BAY SHORE, N.Y. — After opening its 300th pharmacy a few months ago, Genoa has achieved another milestone.
The fast-growing behavioral health pharmacy has launched its first location in New York, giving the company 330 pharmacies overall. The new pharmacy is inside the Bay Shore, N.Y., facility of Family Service League, a nonprofit social service agency serving Long Island. With the New York site, Tukwila, Wash.-based Genoa now has pharmacies in 41 states and Washington, D.C.
Genoa marked the occasion with a ribbon-cutting event attended by its management team, Family Service League executives and local officials, including New York State Sen. Phil Boyle (R.) and representatives of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and State Assemblyman Phil Ramos (D.).
“Our model is simple: We build pharmacies inside community mental health centers so we can work closely with doctors to provide integrated care,” Genoa chief executive officer John Figueroa said. “The pharmacy component, especially in mental health care, is extremely important. The net result of that is about a 96% adherence rate for medications.
“So being in New York is a huge milestone for our company,” he noted. “When you think about the population of New York, over 20 million people, to be able to provide the ability for integrated care in behavioral health is pretty exciting for us.”
Family Service League is one of Long Island’s largest mental health care providers. The new Genoa location represents the first pharmacy inside a not-for-profit mental health facility in New York.
Figueroa said the two providers had similar missions: Family Service League sought a pharmacy partner to foster integrated care, and Genoa had been eyeing a New York location for years. “Together, we worked with the New York State Board of Pharmacy and came out with a wonderful conclusion in getting our license and opening up this facility here,” he said.
“We were able to work out a path with the board of pharmacy that allowed us to put a pharmacy inside a medical clinic like this in New York,” explained Genoa chief commercial officer Mark Peterson. “This particular clinic was really excited, understood the value of our model and was anxious to move forward. It’s nice to have a really good partner when you’re trying to open your first pharmacy in a state.”
In operation 90 years, Family Service League serves over 50,000 people, providing a comprehensive range of health and human services for children through seniors.
“Having a pharmacy like Genoa, which specializes in behavioral health, is a natural piece of our puzzle to help our clients with medication compliance,” said Karen Boorshtein, president and CEO of Family Service League. “The Genoa pharmacist is part of our treatment team, so the clients really get to know the pharmacist. And the pharmacist, in turn, works with the psychiatrist and the social workers to come up with a plan of care. So the clients are really helped full circle, and there are no gaps in treatment. It’s the way of the future, integration of care, and Family Service League is fortunate that Genoa has chosen us to do this.”
Figueroa said that gaining a foothold in New York paves the way for more expansion by Genoa, which has experienced sharp growth amid surging demand for behavioral health care services. The company opened 50 pharmacies in 2015 and reached the 300 mark in late May with the launch of a new location in Tamarac, Fla.
“On average, we’re opening one pharmacy a week. We’re forecasting that we’ll open 50 pharmacies this year, and we believe that in 2017 — based on the pipeline and the commitments that we have — we’ll see 60 to 70 new pharmacies,” he said. “And opening in a state as large as New York brings tremendous growth opportunities for us, not only from a pharmacy perspective but also in scripts. We will surpass 10.5 million prescriptions in 2016, and we will continue to grow our script count at 25% or better every year.”
Genoa provides care for about 550,000 patients annually, and executives say demand continues to escalate. Genoa Telepsychiatry, a service enabled by the acquisition of telepsychiatry provider 1DocWay Inc. in late 2015, allows Genoa to provide services beyond its physical locations. The company has estimated that 20 million people nationwide suffer from behavioral health problems.
“There are probably a hundred community mental health centers in the state of New York. Now that we have the door open and better understand how to navigate the regulations here, it will open up a lot of opportunities for us,” Peterson said. “Our pipeline should move along pretty quickly, and I think our growth in New York will really accelerate going into 2017.”