How to make your Medicare patients the priority
Be there for your Medicare patients this open enrollment
- Medicare accounts for nearly one-third of U.S. spending on prescription drugs.
- More than 25% of Medicare patients don’t know how to research drug plan options.
- By helping Medicare patients research plan options you solidify your position as a trusted resource.
Medicare patients are a large group and are extremely important to pharmacies. Consider that: 1,2
Patients aren’t aware
Many Medicare patients may be paying too much. By choosing the right Part D plan, patients may be able to reduce their out-of-pocket expenses by 30%, saving thousands of dollars per year. (See Many Customers Don’t Have the Best Drug Plan.)
Finding the best plan can be so daunting that many patients don’t even try.3
Start a conversation
Help patients find the best plan by encouraging them to talk with your staff. Counter cards and buttons can prompt patients to ask questions and schedule a consultation.
Translate insurance terms
Choosing plan options requires having a basic understanding of terms. Yet more than 40% of working-age Americans can’t define “deductible.”4
Take time with patients to discuss important terms in ways they will understand. For example, “When you fill prescriptions at a preferred pharmacy you pay less.”
Remember, you are not allowed to steer patients toward a plan. However, you should let customers know when you are a preferred pharmacy under Part D plans.
Accommodate special needs
Be able to communicate with all Medicare patients.
- Nearly 15% are deaf or hard of hearing5
- Nearly 8% are blind or have low vision6
- About 8% have limited English proficiency
Strategies for assisting patients with special needs include:
- Keep special needs in mind as you plan materials and communications
- Consult with patients in private areas
- Consider providing educational videos with headsets patients can use
- Make sure print sizes are large enough for patients with low vision
- Note a patient’s preferred language in your records and consider hiring bilingual staff or trained interpreters
Making Medicare patients a priority
Medicare patients are valuable to your pharmacy. Not only do they fill many prescriptions, but Part D covers some vaccines that are not included under Part B, including the shingles shot.7 Make Medicare patients a high priority during open enrollment and throughout the year.