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.

Let's combine our strength and win the 'pharmacy tug of war' | NCPA Executive Update | April 27, 2018

by NCPA | Apr 27, 2018

Dear Colleague,

Doug Hoey

This week I was at a meeting where I had the opportunity to promote the value of community pharmacies to dozens of companies of all types and sizes. While doing so, I also took time to look around and observe others as they made their pitch about why a company should do business with them, each competitor trying to pull the target in their direction.

As I was witnessing this pharmacy tug of war, my mind went to the imaginary rope each combatant was using to pull their target over the line. I envisioned some as big, singular solid strands that looked impressive. Others were smaller strands made of new materials yet unproven. And there was buzz about still unseen competitors.

"What makes our offering attractive?" I asked rhetorically, while warming up for each contest. Or perhaps more importantly, "How do we aggregate community pharmacy's unique value?" If each community pharmacy is one strand, how strong and flexible would we be if each individual strand were intertwined into a rope of community pharmacies working together?

The clinically integrated network, CPESN®, is just that. It is community pharmacy's way of constructing a new, heavy-duty rope, and with our combined strength, pulling new opportunities in our direction. CPESN provides the structure needed to support local efforts and the strength required for big national opportunities.

If you haven't seen it yet, here is CPESN's new two-minute message to health plan sponsors (employers, tax payers, and individuals buying health insurance). The message that all pharmacies are not the same is resonating. Where are the pharmacies that provide this level of attention to quality patient care? How many of these pharmacies are there? How do I contract with them? These are the questions we hear regularly.

Competitors would love to see local community pharmacies remain as separate individual strands or, at worst, as small twine with only a relative few strands twisted together. Fragmentation is their best weapon for beating community pharmacy. That makes it much easier for them to sell their call center and mail-based offerings. Sometimes we make it easier for competitors when community pharmacy engages in tug-of-war battles against itself.

CPESN offers community pharmacies something new and different – a clinically integrated network dedicated to improving quality and health outcomes with the data to back it up. CPESN offers plan sponsors who care about total health care costs something new and different. Whether our rope is big and strong enough for the pharmacy tug of war is up to us.

I hope you will add your community pharmacy strand to the CPESN rope. Together, we can achieve the superior results that will pull new opportunities our way.

Doug Hoey

P.S. Speaking of achieving superior results, I want to make sure you've seen the NCPA Innovation Center's newest offering of online motivational interviewing training for you and your staff. Adopting the techniques in the program will assuredly result in more patients deciding to be adherent to their medication therapy, which will improve your scores on the metrics on which you are being evaluated while lowering your pharmacy DIR bill. You'll find the comMIt (Comprehensive Motivational Interviewing) programat a special member price – in the NCPA Bookstore.