South Florida Hospital News
Monday August 10, 2020

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September 2011 - Volume 8 - Issue 3


My Doctor Prescribed ...

Everything old is new again! And, according to Herman Steinberg, Founder of Advanced Medical Practice Management (AMPM), that’s exactly what happened to Point of Care Prescription Dispensing (POCRX). What was the norm at the turn of the last century is now back in favor in the new century! And for a lot of reasons.
This new generation of physician medication dispensing provides for patient convenience and confidence, increased medication compliance and allows physicians to spend more time with their patients and less on pharmacy tracking and call backs. Additionally, this fully web based, user friendly system integrates with major EMR and PMS systems to insure quality care and follow-up. Finally, it allows physicians to enhance revenues by collecting reimbursement for care path prescriptions normally received by an outside pharmacy.
AMPM provides a state-of-the-art software platform which automates the entire dispensing process from electronic ordering, Rx claim adjudication and required regulatory reporting with minimal impact on the office work flow. Prescription medication dispensing is a step along the path to one stop shopping for patient convenience, particularly welcomed by the elderly or infirmed who depend on private or public transportation arrangements to physician offices and pharmacies.
According to an article in the 2/2011 edition of Physician Practice, a 19-physician specialty group in Fresno, Calif., already offered X-rays, MRIs, and physical therapy services to its patients. Prescription medication dispensing was the final piece of the one-stop shop puzzle. While the revenue enhancement was an incentive, the practice noted that the biggest benefit was from a clinical standpoint.
"As surgeons, compliance is always an issue. Before scheduled surgery we instruct our patients to get vitamin supplements, to use Hibiclens soap (antimicrobial skin cleanser) to reduce the risk of infection, and to get dressings for proper at-home wound care and we send them to the pharmacy with a list of what they need, but we don't always know that they do it," according to the group’s Director of Operations. "This way we have it all onsite so we know whether they walk out with it or not."
The software program may be integrated with your existing electronic health record (or stand alone) and allows you to verify patient eligibility; electronically bill private insurers, Medicare or Medicaid, Workers Compensation; and, dispense to patients in real-time. Tracking indicates practices can get started for under $2,500, including the cost of contracting, setup and initial training. A typical small (one doctor) practice can generate an extra $4,000 to $5,000 per month (or $60,000 a year) after the cost of medication.
Steinberg concurs that 33 % of prescriptions sent to an outside pharmacy are never filled, and another 33% require a pharmacy call back. Now physicians can dispense generic and brand name medications, injectables, creams, surgical supplies and durable medical equipment according to their own use thresholds with the assurance that the patient is more likely to comply with the course of care if they get them direct from their doctor.
Usage suggests there is no question that this time honored patient convenience also enables physicians to re-focus attention on their patients. The turning point for many practices is ease of use with multiple points of support including dedicated account executives, regular electronic communications, live chats and real-time verification of insurance reimbursement and automatic billing without a separate claims process for office staff. Most physicians who dispense medications from their office agree with what 75% of their patients confirm ... receiving necessary medications during a visit with their trusted caregiver is not only convenient but impacts positively on their health.
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