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Physician Dispensing: Revenue Booster or a Distraction?

August 8, 2017

In-House Pharmacy Improve a Medical Practice .jpeg

Expanding your medical practice can be a challenging and expensive way to grow revenue, but there are some growth models that have tested positively over time. One of those ancillary services that may help boost your revenue is through offering dispensing services into your practice. However, is this more of a distraction from key offerings than a bottom-line driver? While the answer may be different for your business, many providers are finding that physician dispensing is a great way to boost ongoing revenue and customer retention. 

Importance of Convenience

People today are all about convenience: and providing your patients with an option for making one less stop on the way home may allow you to boost revenue in an unexpected way. You’ve probably seen the trend for consolidation of products and services in a variety of places throughout your life, but have you truly noticed how often this happens? Video stores have essentially disappeared, while Redbox continues to thrive by providing easy access to physical DVDs and games in places that people already visit. When is the last time you went to a specialty store? It’s much more likely that you’ve made do by grabbing something quickly at a convenience store or dollar store instead of going out of your way to save a few dollars. 

Driving Reliance

When your patients begin enjoying the convenience of getting standard medications right in the office, they’re much more likely to stay reliant on your services. This additional loyalty driver becomes not only a selling point for new potential client, but gives clients a reason to tell friends and family members about your practice. Word of mouth advertising is not only free, but it’s incredibly important in today’s always-on communication world that includes social media recommendations and comments. An added service such as a pharmacy provides you with a differentiation point that your competitors may not offer — which in turn gives your clients a great reason to recommend you when their friends and family members ask questions. 

Larger Share of Pocket

As physicians’ reimbursements continue to be squeezed, ancillary services become much more attractive as an alternative to traditional business models. Nearly a third of physicians are either implementing or researching new services that will add value to clients in a variety of ways. This varies a great deal by specialty, but pharmacy is a good fit for many types of practices. Instead of only receiving the portion of the overall cost of treatment from your direct services, you could also receive extended revenue from having a pharmacy on site.

Related Article: How Much Is Your In-House Medical Billing Costing You?

Exceptional Service

Finally, having prescriptions filled in-house provides you with the peace of mind knowing that you’re providing the best possible service for your patients. With this added level of control over the care that’s being provided, you can encourage patient compliance and ultimately provide a higher quality of care. Many common drugs are available in a pre-packaged format, negating the need to have a pharmacist on staff. Instead, your team grabs the correct bottle, prints the label and provides the package to the patient after each office visit. Start-up costs are relatively low, and having the most-prescribed drugs on hand offers revenue of up to $5 per prescription when handled correctly.

Potential Challenges

There are some challenges to overcome with this model, but many practices may find that the benefits outweigh the potential risks. Controlled substances require a double-locked cabinet and strict access control, but the majority of medicines require no more security than your standard drug samples. You’ll also need to work with and pay a vendor to provide you with the bar coding software and printer, startup inventory and also to help your team navigate the payment process overview and insurance paperwork. 

Looking for more ways to increase your overall practice profitability? Contact M-Scribe Atlanta today at 770-666-0470. Our professionals are standing by to help you see the options available for improving revenue, driving accountability and developing more efficient business practices. 


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