The Medication Dispensing Program: Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of point-of-care medication dispensing to patients?
The PPC Medication Dispensing Program allows the practice to offer patients:
- Convenience of not having to make an extra stop and waiting in line at the pharmacy down the street
- Protection of patient privacy
- Improved medication tracking
- Enhanced medication compliance
- Acceptance of insurance pharmacy cards as well as reduced rates for cash payments
How do patients feel about physicians dispensing medications?
Patients overwhelmingly appreciate being able to have their prescriptions filled at their physician's office. The fundamental element for patient satisfaction with in-office dispensing is the added convenience and elimination of going to a pharmacy and waiting for a prescription to be filled. One-stop shopping is a prevalent trend in the retail industry. In-office medication dispensing is just another aspect of this trend.
For patients receiving prescriptions they consider embarrassing, patient privacy is a significant benefit.
Are patients required to have their prescriptions filled in the physician’s office?
No. Patients receive a prescription that they may take to any pharmacy. The American Medical Association Code of Ethics provides that physicians may dispense drugs within their office practices as long as there is no patient exploitation and patients have the right to a written prescription that can be filled elsewhere.
Does in-office medication dispensing cost the patient more?
No, and in some cases it may actually save the patient money. The PPC Program of in-office medication dispensing allows patients to use their insurance prescription cards that same way they would at any pharmacy.
Patients may also pay for their medications with cash. Many times this cash payment is less than what the patient would be charged at a pharmacy.
The PPC Program encourages physicians to prescribe generics when appropriate. This offers patients savings whether via a lower co-payment or lower overall drug cost.
Can patients with insurance cards take advantage of in-office medication dispensing through the PPC Program?
Yes. The PPC Program software processes prescriptions with insurance companies/pharmacy benefit managers just like at the patient's regular pharmacy.
What are the benefits of PPC’s in-office medication dispensing program to physicians?
The PPC Program offers physicians:
- Greater patient satisfaction
- Improved medication tracking
- Enhanced medication compliance
- Increased practice profits
- Greater control over the medication dispensing program
- Reduced pharmacy call back administration expense
- Easy set up
- Full support from PPC's pharmaceutical industry experts
- Full software support
How much would the practice realistically make the first year from in-office medication dispensing?
This would depend on a number of factors such as the drugs prescribed and the number of prescriptions filled. Fill out a Request Information form to request detailed information for your practice.
Is point-of-care medication dispensing legal?
Yes. Physicians are allowed to dispense medication to their own patients. Most physicians have done this in the form of dispensing medication samples, in-office injectables, etc. The Federal Trade Commission has concluded that allowing physicians to dispense medication would increase competition and lead to lower prices and better services.
There are six states, however, that have legislated significant restrictions on the practice: Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Texas, and Utah.
Does in-office medication dispensing add liability exposure or increase my malpractice liability?
No. Physicians have the right and are allowed to dispense medication to their own patients. Since a physician is responsible for the prescription that is written as well as for dispensing samples and administering medication to patients, the act of filling the prescription does not increase liability.
Is a pharmacist required for point-of-care medication dispensing?
No. The physician’s medical license grants the physician the right to dispense medication to their own patients.
Does the physician fill the prescriptions?
A Prescription Technician fills and processes the prescriptions. Laws vary from state to state regarding the physician's involvement. PPC's pharmaceutical experts will ensure that the practice complies with the laws of their state.
Are special licenses required for in-office medication dispensing?
Licensing requirements vary from state to state. PPC will assist in obtaining the proper licenses and other paperwork needed.
What support would the practice receive from Physicians' Pharmaceutical Corporation?
PPC makes it easy for the practice. PPC provides full pharmaceutical and software support. During the start-up period, PPC handles licensing paperwork, insurance/pharmacy benefit manager paperwork, assistance with setting up the location, screening and training of the Prescription Technician, establish the system/work flow, etc.
How does the practice get paid?
The practice is paid at the time the prescription is filled through a co-payment or cash payment. At that time, any insurance claim is processed electronically through the PPC software system. The insurance company/pharmacy benefit manager will subsequently send a check to the practice as payment for outstanding claims.
How long does it take to get paid?
The time to get paid varies according to the insurance company/pharmacy benefit manager. Generally speaking, claims reimbursements should be received in two to four weeks.
Does the practice submit insurance reimbursement forms?
No, the PPC software adjudicates claims electronically at the time the prescription is filled thereby eliminating the need for reimbursement forms.
How much inventory is required for the PPC Program?
PPC's pharmaceutical experts will work with the practice to determine the appropriate amount of inventory. Typically, a two-week supply is all that is needed.
How much space is required for the PPC Program?
Since the practice maintains a small inventory, very little space is needed. A small exam room or a large closet area is all that is needed.
How much time does the PPC Program of point-of-care medication dispensing take?
The administration of the PPC unit is managed by the Dispensing Technician. It does not affect office staff with the exception of greatly reducing the amount of time spent on pharmacy call-backs.
How do we get started with the PPC Program?
Simply contact us! We will be happy to get your practice started on the successful PPC road to in-office medication dispensing.