To rely less on PBMs, you have to create new revenue streams outside of their influence. Clinical services have long been sought as a way to achieve this goal. How is clinical revenue or service-based revenue defined? My personal definition of clinical revenue has 2 components:
- It is revenue that does not flow through a PBM.
- It leverages your pharmacist’s intellectual knowledge and skills.
I know that it is relatively broad. Some examples can include MTMs, annual wellness visits, LTC consulting, food sensitivity testing, travel vaccines, and many others. Many pharmacists that I speak with don’t know if they are ready to be more clinical. As a pharmacy owner, you may be wondering less about your clinical skills and more about how you can fit it all in with your current workflow. That’s why I put this list together of easy to implement and low barrier solutions to get you started on your clinical journey and diversifying your revenue.
1. Pharmacogenetic Testing
I can hear you from my house saying, “I thought you said EASY!”. Yes, pharmacogenetic testing can be easy, with the right partner and training. What’s in it for you? $90 per each interpretation of your patient’s tests. Yep, you are getting paid to use your brain and interpret how a patient’s genetic disposition can impact his best therapy options. Now the tricky part. How and who?
First, you have to make sure you are using a reputable company with compliant billing practices. There has been an abundance of fraud, waste, and abuse in this field in recent years. Now that payers are opening the opportunity back up, we have to be judicious with it.
2. Weight Loss Coaching
More than two-thirds of the US population is overweight, and half of that population is obese. There is no doubt that you have a significant pool of potential patients that need to lose weight. There are a variety of strategies you could implement to help your patients and monetize your services. A few options include marketing weight-loss prescriptions or specific supplements or even formulating unique compounds. To truly differentiate yourself from other product resellers, you can add a coaching component.
Many pharmacists and owners have created their own systems, but that would be hard and unproven. You can earn approximately $2,300 a month with just 20 patients. Many pharmacists can easily manage 50 patients a month, spending only a few hours a week.
3. Point of Care Testing
This is a rapidly expanding field that is perfect for independent pharmacies. Patients are looking for solutions to their problems, and they want those solutions now. We are living in an Amazon Prime culture. Your community doesn’t want to wait for an appointment or mess with the chaos of urgent care. They want a service that is easily accessible and affordable while still getting great care. Point of care testing (POCT) makes this possible, and you can now help patients with strep, flu, UTI, or many others.
Offering POCT in a pharmacy really creates a one-stop-shop. One of the downfalls of waiting at an urgent care is the patient will be sent away with a script only to come to the pharmacy and wait again. By adding POCT in your pharmacy, a patient can get a precise diagnosis, pick up their Rx, and get any supportive OTC items.
Follow the rules
You want to make sure you follow your state guidelines and apply for a CLIA waiver. This is typically a simple form in most states. You can go to Google and use the search term ‘CLIA waiver and your state name.’ SiteLabs offers CLIA Waiver Assistance, a variety of testing options, and a Platform that streamlines the testing process.
Your pharmacist’s scope of practice will vary depending on which state you are in, so it’s good to go with a company with a network of physicians that can legally order and interpret the tests if that is not within your state’s scope. My prediction is this year’s flu, and strep POCT demand will be at an all-time high.
Whether you choose one of these 3 easy options or another strategy to increase your service-based or clinical revenue, just know that you are taking an essential step in reducing the PBM’s influence on your pharmacy. You don’t need to be a clinical genius to take the first steps in growing your clinical practice. Adapted from Dr. Lisa Faast’s original post to the DiversifyRx Blog October 9, 2020