NCPA Executive Update

NCPA Executive Update delivers insights on legislative, regulatory, policy, and industry developments from NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, Pharmacist, MBA, to NCPA members and pharmacy leaders every Friday.

'What Is Going Well?' | NCPA Executive Update | October 21, 2016

by NCPA | Oct 21, 2016

Dear Colleague,

Doug Hoey

I’m on a plane flying back from NCPA’s Annual Convention in New Orleans. Keeping with tradition, I’ll highlight the top 5 things you missed if you weren’t able to join us this year.

It was a great meeting that—despite the economic pressures—had a palpable upbeat air. Some pharmacy owners even told me they were excited to be at the meeting because now is the best time to be looking for opportunities.

So, here we go, the top 5 things from the NCPA Annual Meeting:

Moving Into a New Age—Keynote speaker Greg Bell, author of “Watering the Bamboo," was a big hit with pharmacy owners. One of the key points he made was that we have moved from an agricultural age to the industrial age and then to the technology age. We have now moved from the technology age into the relationship age. You could almost feel a collective “a-ha” from the audience. He also suggested that each day start with a one minute or less run down of “What is going well?” before turning on the news and hearing all the things that are not going well. Bell stayed after his presentation to talk with members and sign books. There was a crowd, but no one seemed to mind for the chance to chat with him.

Pharmacy Enhanced Services—NCPA and Community Care of North Carolina announced their intention to form a new company called Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network-USA. The purpose of the new company is to help local pharmacy networks providing “enhanced services” grow. “Enhanced services" is an intentionally broad term. If the services offered by the big box drug stores are “standard," enhanced services are the myriad things that independently owned pharmacies do for patients that are beyond “standard” and are valued by local payers. Much more to come on this soon.

Non-PBM Revenue—There were multiple programs to help pharmacies with non-prescription revenue (aka non-PBM revenue). This year’s Annual Convention had a new emphasis on non-CE programs where successful pharmacists could talk about programs and services that were working for them. Union Springs Healthcare and NCPA are collaborating to promote Companion Care Counseling. Union Springs also offers three unique products complementary to many conditions, NoctoPlex (sleep formula), NoctoPlex For Kids, and Luciplex (brain health). Pharmacy sales of all three products is exclusive to independently owned pharmacies.

Idea Sharing/Shoot the Breeze Sessions—One of the reasons to come to the NCPA annual meeting is the chance to talk with successful pharmacy owners who are willing to share what’s working for them. NCPA’s Idea Sharing program featured tips from owners on everything from lowering their phone bill to niche offerings (tattoo care) to unique local partnerships (local honey) to workflow ideas (colored baskets for medication synchronization days of the week). This program alone generated enough new dollar ideas and cost savers to pay for the meeting investment. Maybe more importantly, hearing how others innovated and solved problems energized attendees who needed a fresh look to overcome some of their problems.

Personal Appearance by PBM Investigative Reporter—Lee Zurik, from Fox Channel 8, in New Orleans, has done a series of investigative reports on consumer copay clawbacks. That series has exposed PBM practices of overcharging consumers for their prescription and then “clawing back” the dollars they overcharged from the pharmacy. Several lawsuits have recently been filed which reference Zurik’s investigation. He spoke to a full house for his convention session, showing some of the highlights from the TV reports and fielding numerous questions from the audience. One of the things Zurik said that particularly caught my ear was that of all of the federal, state, and local investigative reports he has done—some that have triggered follow-on federal investigations—the consumer clawbacks has drawn more viewer response than any other story. “Not even close,” he said.

The feedback from those at the convention was that it was a breath of fresh air for them and their business. Now comes the opportunity of incorporating all of the great ideas and transferring the meeting energy to the pharmacy staff. NCPA is here all year round to help pharmacy owners implement these new ideas. If you missed the Annual Convention this year, mark next year’s in Orlando, Oct 14-18, on your calendar. It will help you thrive in the “relationship age” and will help answer “What is going well?”

Doug Hoey