Independent pharmacy owners: When it comes to finding support for your business and operations, the smartest advice I can offer is this: Look for a partner, not just a vendor.
What is the difference? For starters, vendors are primarily driven to sell as much as they can regardless of what is best for your unique business. Partners, on the other hand, are driven to help you succeed.
A Pharmacy Services Administrative Organization (PSAO) that strives to exceed expectations by focusing on your success provides hands-on, quality-focused, results-driven attention from day one. The way the customer service team for a PSAO approaches onboarding for new members is an important reflection on the PSAO’s service philosophy. If they are truly committed to serving as your partner, they will offer you an interactive introductory experience that involves your input on specific market needs. Through a personalized, “white-glove” approach to onboarding, they will take time to guide you through important business decisions at the point of enrollment process. Their most fundamental goal should be to illuminate the best path forward to achieving your specific business goals and operational objectives.
Here are six questions to ask yourself before choosing a PSAO or switching to a new PSAO:
- Can they deliver more favorable third-party contracts? If they consider themselves your partner (not just a vendor), a PSAO strives to support your top line revenue by delivering the best possible terms and conditions to maximize your reimbursements on every contract. They will also assist you with procuring all the contracts you need, even those that aren’t available directly through the PSAO’s own network.
- Will they provide hassle-free claims reconciliation solutions? A partner also supports your bottom line in every way they can, including a robust system for claims reconciliation that ensures you receive all monies due on your claims.
- Do they consider it their mission to relieve you of administrative burdens while also providing a full suite of revenue-enhancing opportunities? Going far beyond the role of a vendor, a PSAO partner provides the same back-office functions that are managed by corporate office staff at national chains.
- Are they committed to supporting your pharmacy in ways that maximize benefits to you? A partner brings expertise to effectively manage and grow your business while minimizing disruption to your operations.
- Will they respect your independent business values and fully support your autonomy as the business owner? A partner upholds your right to choose your own wholesalers and other suppliers, rather than attempting to tie your purchasing decisions to their preferred vendors.
- Do they merely provide information, or do they provide actionable insights and solutions? A partner analyzes meaningful data, gleaned from performance measurements and quality insights, to help you enhance your strengths and pinpoint areas for improvement.
If you can answer yes to every one of those six questions, you’ve found a true PSAO partner – one that will put your needs first and offer the smart business solutions you need in today’s complex, evolving market. At Pharmacy First, we pride ourselves on supporting the success of thousands of independent pharmacies. Our work ultimately supports our members, provides new opportunities and bridges operational gaps to ensure consumers have access to pharmacy services and products with the personalized touch that only independent pharmacies can deliver.
With the superior support you receive from a PSAO partner, you are free to do what you love: give your customers excellent service, consistently meeting their needs and fostering their loyalty. To learn more about what makes our team your “partners in excellence,” contact us.
About the Author
Candace Sullivan is the Vice President of Customer Experience for Pharmacy First, and has more than 18 years in the pharmacy industry. Candace’s experience, which ranges from assisting pharmacists behind the pharmacy counter to ensuring patients’ insurance needs are met, provides valuable perspective in her efforts to provide top-notch service to our PSAO network members.