2019 Retail Pacesetters: New leadership charts Health Mart’s path forward

For more than 180 years, McKesson has played a transformational role in health care. In recent times, it has expanded its focus beyond being a distributor to include healthcare technology and retail pharmacy services, all with the same goal — helping its customers run their businesses more efficiently.

In fact, supporting community pharmacy is a focal point of the Las Colinas, Texas-based company. More than 5,000 retail pharmacies across all 50 states are members of McKesson’s Health Mart franchise. According to the company’s website, its intent with Health Mart was to level the playing field for its members and help pharmacies navigate the changing pharmacy market.

Its host of solution-based services assist pharmacies in “improving clinical performance, managing operational changes and uncovering additional revenue opportunities to build and maintain a thriving business.” Leveraging the advantages of what independent pharmacies excel at, Health Mart pharmacies take a customer-centric approach, collaborating with patients, taking the time to listen and learn about their needs, helping them understand their prescription drug coverage, answering questions about drug interactions, and pointing out when lower-cost options are available.

When it comes to filling prescriptions, speed and accuracy are key. McKesson has heavily invested in its 26 state-of-the-art distribution centers. In some cases, they retrofitted existing centers and, in others, it meant building new ones. The company also has six central-fill facilities with top-of-the-line automation, which enables it to quickly and efficiently fill scripts for its pharmacies.

In January, the company named Nimesh Jhaveri, a 30-year industry veteran, as president. As someone who has worked his way up the ranks as a pharmacy technician, Jhaveri’s understanding of the company’s many business facets puts him in the unique position of effecting change.

Under Jhaveri’s leadership, education will remain a key aspect of Health Mart’s approach. Each year, McKesson invites its community pharmacists to ideaShare, a peer-to-peer networking and learning forum designed to improve their knowledge, performance and profitability. The conference features focused learning, interactive exhibits, engaging workshops and interaction with peers. The goal is to provide pharmacy owners with the expertise and tools to maximize their clinical, operational and financial performance. Recognizing independent pharmacists need all the competitive advantages they can, the forum offers tangible information and skills their pharmacists can implement to get immediate results. This year’s conference takes place June 26 to 30 in Orlando, Fla.

Chris Dimos, president of Health Mart and McKesson Retail Solutions, has said that the company’s goal is for Health Mart pharmacies to be top-of-mind for their patients when they think about wellness and quality local health care. The annual meeting, he said, gives its pharmacies the tools to thrive and compete by offering insights and techniques on how to gain access to new patients, foster provider relationships and identify new revenue sources to help grow their business.

McKesson actively seeks out partnerships with companies that maintain advancing patient care as a focus, because company officials believe the patient is truly at the center of everything they do. The company’s acquisition of CoverMyMeds, for example, is seen as a helpful step to facilitate stronger relationships between providers and pharmacists.

Analysts at Oyat Advisors in Switzerland said companies like McKesson, through its distribution and retail arms, provide an indispensable service and are in position to improve the end-to-end efficiency in the market through investments in technology, clinical programs and services. The company stays relevant, an Oyat Advisors analyst said, by constantly looking for new ways to add value to its pharmacies, citing such examples as Health Mart Atlas, a new managed care tool, and myHealthMart, designed to help Health Mart pharmacies improve performance and patient care

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