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Medicine Shoppe keeps franchisees competitive

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Pharmacies receive individualized business support, solutions

COLUMBUS, Ohio — One of the key features that distinguish Medicine Shoppe International Inc. (MSI) from other chains is the company’s dedication to providing “high-quality, results-driven” business ownership opportunities in professional retail pharmacy, according to vice president John Fiacco.

“Our pharmacies receive individualized business support and patient care solutions support. We’ll provide the tools and guidance owners need to succeed in a competitive, ever-changing industry,” Fiacco says, adding that the company offers the option to co-brand by combining the value of the Medicine Shoppe or Medicap Pharmacy logo with the loyalty and personalization of a local pharmacy’s established name.

MSI’s network include 521 pharmacies in 44 states in the U.S., and 231 locations internationally. As the company continues to see Medicare Part D contracts tied to the quality of care its pharmacies provide, Fiacco says MSI remains focused on helping pharmacies not only meet but exceed the standards of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Star Ratings. Over the past year, MSI has seen a 12% increase in its pharmacies above the five-star threshold across three adherence measures, Fiacco notes.

John Fiacco_Medicine Shoppe

John Fiacco

“We can attribute this significant improvement to a number of solutions and educational tools, including Cardinal Health MedSync Advantage and Medication Therapy Management Solution, which allows us to serve as an extension of the pharmacy’s team to help them expand patient care by remotely delivering MTM cases on their behalf,” he says.

Fiacco also points out that with Reimbursement Consulting Service, pharmacies can view their performance across all books of business related to the CMS Star Rating measures daily, and an advisor calls them biweekly to discuss opportunities for improvement.

As Fiacco explains, OutcomesMTM, a Cardinal Health Inc. company, connects pharmacists with health care payers through MTM. Pharmacies are paid for providing clinical services to optimize medication regimens and improve adherence for eligible patients. MTM services provided by participating pharmacies are reported back to payers with an estimated return on investment (ROI), demonstrating the value of pharmacy-based patient care.

New MTM services, such as medication synchronization and medication reconciliation, are particularly important opportunities for pharmacies to show how their work can improve care and reduce unnecessary health care spending.

“Often, MTM services help build patient loyalty and can position the pharmacy as a health care and wellness destination,” Fiacco says. “When counseling on adherence, pharmacists can offer services like medication synchronization, compliance packaging or delivery. By integrating OutcomesMTM with MedSync Advantage and future MTM-related solutions, we are building robust capabilities so pharmacies can build a comprehensive program to help patients effectively manage medication therapies.”

Medicine Shoppe pharmacist with patient

Reimbursements continue to be a challenge, Fiacco says, and as they tighten he sees the role of the community pharmacist grow, change and, in many ways, come full circle.

“As the regulatory landscape continues to churn, we understand there is uncertainty,” he adds. “Yet, we’re seeing independent pharmacists persevere and continue to take a more active role in the health of their patients and community.”

Fiacco says MSI recognizes that navigating this uncharted territory is challenging, and it’s easy to become preoccupied with how these changes will impact business.

“We are continuously working alongside our independent pharmacist to examine the unknown and share insight from our thought leaders about the future of generics and managed care, as well as the evolving role of the pharmacist. We remain committed to helping our community of pharmacists adapt to new challenges, grow their businesses and diversify their revenue streams.”

Integrating its pharmacy and front end is part of MSI’s strategy and, in order to maximize profitability, Fiacco says the company offers a host of retail solutions.

“We combine pricing and product management strategies with advertising, display and shipping programs to provide a comprehensive suite of solutions to enhance the customer experience and increase revenue,” he says. “In fact, Cardinal Health has a team of retail-focused advisors, known as retail operations consultants, who help our retail independent pharmacies with profit growth, relationships and gaining share.

“Through front-end retail direction, education and training, our retail operations consultants work to help retail independents remain competitive as a dominant retailer.”


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