Turn local prescribers into your best referral source
Partner with providers to take your pharmacy to a new level
- Partnering with providers in your community is a key way to grow your business
- Prescribers may be receptive to hearing from you, since quality measures that pharmacists impact can affect their payment
- Target your outreach efforts and show your value
- Build relationships over time with regular contact
Why partnering with providers is so important
Providers have patients with health issues, and you have solutions. When your pharmacy partners with providers in your community, you can:
- Efficiently reach lots of patients about your services
- Raise awareness of what sets your pharmacy apart
- Be paid for more than just filling prescriptions
Already, many independent pharmacies are partnering with providers to deliver improved care. Today, more than one third of independent pharmacies have collaborative drug therapy agreements with providers, and nearly a quarter of pharmacies have access to patients’ electronic medical records.1
If you aren’t working closely with providers, you are missing significant opportunities.
They’re more ready to listen
Even if providers previously seemed unenthusiastic when you reached out, don’t give up. In fact, consider trying again, since providers might now be more open and receptive than in the past.
Three reasons providers may now be more receptive are:
- Providers have new performance measures. Providers are being subjected to new performance measures from both Medicare and commercial plans.
- Performance will affect their bottom line. Starting in 2020, prescribers can earn bonuses from Medicare or be subject to payment reductions, based on their performance in 2018.
- Many of these measures are pharmacy related, covering categories such as:
- Medication adherence
- Medication reviews
- Medication management
- Preventive care and screening
- Care gaps and coordination
Key takeaway: Your pharmacy can directly affect a provider’s revenue.
Focus on the right targets
You don’t have time for a shotgun approach, using techniques like mass mailings to providers. You have to be targeted and efficient, focusing on those prescribers who can benefit most from your pharmacy.
A tool like the Physician Outreach Program helps you connect with prescribers in your community, coordinate patient care and grow your business with new patient referrals. Get the data and tools needed to quickly identify prescriber partners in your area.
Check parameters such as each provider’s distance from your store, their specialty and your pharmacy’s share of their prescription volume. For example, to promote diabetes care, you can reach out to nearby ophthalmologists, podiatrists and endocrinologists.
Don’t be just another sales call
The first step in building a relationship is LISTENING. Schedule a face to face meeting and before presenting your pharmacy’s capabilities, ask the provider(s) and their staff about THEIR clinical, operational and financial concerns.
In learning about the provider’s challenges, your pharmacy may be able to help with:
- Medication adherence
- Medication synchronization
- High-risk medications
- Home delivery
Once you know their priorities, describe how your pharmacy can benefit them. This might be through improving their performance metrics, increasing the satisfaction and outcomes of their patients and saving staff time.
Give concrete examples of results your pharmacy has achieved, such as helping diabetic patients reduce A1C levels.
Or they may not be aware that enrolling a patient in your pharmacy’s med sync program can cut the number of refill calls to their busy office from 17 per year to 4.2
Key takeaway: Emphasize how your pharmacy benefits their practice.
Before you leave, ask for a referral. Start with one challenging patient with whom you can make a difference. Over time schedule regular meetings with the provider’s staff to review specific patients and their care plans.
Stay on their mind when you walk out of the office by leaving materials such as:
- A flyer with a list of your services
- Coupons for the practice’s patients
- Pads with referrals for shingles shots
Pro tip: Health Mart® customers can access the Marketing Hub for a variety of tools to set your marketing in motion with less effort (and save up to 50% using your Matching Funds).
After every meeting or phone call, plan your next contact with that provider. Schedule it on your calendar. Be sure you ask each provider’s preference for how to contact them. One study found 53% of physicians want a call, but 46% prefer email or fax.
The key to generating referrals from providers in your community is building and deepening relationships. Show providers how your pharmacy will benefit their patients and their practice, and follow up repeatedly to constantly improve the level of service you deliver.
You will win their support with your professionalism, expertise and clinical services.