Your pharmacy loses money every time a person forgets or is unable to fill their prescriptions for chronic disease medications. Not only that, but it can also affect your patient’s well-being.
But there is a simple fix. Med sync is a medical program for pharmacies that makes it easier for your patients to pick up their medications and never run out. Keep reading to learn more about how you can start a medical synchronization program to grow your pharmacy while improving patient care.
What is Medication Synchronization?
“Medication synchronization (med sync) is the process of aligning a patient’s medication fills so that they can all be conveniently picked up on the same day. Med sync is beneficial in many ways for both patient care and for pharmacies.” source: ASHP
Medication synchronization or “med sync” is the strategic and automated coordination of prescription refills, allowing your patients to conveniently pick up all their medications on a single day and receive up to 90 days’ supply of each, depending on how many refills they have available and what their insurance will cover. With the right tools, your pharmacy can offer this service. Medication synchronization is designed to enhance medication adherence and streamline the prescription management process.
Overall, the point of this practice is to reduce the hassles of refills and allow people to make fewer visits to the pharmacy. However, becoming a med sync pharmacy is also great for you because it can lead to an increase in revenue even with fewer pharmacy visits.
Medication Synchronization Benefits For Patients
Let’s take a look at the specific advantages medication synchronization has for patients to understand why this practice is so desired.
Better Medication Adherence
Medication adherence is key in managing chronic conditions. Unfortunately, there are many circumstances which lead to patients being unable to obtain their medications. Reasons ranging from transportation barriers, to work and childcare schedules, to even simple forgetfulness can all contribute to decreased adherence. Through med sync, patients are less likely to miss doses, which is particularly beneficial for individuals taking multiple chronic medications, aging populations, busy parents, and patients who are prescribed chronic drug therapy for the first time.
According to a National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) study, only one out of two people take their medications correctly. However, patients enrolled in med sync programs are 2.5 times more likely to stick with their medications.
Picking up all prescribed medications in a single visit is simply much more convenient. This reduces the need for frequent pharmacy visits, which saves people’s time. But don’t worry, fewer visits don’t mean less revenue for you. As we’ll talk about below, focusing on improving the patient experience is profitable in the long run.
Medication Synchronization Benefits For Pharmacies
Now, let’s have a look at all you can gain from offering a med sync program at your pharmacy.
Increase Your Revenue
Establishing a routine is a proven way for patients to maintain consistency with taking their medications. By ensuring patients have a routine implemented for picking up their prescriptions, for example on the first day of each month,, you can fill more prescriptions and retain patients, ultimately boosting your sales.
Maximize Inventory Management
Pharmacies can optimize inventory management by accurately predicting the medications needed through med sync. This helps reduce the costs associated with stocking medications that may go unused.
Avoid Claim Reversal
Pharmacy professionals are all too familiar with the process of reversing claims when patients don’t pick up their prescriptions. Each time a claim is billed, it costs money; if you need to submit multiple claims for a single prescription, those fees can add up.
Additionally, PBMs can conduct audits on your pharmacy related to claims reversals. If your pharmacy doesn’t complete these reversals within a certain time frame, PBMs can recoup any costs associated with those prescriptions.
Ultimately, med sync is a strategy that increases the likelihood that patients will pick up all of their prescriptions on time each month and your pharmacy can avoid the time-consuming and potentially expensive claims reversal process.
Med sync programs improve operational efficiency because you can proactively manage patient needs. It reduces the number of urgent requests, phone calls, and potential issues related to medication management.
How To Start a Med Sync Program in Your Pharmacy
The first step to start offering this service is to get the tools you need to keep a reliable record of each patient’s medication. This way, you can log all, create a schedule for each person, track their plan, and automate the claim procedures.
DocStation is a solution specially built for pharmacies like yours that want to start a med sync program but without the hassle and with professional support alongside you. Below are some features of our platform that can help you with this task and more.
Patient Health Records
To synchronize a patient’s medications, you need a clear and reliable health record of each person. Otherwise, you won’t even know what medications a person regularly takes or their condition. DocStation is a robust electronic health record (EHR) solution that allows you to keep all patients’ histories in one platform where they are easily accessible. When you start your program, you can see exactly what each patient takes, and whether it would be appropriate for you to offer medication synchronization to them.
Billing is a common source of confusion for many pharmacists, especially when considering a new service or program. DocStation makes this process much easier. You can use it to automatically generate accurate claims, submit them, and track the process from beginning to end.
Scheduling and Reminders
DocStation’s built-in scheduling and reminders feature allows you to run appointment-based services seamlessly in your pharmacy. Among the services you can start offering is medication synchronization. Simply use the scheduling and reminders feature to set the monthly dates for medication pickup and automatically send reminders to your patients.
Messaging with Patients
The ability to send and receive messages is very valuable for you and the patients. DocStation offers HIPAA-compliant two-way messaging so you can address any concerns, provide clarifications, and maintain a proactive connection with your patients throughout the synchronization process, including reminding them of their pick-up dates.
