Pharmacy Accreditation and Marketing Advantages

With an accreditation program for community pharmacy under development, it is worth considering how such accreditation could be beneficial.

The Joint Commission has reaccredited Kroger’s The Little Clinic, making it the second retail health care provider after CVS Caremark’s MinuteClinic to achieve that recognition from the nation’s oldest and largest health care accrediting organization. (See Little Clinic Press Release.)

I wonder why both Kroger and CVS Caremark made the decision to have their in-store medical clinics accredited? I ask this question because the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) and the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) are working on an accreditation program of their own for community pharmacy. Knowing the thinking that went into the decision to have their programs reaccredited might suggest how the NABP/APhA might market their program. As a store owner, I might want to ponder that question as I thought about whether or not I should seek accreditation for my pharmacy.

As far as I know, reimbursement for any services delivered is not currently tied to accreditation—although it certainly could be in the future. My guess is that these groups see this as a marketing advantage and they can say: “We deliver quality care because we are accredited. We voluntarily submitted our operation to peer review and have been deemed qualified to provide good care.”

Do you think Kroger and CVS Caremark will gain an advantage in the marketplace because they applied first? How you answer that question may influence what you do about community pharmacy accreditation when it becomes available soon.