I know you have a story like this.
I was pleasantly surprised by a difficulty we encountered at the primary care office where I am a pharmacist who works with the patients and the providers.
The story begins with a prior authorization denial for an EpiPen. EpiPen can be life saving during an allergic reaction.
Prior authorizations are a daily reality for providers, patients, and pharmacies. An annoying attempt at cost containment. Why, you ask, would an insurance company not pay for this medicine?
So I asked. I was able to get an immediate answer from a pharmacist who works at the insurance company. I met her during a state conference. At this conference, we shared our paths and realized we would benefit from knowing more about what both of us do (synergy).
There is no problem. We cover the brand name.
So I called the pharmacy back and asked her to run it through for the brand name – which she did immediately. Yes, she was busy and had patients waiting, and because of our relationship, she took a few minutes to help. She found that it did go through and tried to order it from the wholesaler. Then she stated:
It’s on long term backorder from the manufacturer.
So, I contacted the insurance company pharmacist (ICP) again and let them know. She stated that she could not see that there was a shortage on either FDA or ASHP websites.
Since I go to dinner several times a year with pharmacists who work at all the major chains, I sent out a group text asking if they have had difficulties. Three said Yes, one said No and let the ICP know.
Issue resolved. It is so wonderful to have relationships with others who can help you take care of patients… and quickly.
I am part of a team creating a conference for pharmacy entrepreneurs, Medipreneurs. One of our speakers is Dan Garrett who will be doing a talk titled “Lessons from Jerry Maguire; It’s all about Relationships”. I am really looking forward to hearing his take on this and continuing to build these relationships.
We are three smart, fierce, and pretty quirky pharmacists who chose to get out of the box, become entrepreneurs, and find freedom by starting our own businesses. This allowed us to pursue our passions, and approach health care holistically with the focus where it should be – on the patient.
The three of us joined forces to help each other through the journey from traditional pharmacist to business owner and from this we have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly along the way. We spent years working to create business models and systems that work; to understand the marketing strategies necessary for growth; and to grow our highly successful businesses.
We made a choice to forge new paths in healthcare, and take back the power to heal that a pharmacist should have. Although we’re each following our own unique passion, we are united in our purpose: To give other medical professionals the tools to do things differently and join us as leaders in this new movement in pharmacy.
We work and network with many pharmacy entrepreneurs and INTRApreneurs, and we are witnesses to how THESE are the pharmacists who are not only finding true autonomy and are able to provide real patient-centered care, as they should be, but they’re also finding greater financial success doing so.