Pharmacies (like healthcare systems) all over the United States are dealing with three major trends that are threatening their traditional business model. Before your healthcare organization and its outpatient pharmacy can adapt to these emerging trends, you must come to fully understand them. Below are the three trends in pharmacy that are changing how they need to operate:
- Reimbursement pressure
Government, employers or commercial health plans, can’t afford to keep doing what they’ve done in the past. Tighter drug payment policies are adding pressure on the profit margins of pharmacies. These plans are looking for ways that the pharmacy can help them reduce costs, ensure patients stay compliant with their medications (thereby reducing hospital readmissions) and that the patient is taking the most appropriate drug that the lowest cost.
- Prevention care
Patients are becoming more interested in better ways to manage and improve their own health. The rise of mobile health apps, wearable fitness trackers, and lifestyle coaching are just a few examples of how patients are taking preventative care and wellness into their own hands. A strong driver behind this trend is high-deductible plans, as patients are being forced to take more financial responsibility for their health, they are also more concerned about staying well.
- Patient engagement.
Patents are behaving more and more like healthcare consumers and are looking for stronger relationships with health care providers. Patients want access to care that’s effective and convenient. This could be in the form of easy refills, education on different (and more affordable) drugs that might be available and general health and medication education.
While together, these three trends threaten the traditional business model for pharmacies, they also create many opportunities. Forward-thinking pharmacies could take advantage of the changing times and rethink their business strategy.
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