb.
The RapidPakRx is adherence automation that allows a single technician to complete multi-dose compliance packaged strips for up to 50 patients, in one, 8-hour shift. Each pouch in the strip is labeled with the day, date and time that the medications need to be taken, making it easy for patients to take their medication as directed.
“Our patients tell us that adherence packaging has completely changed their life,” says McNabb. For patients managing a chronic disease, their prescription load often becomes overwhelming. Prior to the addition of adherence packaging, patients expressed that “taking their medication had become so frustrating and complicated that it almost controls their day-to-day activity,” says McNabb.
With the RapidPakRx, McNabb’s patients no longer have to worry about carrying bulky pill bottles, or wasting time sorting their medications in a pill box. “It's just amazing how much benefit the patients get from our adherence packaging. They tell us about it all the time,” adds McNabb.
Providing Patients Accurate Care
“The main reason that I chose the RapidPakRx was its ability to automatically calibrate to every NDC that we had to use through the machine,” says McNabb. The RapidPakRx uses universal cartridges to dispense all oral solid medications. “Because of the nature of today's wholesalers and needing to acquire the lowest cost generic drug, shapes and sizes of pills change pretty rapidly,” says McNabb. “So the typical calibrated cassettes become obsolete relatively quickly when you're having to switch NDCs quite often to find the best price possible.”
“Before we had the RapidPakRx, all we did was fill prescriptions and prescription vials and it was very reactive,” says McNabb. With adherence packaging, Love Oak Pharmacy can anticipate prescriptions and have them ready for patients the next time they come into the pharmacy. “Now that we have the RapidPakRx, we're so much more proactive, and the workflow is much more efficient, meaning far less calls come into the pharmacy because we're the ones calling the patient,” says McNabb.
The RapidPakRx also helps Love Oak Pharmacy decrease the labor spent preparing each prescription, allowing staff to spend more time interacting with patients. Using a 3-step integrated vision verification system, the RapidPakRx makes it easy for pharmacists to ensure that each patient receives the right medications. “Everything is just far more efficient and it actually really helps us keep our payroll costs down too,” says McNabb.
Becoming a 5-Star Pharmacy
“There's a lot of measures in the EQuIPP dashboard, but adherence measures are weighted the most at contributing to your DIR,” says McNabb. As pharmacy owners are painfully aware, DIR fees greatly impact the profitability of a pharmacy. Although many independent pharmacy owners feel like they have no control over DIR fees, McNabb says he’s using adherence to relieve some pressure from DIR fees, while improving Star ratings. “When we purchased the pharmacy, we were more or less a 3-star pharmacy and now after adherence packaging, we are a 5-star pharmacy,” says McNabb, “My performance dictates my DIR fees with my PBM and I can definitely move those numbers.”
Improving adherence among patients is easier with the RapidPakRx, because when a patient is not meeting adherence standards, that can be a trigger to add them to a compliance packaging program. At Love Oak Pharmacy, McNabb uses incentives to encourage his staff to interact with patients who are struggling with non-adherence.
Growth in Adherence Patients: 10-15 per Month
Love Oak Pharmacy is also adding new adherence-packaged patients to help grow its Star ratings and decrease their DIR fees. “Currently our growth rate is about 10 to 15 new adherence packaged patients a month, and most of those patients are new to our business,” says McNabb.
For anyone considering the RapidPakRx, “I would tell them that it has completely changed our business,” says McNabb, “It's our main growth driver for our business and attracting new customers and distinguishing ourselves from the competition. I personally believe that an independent pharmacy can do it much better because we are local and we can address things quicker,” says McNabb.
To learn more about Love Oak Pharmacy’s experience with the RapidPakRx, please watch the video above. If you would like to get more information about the RapidPakRx, please visit our product page, or contact an adherence automation expert now, at (760) 593-7161.