Drug Store News hosted the “2024 Pharmacy Transformation Outlook: Insights to Take Your Pharmacy to the Next Level” webinar, featuring David Pope, chief pharmacy officer at OmniSYS, XiFin Pharmacy Solutions and Sandra Greefkes, vice president of product and partner marketing, XiFin.
Pope and Greefkes shared results from the company’s recent survey of more than 500 pharmacy leader respondents in various settings, including chain, independent and hospital, and also provided insights into how you can transform your pharmacy into a higher performing business that improves patient health and and generates more revenue.
Pope noted that in 2023 there were some major advances in advocacy and opportunities for pharmacists as providers. “2023, coming out of the pandemic we saw the incredible work each of you did. As we look at what’s been happening on the federal and state front, we’ve seen major advances in legislation. States have gone ahead of federal legislation and said we have a desire to allow pharmacists in as providers. They allow pharmacists to bill, document and communicate treatment.”
Pope provided the example of Pennsylvania, which recently passed legislation that allows pharmacists to be recognized as providers and “gives you a pathway to bill on the medical side for those services.” He also noted the expanded role for immunizations. “It used to be a plus 1 opportunity, now it’s plus 3, 4 and there are more vaccines coming to market over the next 12 to 18 months.”
Pope went on to say that leaders in pharmacy have voiced concern over pressure on reimbursement. “As I look back at 2023, everyone agrees that provider status is moving along very quickly even on the federal status. One of the great things that happened in 2023, is that it wasn’t just pharmacists saying pharmacists should be offered the ability to get reimbursed for clinical services. Pharmacists and physicians have partnered to say we believe pharmacists should have provider status and serve that role. As we look toward pharmacists as providers, it’s undeniable, the numbers make sense. The pharmacist is in a great place to make an impact on health from a chronic disease perspective and acute perspective.”
Pope also identified opportunities in specialty medications and pharmacogenomics. “We’re seeing a massive increase in our pharmacies offering and serving patients and plans for labs as well. We know labs and pharmacogenomics are truly coming together,” he said.
Transitions of care is another area that Pope said the survey revealed is growing. “We are seeing Americans respond, and saying, ‘We see pharmacy as a healthcare destination for many things, not just vaccinations.’ Patients are always coming into the pharmacy to engage with their pharmacist,” Pope said.
Pope also noted that in late 2023 and in 2024, there has been the advent of an office visit. “Pharmacists are saying, ‘I can treat you. Come in if you’re sick and we’ll treat.’ There are both state and federal guidelines and some of you have some restrictions. This is moving fast and we’re seeing every other week new legislation in the country– test to treat for flu, strep and COVID is dominant. You’re billing for office visits with tests for flu and strep.”
Yet another opportunity for pharmacists that Pope identified is in value-based care. “The ability for your to partner with a plan to reach hard to reach patients,” he said.
Clinical service opportunities also are continuing to expand. Pope cited hormonal contraceptive counseling, tobacco cessation PrEP and PEP and test-to-treat as examples.
Greefkes proceeded to present additional findings from the first annual OmniSYS Pharmacy Transformation Survey, which was launched in Nov. 2023.
She noted that among over 500 respondents, reimbursement, drug shortages and revenue growth were among the biggest challenges cited.
Furthermore, among more that 300 free form responses, leaders cited financial and regulatory challenges, workload and staffing, patient-related challenges and operational/technology challenges.
“There was uncertainly about the future,” she said.
From a clinical expansion perspective Greefkes said, almost 75% of participants already offering immunizations; 39.8 % are doing chronic care management, and 31% are offering health and wellness consultations, and 30.6%, test and treat. Diabetes self management training, specialty drugs and medical supplies also are high on the list of offerings.
Greefkes also cited the following 15 emerging opportunities:
- Expanded clinical roles
- Telehealth and telemedicine
- Chronic disease management
- Collaboration and integration
- Digital health and wearables
- Patient education
- Pharmacy technician roles
- Alternative revenue streams
- Precision medicine
- Point-of-care testing
- Pharmacist recognition and reimbursement
- Insurance reform
- Aging population
- Pharmaceutical demand
- Alternative dispensing sites
Lastly, Greefkes presented the following top 12 specific predictions:
- Office visit billing
- Pharmacists as clinical providers
- Telemedicine and specialty medications
- Use of AI for drug interactions
- Pharmacist prescribing
- Expansion of genetic testing
- Long-term care at home
- Pharmacy technicians’ roles
- Functional medicine and disease prevention
- Legislation preventing monopolistic PBM practices
- Pharmacogenetics research and application
- Diabetes education billing.
To view the webinar, click here.