Highlights from Virtual McKesson ideaShare 2020

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Keys to success: Increase traffic, expand services, improve performance
In brief

  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, community pharmacies continue to prove their value
  • Independent pharmacies thrive when they unite, learn and grow
  • A successful pharmacy must increase traffic, expand services and improve performance
  • Health Mart® is providing tools and opportunities to take your pharmacy further

Virtual McKesson ideaShare

Over 1,000 community pharmacy members came together virtually to celebrate how independent pharmacies have responded to the pandemic, are uniting and growing, and are preparing for the future.

At the Opening General Session, McKesson and Health Mart leaders shared highlights from the past several months and identified key focus areas for the year ahead.

Responding to COVID-19

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, independent pharmacies have shown tremendous agility and adaptability in serving communities’ health needs by:

  • Remaining open and helping patients in multiple ways
  • Expanding delivery
  • Compounding hand sanitizer
  • Becoming locations for drive-through COVID-19 tests (more than 190 Health Marts have collected more than 135,000 tests)
  • Filling care gaps with immunizations for children and adolescents
  • Preparing to step up when a COVID-19 vaccine is eventually ready

Unite. Learn. Grow.

Health Mart President Nimesh Jhaveri and other Health Mart leaders offered the following rallying cries for this unique moment:

  • Unite. We do this by working together to educate and lobby lawmakers and by working with new business partners.
  • Learn. “If we aren’t learning, we’re losing,” said Jhaveri. Pharmacies must use data to ensure they are profitable today and learn how to be relevant a decade from now.
  • Grow. More lives, more services, more stores. “The pace of change in retail is accelerating at warp speed,” Jhaveri said. “We have to grow. We have to be aggressive. We need access to lives. We need to offer drive-through, delivery and curbside pickup. We need to be immunizing. We need to obsess about what products we offer so that we increase basket sizes.”

Looking forward: Three pillars support a strong pharmacy

1. Increasing traffic

That requires reaching customers in your store as well as online, often through partnerships.

  • The Flipp digital circular is leading to 40,000 Health Mart visits per month.
  • Theraworx ads are increasing Health Mart brand recognition on national TV, radio, satellite radio and the web.
  • Amazon has delivered customers to Health Mart stores with more than 185,000 packages picked up at the pharmacies so far. Each visit is an opportunity to add front-end sales and encourage new visitors to transfer prescriptions and return for their healthcare needs.

2. Expanding services

  • Immunizations. More than 80% of Heath Mart pharmacies provide immunizations. “If your pharmacy doesn’t offer immunization services, you risk being left behind,” said Nancy Lyons.
    While right now independent pharmacies are needed for flu shots and to ensure children and adults catch up on vaccines missed earlier in the year (see “How to grow your pharmacy’s vaccine business”), Health Mart is working to ensure that independent pharmacies have a role in administering an eventual COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Point-of-care testing. Health Mart provides resources to help file a CLIA waiver. A new pharmacy testing solutions area in myHealthMart will have information about future testing opportunities.
  • Ready, Set, PrEP program. More than 3,300 Health Marts are providing no-cost pre-exposure prophylaxis medications to qualified individuals to prevent the spread of HIV. (See “Your pharmacy can help protect patients from HIV”).

3. Improving performance

Today, almost every contract includes clinical or operational performance targets, according to Eyad Farah, vice president and general manager of Health Mart Atlas™.

In 2019, Health Mart Atlas was ranked No. 1 by both EQuIPP™, for statin and RASA (renin angiotensin system antagonists) adherence, and by OutcomesMTM, earning more than $10 million in medication therapy management revenues. Those results mean both healthier patients and more revenue for stores.

“I love to see our pharmacies excel and get paid for their excellence.”

— Eyad Farah

“We routinely see that stores that make a plan and work toward it do better than those who don’t,” Farah said. “We’ve also seen stores that invest in extended solutions like McKesson Reimbursement Advantage℠ do better than those without it.”

Recognizing excellence

ValuCare Center, a Health Mart® pharmacy in Marinette, WI, has been named the Health Mart Pharmacy of the Year. The designation is awarded to top-performing Health Mart pharmacies for superior clinical performance, high-touch patient relationships and proactive advocacy efforts.

“They’re innovators. They’re immunizers. They’re marketers and thought leaders. They’re advocates and active in their community. They jumped into COVID testing and are participating in the Ready, Set, PrEP program. And, according to their sales manager, they make and sell the best maple syrup in Marinette, Wisconsin,” Jhaveri said.