Posted by: AtlasMD

October 30, 2013

Direct Care Prescription Dispensing By State

Direct Care Prescription Dispensing By State

In case you’re wondering, here’s the list of prescription dispensing laws by state. The rules vary, but only four states have banned dispensing outright — Montana, Texas, Utah and New York. We’ve extolled the benefits of dispensing meds for your direct care patients. First off, it gives your practice a kind of Costco-esque appeal. Now, the $50 monthly fee is giving them access to seriously discounted meds. We’re talking penny on the dollar in certain cases. Secondly, it adds a convenience factor. It’s one more thing for a patient to worry about when they see you and then have to go wait for a prescription. And it’s one more thing for you to do, either calling in or faxing over the order (or handing a piece of paper to your patient to deal with). But when you can dispense yourself, the visit becomes a very complete experience — a personal one, and a satisfying one.

And if you’re still not convinced, then maybe it’s time you looked at this informative article. We pulled out a few persuasive highlights:

  1. Caremark and Express Scripts® have indicated that “Missed Meds” might cost our nation over $250 billion a year
  2. In a 2007 study, 75 percent of patients surveyed said if presented with a choice, they would have their prescriptions filled by their doctor rather than through a pharmacy
  3. Of these same respondents, 84 percent said this service would be more convenient
  4. 62 percent said in-house prescription dispensing would help them better manage their health

Those are all positive factors. But in the spirit of Halloween, we’ll throw in something scary:

Studies have shown that up to 30% of patients never get their prescriptions filled

It’s not realistic to lose sleep over every patient who’s ignoring your advice. But when you’re running a direct care clinic, and fostering stronger relationships with your patients, it’s disheartening to think they might not be following through with their treatment plan.

But that’s a pathos-driven argument for in-house dispensing. How about something more logical, like the profitability and marketing factors? There are doctors writing prescriptions for patients every day, who make no money on this extra work. Only the pharmacy and the drug representatives benefit financially in this case. But for the direct care clinic who’s looking to enroll patients, offering prescriptions at wholesale cost is a powerful way to onboard patients, give them something they need at a reduced rate, and increase your bottom line with steady subscriptions. Or, if compelled, offer in-house prescriptions with a profit margin. Just make sure you’re still offering a red tape discount that brought them to you in the first place.