TAMPA, Fla. — Through a collaborative practice program, Benzer Pharmacy has begun helping doctors provide clinical services to improve patient health outcomes and generate more revenue for physician offices.
The regional drug chain said Monday that the clinical services include chronic care management for patients with chronic or complex diseases and health conditions, transitional care management for patients being discharged from a hospital, and intensive behavior therapy for weight management counseling, among others.
Benzer’s independent pharmacy network encompasses more than 65 locations in Tennessee, Florida, Michigan, Virginia, North Carolina, Texas, Georgia, Nevada, Oklahoma, Iowa, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana and California.
“No other retail pharmacies in the area are providing these types of collaborative services, making Benzer Pharmacy a pioneer in clinical innovation and pharmacy practice advancement,” Lindsay Wall, chief clinical officer at Benzer Pharmacy, said in a statement.
If a physician’s office doesn’t have the time or is unwilling to perform these clinical services for whatever reason, Benzer’s pharmacists can step in to help. Once the doctor signs a collaborative practice agreement, Benzer pharmacists can start providing the designated services, such as ordering lab tests, providing education and making recommendations on medication therapy.
Wall noted that Benzer pharmacists will never initiate, modify or discontinue any therapy without a physician’s approval. “This allows for building trust and collaboration within the health care teams caring for common patients,” Wall explained.
Typically, a physician’s office gets reimbursed by insurance for these clinical services, sometimes up to $200 per service, according to Benzer. The company noted that Medicare Access and the CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) provide alternative payment models that include clinical services on top of the services that physicians already provide to their patients.
“If the physician’s office is participating in providing these services, CMS will provide an incentive payment of 5%. Tthis is in addition to the payment received for the services,” Wall stated. “If the physician’s office does not participate, the practice will incur a penalty in the form of a negative 4% payment adjustment.”
Going forward, these payment adjustments stand to rise and are projected to be plus or minus 9% by the year 2022, Benzer said. “Getting involved now will generate profit in the short term while ensuring maximum incentives in the long run,” added Wall.
One of Benzer’s specialties is medication management for people with complex or chronic diseases, including cancer, hepatitis, HIV, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, dermatological conditions and gastrointestinal disorders. Last week, the drug chain announced that it earned Community Retail and Specialty Pharmacy Program accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC).
“We are thrilled with this achievement, as it shows our patients and prescribers that our focus on high-quality clinical programs and services is more than just words. They can depend on us to consistently provide the highest standard of operational, clinical and therapeutic excellence focused on complex and chronic health conditions,” Wall commented. “This is going to be a great convenience for patients who take medications on an ongoing basis, following that Benzer offers patient management services to those who use specialty medications for chronic and complex health conditions.”
With the accreditation for community retail services, Benzer said it also will be a go-to pharmacy for durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies (DMEPOS).