Getting a better understanding of your patients’ conditions and circumstances can let you create personalized plans for each individual, not only for medication synchronization. Remember that providing a great and personalized user experience will result in more revenue down the line. So, use DocStation’s library of clinical assessments or create your own to learn more about your patients.
The only way to know if what you’re doing is working or not is by looking at the data. With this platform, you’ll get reports and analytics to determine if your medication synchronization program is on the right track.
Industry-Leading Support Team
You don’t have to set up your med sync program on your own. DocStation’s pharmacists and healthcare professionals have extensive experience setting up programs like med sync for pharmacies across the U.S. You can trust them to help you along through the entire revenue cycle, ensuring that your programs are successful.
Med Sync Workflow Steps: How To Run a Med sync Pharmacy
Implementing a successful med sync program is not as hard as you might think. Here’s a medication synchronization example step-by-step workflow you can follow:
Know Your State’s Insurance Regulations
Medication synchronization is not possible without short filling some of a patient’s prescriptions. Some states have laws that require insurance providers to cover short fills of medications and additionally requires that the insurance prorated the short fills. Double check whether med sync is feasible in your jurisdiction based on insurance regulations.
Identify Eligible Patients
The next step in the ideal med sync workflow is to determine your eligibility requirements. You can consider factors like adherence, participation in 340b programs, mailing services, and family needs. But in the beginning, you can start by targeting patients taking multiple monthly medications for chronic illnesses, those with adherence issues, and basically, individuals who could benefit the most from med sync. Take a deep dive into your patient records to find the best candidates to launch your program.
Once you have a list of potential candidates and a pharmacy management platform that allows you to carry out your program, it’s time to reach out to these people. Initiate communication with eligible patients through phone calls, text messages, or face-to-face interactions. You should explain all the benefits that this program can have for them. For example, tell them that this can help them take their medications correctly and that it will be more convenient for them. Additionally, be sure to communicate any initial or future costs associated with the program to the patient at this stage.
Clear documentation and records are essential for an effective med sync program. With this in mind, conduct a thorough medication reconciliation to have a medication record that is accurate, separating maintenance and PRN medications. Keep in mind that some medications don’t always work in a med sync model. For example, inhalers that are used as needed or an acute course of antibiotics are not appropriate to include in a patient’s medication synchronization.
Choose an Anchor Date
At this point, you and your patient can agree on an anchor date, which will be the day the patient will pick up their medication every month. Consider patient preferences and any specific concerns. Let them choose the day that is most convenient so that they don’t miss any pickups, and schedule it in your pharmacy management system.
Then, as you approach every anchor day, your pharmacy team needs to evaluate if any modification is required. Ask the patient if they took all their medications if they were hospitalized during the month, if they have any new diseases, etc. Log all of this information in your records and make any necessary adjustments.
Partial Medication Fills
In order to effectively synchronize a patient’s medications, you will need to start the process with partial fills so that they will line up on each anchor date moving forward. Make the patient aware that they may receive less medication than usual, but the next time they pick up, they will receive full quantities of each medication at one time.
Integrate Med Sync into Your Workflow
Med sync can only be successful when your pharmacy team properly integrates the service into the daily workflow. Waiting to fill all of a patient’s medications on their anchor date can lead to several issues, including adjudication issues, medications being out-of-stock, and simply running out of time to get everything done. Leave your team a few days to ensure a patient can arrive on their anchor date and seamlessly pick up all of their medications.
The main point of medication synchronization is to make sure that each patient never fails to take their medication. So, to have a successful program, you need to remind them when the pickup date is close.
Contact patients a week before the scheduled date to fill their prescriptions and review any changes. You can use DocStation to schedule these reminders automatically. When the day comes, adjust prescriptions based on patient-specific factors, as we mentioned before.
Offer Additional Services
Offering additional clinical services in your pharmacy is a great way to improve customer experience and loyalty. These services can be medication therapy management, support groups, vaccines, etc. Take the opportunity of each monthly refill to communicate the extra services you offer that could help patients.
Start Your Medication Synchronization Program Today
Staying consistent with chronic disease medication is tough, which is why half of people can’t do it. As a pharmacist, you need to make sure to take all measures necessary to improve this for your patients. Med sync is a feasible solution for this problem.
Medication synchronization is a proven method to improve medication adherence due to its convenience, and it’s a standard in high-performing pharmacies. The benefits for your pharmacy can be huge. By helping people stay consistent, you guarantee a steady revenue stream. But not only that. This feature can be a motivator for new customers to prefer your pharmacy over the others.
Setting your med sync program will take a couple of days. But once it’s set up, it can run basically on automatic with a platform like DocStation. And with the support of our expert team, it’s practically a guarantee that the program will succeed. Request a demo and learn more about the platform that will grow your pharmacy’s revenue.