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EnlivenHealth survey finds pharmacists support expanding clinical services, but challenges exist in getting paid

Some 46% of respondents said the biggest barrier to expanding their clinical services is the lack of a medical billing solution that seamlessly integrates with their pharmacy workflow.

EnlivenHealth, the retail pharmacy solutions division of Omnicell, released  the results of its first-ever Ask Your Pharmacist survey, which found that most pharmacists (81%) want to expand their clinical services beyond immunizations, but some 85% say their pharmacies are only receiving partial or no payment for these services.

In fact, 46% of respondents said the biggest barrier to expanding their clinical services is the lack of a medical billing solution that seamlessly integrates with their pharmacy workflow.

EnlivenHealth's survey explored how pharmacists today are working to transform their clinical practices and business operations to grow and thrive in this new era of digital-driven health care. At the core of the respondents’ widespread embrace of pharmacy transformation is how pharmacies are offering a growing array of clinical services such as immunizations, point-of-care testing, medication therapy management and Medicare plan selection support.

[Read more: Omnicell launches EnlivenHealth to aid retail pharmacies, health plans in improving patient outcomes]

The survey examined how pharmacists are transforming their pharmacies using a variety of technology-based strategies, including digital patient engagement systems, medical billing solutions and Medicare plan finder tools that empower patients to choose the best, most affordable plan that meets their needs. More than 41% of respondents said they are looking to adopt technologies to assist with patient scheduling, documentation and billing. And over 54% of respondents indicated they were active in helping patients choose the right Medicare plan for them.

"Our latest national survey results reinforce our view that the expansion of clinical services will be the future of retail pharmacy,” said Danny Sanchez, senior vice president and general manager of EnlivenHealth. “It appears patients are becoming increasingly comfortable visiting their trusted and uniquely accessible local pharmacy to ‘ask their pharmacist’ about these clinical services. However, achieving this pharmacy transformation vision will be dependent on digital technologies that automate medical billing, strengthen patient engagement and streamline pharmacy workflows. These technologies are intended to give pharmacists the critical time they need to deliver the high-value clinical services that improve patient care and increase pharmacy revenues.”

“We believe expanding clinical services and the role of the pharmacist is key to the sustainability of community pharmacy and healthcare accessibility for our patients,” said Alison Haas, president/owner, Jackson Pharmacy & Wellness Center. “Payment for services continues to be a barrier for many pharmacies, often resulting in hindered growth of these services, despite our expertise and desire to expand offerings to our communities.”

[Read more: Omnicell acquires MarkeTouch Media]

Key findings of EnlivenHealth’s Ask Your Pharmacist survey include:

• 34% of respondents said they aren’t getting paid for the clinical services they provide, while 51% of respondents said they are only getting partially compensated for these services;

• 75% of responding pharmacists believe their patients see their pharmacy both as a place to get their prescriptions filled and as a healthcare destination;

• 63% of respondents said their patients regularly come to the pharmacy for advice on selecting the Medicare plan that best meets the patients’ healthcare and financial needs;

• 37% of respondents said they use Interactive Voice Response patient engagement solutions, finding them to be “very effective”; nearly 30% of respondents said they allowed their patients to use a mobile app to engage with their pharmacy; and

• The top five clinical services offered by the pharmacists responding to EnlivenHealth’s survey include: vaccinations (93%), medication therapy management (82%), Medicare plan advice and selection support (63%), point-of-care testing (49%) and diabetes education and prevention (33%).

The EnlivenHealth survey was conducted in September 2022; 14,450 retail pharmacists were surveyed, of which 243 retail pharmacists completed the survey.

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