Medication Dispensing by Physicians – A Healthy Option for Primary Care Practices

The primary care physician, who works on the front lines of modern health care, is arguably the most significant physician a patient would ever meet. Despite this, more than half of primary care physicians believe they aren’t getting enough credit. According to a Merritt Hawkins & Associates survey conducted in 2007, 53% of primary care doctors felt like second-class citizens in the medical hierarchy.
What is the reason for this? Too much effort for too little pay. Although 83.1 percent of primary care doctors said their practises were very busy or even too busy, 58.6 percent of those surveyed said their income was disappointing. Many people struggled with the cost of overhead, and 22% were concerned that they wouldn’t be able to sustain it in the next five years.Feel free to find more information at Corvallis Physicians Office Association.

How do primary care physicians increase revenue and reduce costs without compromising the care they provide to their patients? The response is physician-assisted drug dispensing.
In with the present, out with the new
It can seem that abandoning the pharmacy idea is novel. Historically, however, doctors were the ones who administered the medicines and pharmacists were the ones who made them. Things changed in the early to mid-twentieth century. Pharmaceutical firms started making and selling drugs, pharmacists started dispensing them, and doctors started prescribing them.
Medication is currently dispensed in the form of samples, infusions, and injections by the majority of primary care physicians. Physicians will dispense any of the drugs they prescribe while increasing their practise income with in-office dispensing.
Increased income
The opening of a new revenue stream is the most noticeable benefit for primary care practises. Physicians are also unaware of how much time they spend dealing with pharmacy problems each day.

The average cost of a pharmacy callback to the physician is $5-$7. A typical practise will spend $30,000 a year dealing with pharmacy-related problems, with no revenue to show for it. These problems take up 6-12 percent of a doctor’s time. In-office dispensing can also help with cost control and overhead management.
Of course, there is an initial learning curve and time commitment. The process of educating employees and introducing physician dispensing may be challenging, but it is critical to success. A practice’s income would improve as a result of successful preparation and implementation, time, and physician leadership.
The amount of room required for dispensing varies depending on the size of the practise or clinic. Medications must be stored in locked cabinets; for a solo practise, a five- or six-foot locked tool cabinet is usually appropriate. Medications should be kept out of sight of patients. Larger practises may find that dedicating an entire room to dispensing is more effective.

These are negligible start-up costs. Those costs can be recouped in a few months with good preparation, implementation, and continued use.
Patient treatment has changed.
Improved patient treatment is a clear excuse for physicians dispensing drugs. There are two more compelling reasons: 1) Mistakes in prescription writing and dispensing are almost eliminated, and 2) compliance rates (patients having their medications filled and taking all of the drug as prescribed) are up to 60% higher. A higher rate of compliance translates into lower direct health-care costs.
According to the Institute of Safe Medicine Practices, more than 3 million adverse drug incidents in ambulatory treatment occur each year that could have been avoided. Adverse medication incidents (such as illegible prescription writing, ambiguous phone/verbal instructions, unclear abbreviations, unclear or inadequate dosages, and so on) cost primary care practises thousands of dollars in overhead.

The pharmacy must contact the physician for clarification, and the physician must return the call. More specifically, these mistakes have a negative impact on patients’ overall wellbeing and their confidence in their healthcare providers.
Another advantage of physician dispensing is its ease. A standard pharmacy wait time can be up to an hour, not counting the time it takes the patient to drive to the pharmacy after their doctor’s appointment.

The length of a pharmacy visit is mainly due to design. The pharmacy is more focused on profits than on providing health care. More time spent in their shop means more money and income from the patient. Physician dispensing helps patients to collect their prescriptions at the point of treatment, eliminating the need for a trip to the pharmacy. This comfort is appreciated by all patients, including the elderly, disabled, and parents of sick children.
Dispensing physicians are now more mindful of prescription prices. Physician dispensing helps them to make on-the-spot generic and surgical substitutions. Traditionally, a pharmacist will have to contact the physician’s office and request the change, then wait for the physician to return the call and accept the change. This extra wait time (often forcing the patient to leave and return) means the patient will not receive the medicine they need when they require it. As a result, their treatment will be delayed.

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