PSAOs and Independent Pharmacies: Collaboration for Better Service and Better Business

As a leading Pharmacy Services Administrative Organization (PSAO), our goal at Pharmacy First is, first and foremost, to support independent pharmacists in all aspects of their businesses. As such, our most recent white paper, “Partnerships for Better Business,” can serve as an excellent resource for pharmacies in search of a high-functioning PSAO to address their unique issues and help them stay competitive – especially when it comes to customer service.

In this increasingly complex healthcare market, independent pharmacies face numerous operational and financial challenges. But equally critical (and complicated) is the relationship with the customer. Community pharmacists need quality time with their customers to provide the excellent service they expect, with the goal of fostering loyalty, retaining the customer base, and ultimately growing the business.

So how does an independent pharmacist balance the many tasks of running a business on the back end with the need to provide even deeper levels of customer care on the front end? That’s where a PSAO partner comes in.


Excellent patient care and service lead to improved outcomes

Independently owned pharmacies have long maintained a reputation for locally rooted, personal service that couldn’t be matched by national chains. However, even large pharmacies have begun to put a premium on face-to-face time for better patient experiences. Today’s community pharmacists no longer feel they have the market cornered on the ability to offer plenty of interaction and personalized attention.

Yet, this aspect of the business is an operational necessity for customer retention and growth. According to a study published in Pharmacy Times, high-risk patients see their pharmacist an average of 35 times a year, compared with four visits to their primary care physician and nine to specialists. In addition, independent pharmacies often provide services that go beyond dispensing prescriptions, such as immunizations, blood pressure monitoring, and medication therapy management and adherence. Pharmacists must capitalize on these opportunities to shape the health of their patients and keep relationships strong.

Ideally, independent pharmacies will find a partner in a PSAO that serves as an advocate, supports the business and handles administrative tasks, so pharmacists can focus on communicating with the customer. This helps them offer a higher level of care and improved customer service, which leads to better patient outcomes and, of course, a better business.


PSAOs give pharmacies the time they need for customers

What distinct services will a PSAO offer that allow community pharmacies a greater emphasis on customer satisfaction? Our white paper examines several key specifics of the link between PSAOs and their ability to help independent pharmacies cater to their customers:

  • A service-focused PSAO will handle time-consuming business functions such as claims reconciliation and credentialing, leaving pharmacists free to nurture their patient relationships and make a bigger impact on community health;
  • A PSAO’s expertise in third-party contracting helps protect independent pharmacists and enhance their ability to compete, with more favorable reimbursement terms and conditions;
  • An effective PSAO uses data-based performance management platforms to offer solutions, drive clinical improvement and boost quality;
  • The right PSAO will support the independence and autonomy that community pharmacies want to maintain.

Not all PSAOs are created equal, so we are here to help independent pharmacists recognize how a true PSAO partner demonstrates its value. Read the white paper in its entirety, or contact us to learn how our team can support your better business by giving you the freedom to stay focused. In order to take the best possible care of your customers, you need us taking care of you.


About the Author

With more than 18 years in the pharmacy industry, Candace Sullivan is the Vice President of Customer Experience for Pharmacy First. Candace’s expertise, 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.