PHARMACY

Health Mart executives hit the road for next 100 Town Hall events

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN FRANCISCO – With the industry’s greater focus for pharmacies on clinical performance and patient outcomes, Health Mart is hosting its third series of Town Hall events. The “Get in Sync: Medication Synchronization” Town Hall events encourage pharmacists to consider an appointment-based model with medication synchronization, shifting them from reactive prescription filling to proactive and patient-centric. Health Mart, with more than 4,200 locally owned community pharmacies across all 50 states, will host more than 100 complimentary Town Hall CE events across the country through early 2016.
 
“Med sync is a critically important opportunity for independent pharmacists to improve patient care and clinical quality measures, as well as streamline pharmacy operations and improve their bottom line,” said Steve Courtman, president, Health Mart. “However, med sync is not the end goal; it is the vehicle that will enable our pharmacies to make the transition from just filling prescriptions to taking a more proactive, patient-centric approach.”
 
Focused on helping pharmacies learn how to implement a med sync program, the interactive peer-to-peer workshops provide a comprehensive review of the benefits of medication synchronization. This includes increased operational efficiencies to free up time, reduction of expenses and increased revenues, and improved clinical performance to help gain payer recognition for quality outcomes.
 
The real strength of Health Mart – entrepreneurial, independent pharmacists looking to explore best practices – is on full display at these Town Hall events, according to Health Mart's leading executives in an interview with Drug Store News earlier this year. “It’s not unidirectional,” commented Tony Willoughby, Health Mart's chief pharmacist. “It’s that dialogue that helps feed the content. We have a vision of what we want to accomplish in the Town Halls, but just like our pharmacists have a unique ability to cater to a local patient, we try to do the same for our customers, as well as allow them to see how it works.” 
 
“It’s that kind of no-holds barred feedback that will enable Health Mart to become better than better,” Courtman added. “We talk about Health Mart making Health Mart stronger, that’s where that comes out,” he said. The feedback is additive.
 
“We’re not the innovators, our pharmacies are,” Willoughby said. “It’s taking their concepts, their ideas and trying to commercialize them or share them with the broader membership so that they can learn from each other.”
 
During these Town Hall events focused on med sync, attendees learn the seven steps to creating a med sync process that will help them transition to an appointment-based model. In addition to providing stores time-saving tips through an implementation Playbook, attendees receive practical examples of how other owners and their pharmacy teams overcame barriers of implementing med sync. 
 
For example:
 
  • At Shriver’s Health Mart Pharmacy and Coler Long Term Care, VP/COO Greg Paisley reports lower dispensing costs, improved pharmacy operations and a better work environment after implementing med sync at five locations;
  • At Tyson’s Drugs, Health Mart owner Bob Lomenick attributes 60% incremental Rx growth over the past five years to syncing more than 900 patients’ prescriptions at three locations; and
  • Derek Tengan of 5 Minute Health Mart Pharmacy exceeded CMS Five-Star Quality goals at his two retail locations for two adherence measures and high-risk medication use in the elderly since implementing med sync last year. He also showed a local health plan how managing just 10 high-risk patients with sync and medication therapy management could save them an estimated $180,000 in reduced ER visits and hospital admissions and readmissions.
 
In addition to this third series of Town Hall Meetings, Health Mart has invested heavily to help pharmacies “Get In Sync” at every step of their med sync journey with the development of the online Health Mart University Learning Experience and Med Sync Playbook. The Med Sync Learning Experience provides an online roadmap to connect pharmacies to resources and trainings from Health Mart to help them successfully implement and maximize med sync in their pharmacy. Health Mart has also created physician-facing fax templates, and patient-facing marketing materials and brand, SimpleSyncTM to help pharmacies advertise their new med sync service.
 
“We recognize one key factor that makes our customers different as independent pharmacies: they already have the relationships with their patients. Their business model, and how they operate, just needs to follow," Courtman said. "Health Mart is confident that this shift of their focus from reactive prescription filling to proactive and patient focused will improve both the health of their businesses and their patients.” 
 
Health Mart also announced that the 2016 Health Mart Healthy Living Tour will include stops at a number of “Get in Sync: Medication Synchronization” Town Hall events. Another way that Health Mart invests in helping independent pharmacists to provide their patients with positive health outcomes, the Healthy Living Tour aims to help identify people at risk for a variety of health conditions that can be better managed with the help of a pharmacist. The 2015 Tour screened thousands of people in more than 130 communities with first-time stops in Montana, North and South Dakota, Virginia and Maine.
 
 
 
 
 
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PHARMACY

Wedgewood Pharmacy honored by N.J. business association

BY David Salazar

SWEDESBORO, N.J. — The New Jersey Business & Industry Association has recognized Wedgewood Pharmacy, a one of the largest compounding pharmacies in the country according to the company, with its annual Award for Excellence, in the organization’s Business Success category.

The award is given annually to a business that has shown exceptional business growth, and since 2012, Wedgewood Pharmacy has seen a 44% growth in the number of its employees.

“Although we are a relatively small company, our ability to deploy significant technology improvements and process improvements using best-in-class change-management principles is crucial,” Wedgewood Pharmacy CEO Lucy Malmberg said. “We believe these skill sets enable us to compete and grow in a dynamic industry and are useful tools in optimizing our ability to serve the needs of patients and prescribers.”

The company has 266 employees and has a 40,000-sq. ft. prescription and order intake department in addition to a laboratory and pharmacy dispensary. The company compounds prescriptions for 30,000 prescribers and patients.

“Our primary goal is to serve our patients,” Malmberg said. “We recognized that with our growth we had to develop processes that assured high quality and prompt delivery to our customers. We’re grateful that NJBIA has acknowledged our pharmacy and our dedicated people.”

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Sandoz introduces generic Lescol XL

BY David Salazar

PRINCETON, N.J. — Sandoz on Friday announced that it had launched its generic version of Novartis’ Lescol XL (fluvastatin) extended-release tablets. The drug is indicated to treat high cholesterol alongside diet and exercise.

“Sandoz is committed to expanding our portfolio of affordable, high-quality treatment options for US patients,” said Peter Goldschmidt, President of Sandoz Inc. “We are pleased to work with our Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation colleagues to offer an authorized generic version of Lescol XL to the tens of millions of Americans trying to control their cholesterol.”

The fluvastatin tablets will be available in 80-mg dosage strength. Lescol XL had U.S. sales of about $36 million for the 12 months ending August 2015.

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