For many communities, the pharmacy is often the most accessible point of contact for a patient’s everyday health concerns. For many independent pharmacies, the ability to provide focused patient care is what keeps customers coming through the door. With the limited time pharmacies already have to care for patients, maintaining proper compliance and credentialing can be an additional burden. A PSAO can help streamline this process by offering services that alleviate these burdens and allow a pharmacy to keep its focus on the patient instead of performing time-consuming administrative tasks.
Pharmacies are required to have a policies and procedures manual for in-house staff to access any time. The Pharmacy Operations Manual should include a collection of state and federal best business practices to help your Pharmacy comply with various requirements, including State Boards and the DEA. While many pharmacies may not have the time to create their operations manual, a quality PSAO can provide you with a draft template that includes many of these practices to help simplify this process. Check with your PSAO and see if they provide this service.
Secure and accurate data retention is another basic requirement that pharmacies should have in place to remain compliant, especially when facing the potential for an audit. Quick access to a single repository for all pharmacy and staff credentials, including licensing documents, and OIG/SAM reports is essential. If your PSAO can’t provide you with 24/7 access to the information you need, you may get stuck waiting for access to information necessary to keep your daily operations running.
Beyond reporting and storage, regulatory agencies require pharmacies and their staff to undergo specific credentialing and training to maintain business and operating compliance. From pharmacist to technician, compliance training is essential to ensuring a pharmacy’s staff is appropriately trained in the handling of sensitive documents as well as controlled substances. Your PSAO should be able to assist you in providing the necessary training, including Fraud, Waste, and Abuse, and HIPAA Training, to keep your staff in compliance.
Rules and regulations from CMS, PBMs, and other governing bodies continue to evolve, requiring pharmacies and their staff to complete further training to serve their communities. As the patient population continues to diversify, some states are mandating additional training to ensure appropriate care is given to patients of all genders, sexualities, ethnicities, and religious beliefs. Many states also require retail pharmacies to provide additional training for handling and disposing of hazardous drugs within their business. If you partner with a PSAO, make sure they can provide you access to the most up-to-date training necessary for your pharmacy to operate within these requirements.
While compliance and credentialing requirements vary by state and region, not all PSAOs are flexible enough to provide you with the customized services you need. Many credentialing and compliance packages come bundled with programs that don’t cater to your needs or apply to your business – all while charging you a premium price. A PSAO should be a partner that supports your success, allowing you to select the services you need without requiring you to pay for ones you don’t. Pharmacy First can help answer any questions you may have when it comes to making sure your pharmacy receives the appropriate compliance and credentialing services. As the first and only PSAO to become a URAC-accredited CVO, we strive to go above and beyond as your credentialing partner in excellence.
About the Author
Craig’s pharmacy career began as a Pharmacy Technician in an independent pharmacy. After 5 years, Craig transitioned to the PBM industry, where he has spent the last 31 years in various leadership roles. Craig has developed and implemented major programs with various PBM’s, including performance-based programs to increase pharmacy payment.