Supporting Independent Pharmacies' Financial Health with McKesson Solutions

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McKesson is helping to address financial challenges facing independent pharmacies.

In an interview with Pharmacy Times, Crystal Lennartz PharmD, MBA, President from Health Mart & Health Mart Atlas, outlines the reimbursement and cashflow pressures facing independent pharmacies at the 2024 McKesson ideaShare conference. Lennartz explains how McKesson provides solutions like financial reviews, payer contracts, and coaching to help pharmacies better understand their finances and reimbursement. She notes that these McKesson solutions have helped pharmacies on average save $3,600 per month. Lennartz emphasizes that pharmacies unsure of where to start can contact McKesson's RxOwnership team for assistance.

Pharmacy Times

What challenges do you see independent pharmacies facing today?

Crystal Lennartz

There are a lot of challenges that independent pharmacies are facing today. I would say one of the largest challenges is just reimbursement and cashflow pressures. We now have the DIR "double dip" in the rearview mirror, which is good. But there continues to be cashflow challenges. There's also growing patient population and so often pharmacies are taking care of additional patients, especially if they're in rural or urban underserved areas, they may be one of the main access points for care in their community. That also can create opportunity for pharmacies in terms of enhance services that they can provide to their patients. However, that also comes sometimes with reimbursement challenges, because not all the services that pharmacies provide are currently reimbursable.

Key Takeaways

  1. Independent pharmacies face significant reimbursement and cashflow challenges that threaten their financial health.
  2. McKesson provides various solutions and services to help pharmacies optimize reimbursement, including financial reviews, payer contract support, and reimbursement coaching.
  3. On average, McKesson's solutions help pharmacies save $3,600 per month, improving their profitability and financial stability.

Pharmacy Times

How is McKesson helping pharmacies understand their financials and improve profitability?

Crystal Lennartz

So, McKesson helps pharmacies in many ways to understand their financial health. One of those ways is through our pharmacy services administrative organization, with access to payer contracts and better understanding their reimbursement. We also have provider pay, which is a reconciliation and AR tool. It helps to match claims to payments and chase open or agent claims to ensure that pharmacies get every dollar that they've earned. Then we also have McKesson reimbursement advantage. This provides a pre and post edit suite, along with coaching from an advisor. We've seen that most of our pharmacies can save on average $3,600 a month with that solution and provided support.

Pharmacy Times

What other solutions and services does McKesson provide to support the health of community pharmacies?

Crystal Lennartz

We also provide on the Health Mart side, a lot of different perks. So, it's access to vendors and discounts to help pharmacies reduce their operating expenses and a variety of services as well.

Pharmacy Times

For a pharmacy owner is unsure of where to start or which solution is right for their pharmacy what do you recommend?

Crystal Lennartz

For pharmacy owners who aren't sure where to start, I just first want to let them know that they're not alone. We have a team here to help support them. One of those teams is our RxOwnership team. If they're not sure where to start in terms of a financial review, that team can do a comprehensive financial review and help the pharmacy understand where they are and what levers or other solutions that they may be able to tap into from a consultative services perspective. Then if they're a health smart franchisee we also have a team of pharmacists and operators that can help connect them to the different solutions that Health Mart provides.

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