Clinic Dispensing, Northwind Pharmaceuticals

Thinking of Dispensing in your Clinic–Legal and Financial Considerations

For thThinking-of-Dispensing-in-your-Clinic-Legal-and-Financial-Considerationse past decade or more we’ve been inundated with questions from physicians and healthcare workers across the country when it comes to medication dispensing in their clinic or practice. The types of questions vary quite a bit but the bottom line question we see across the board doesn’t change: How can we better serve patients while boosting our bottom line?

It can be easy to see why so many are shocked to learn that the answer doesn’t have to be complex. The truth is that especially now, revenue boosting services can easily be added with minimal to no workflow disruption, and in-house dispensing is one of those.

That being said, we want to walk you through a few key considerations when it comes to rethinking how you improve your bottom line with the physician dispensing solution. In this post we will discuss both the legal and financial considerations you should think through as you weigh your plans for 2015 and beyond.

Legal Considerations for Physician Dispensing

Many states do allow physician dispensing but there are some limitations you should be aware of before embarking. To find out what the legal requirements are in your state, check with your Board of Pharmacy or medical licensing board to determine any specific regulations that exist. You want to be sure you know who can handle the medicine, what record keeping entails, and specific reporting requirements, among other regulations.

Secondly, when it comes to controlled substances, the requirements may vary from state to state as well; for that reason, you’ll want to be sure to look at what specific regulations there are around controlled substances.

Financial Considerations for Physician Dispensing

Typically, the first questions physicians want to know when it comes to medical dispensing is the profit margins. Many clinics earn 80% gross margins on medications while remaining competitive with local pharmacy offerings. That being said, a low overall cost of generic pharmaceuticals requires a sizeable volume to make an impact. 15-20 daily dispenses per physician are not unheard of but the doctor must be prepared to offer the option to patients as it doesn’t happen automatically.

Most distributors do not require a minimum order or contract; however, not surprisingly, the clinic will likely spend several thousand dollars on their initial inventory. With the right items, this cost can be recouped within 1-2 months. Physicians need to be realistic about what items will be required in the clinic, but this can be easily done by looking at your prescribing mix and focusing on the most frequently prescribed medications.

Check back in the coming days to learn what other considerations you should make before taking the leap.

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