Independent Corner: Direct Payment Options for Payers and Patients
Community Pharmacy Consultant Bruce Kneeland and Theresa Dickinson, RPh, owner of Melrose Pharmacy in Phoenix, AZ, discusses direct payment options for payers and patients.
Bruce Kneeland: You talk about old fashioned a little bit, but you’re actually the poster child for the modern pharmacist. Tell us a little bit about the enhanced clinical services that you’re providing. And I’d love to know whether there’s any of them that you’re doing where patients are paying directly, but just as importantly I’d love to know what you’re doing that insurance companies are paying for that’s actually benefitting your patients.
Theresa Dickinson, RPh: Sure. My big one is the hormone consults, so I sit down with women, talk to them about the symptoms they’re having, figure out what they should be on as a medication, do a recommendation to their doctor for what that prescription should be, then the doctor signs the prescription and sends it back to us for us to fill. So I do charge for my consults.
Bruce Kneeland: I want to stop you there. So you’re actually able to get people to pay you money for your consulting service.
Theresa Dickinson, RPh: Absolutely, yes.
Bruce Kneeland: My personal opinion is that that’s one of the keys to the future, so thank you for sharing that. So you send the prescription over to the physician, the physician approves it, and then what do you do with it?
Theresa Dickinson, RPh: They send it back to us and then we compound it in our compound room.
Bruce Kneeland: Okay. What else?
Theresa Dickinson, RPh: I also do the Take Charge Weight Loss Program, and that’s a 13 week program where patients—it’s basically accountability and eating right and exercising. So the right ways to lose weight. And it has education, some books, so I quiz my patients every week on what they should’ve read in the book, so that’s been a very successful program. Patients usually lose about 20 pounds.