2020 Annual Meeting Cancelled Due to Growing Concerns over COVID-19 Virus

In the face of increasing and overwhelming concerns about the COVID-19 virus, we have decided to cancel the annual meeting scheduled for May 1-3, 2020, in National Harbor, MD.

We have given the situation deep consideration and want to provide all attendees with ample opportunity to manage air travel and personal schedules. We also want to respect our pharmacists’ need to be available to and healthy for their patients and communities.

We look forward to bringing everyone together again in 2021.

Could Your Pharmacy Survive a Cyber Attack?

While data breaches at large pharmacies make national news, independent pharmacies are no less susceptible to cyber attacks and their devastating consequences.

Whether through a malware, phishing, or password attack, independent pharmacies are targeted for their patient health, identity, and credit card information. Though you may think that large businesses are affected the most, more than 70 percent of cyber attacks target small businesses. Businesses in the health care industry face are at increased risk; making up 41 percent of cyber incidents in 2018.

The financial and reputational repercussions from a single data breach can be disastrous. On average, a data breach costs $80,000 per pharmacy location. In fact, 72% of businesses shut down within 24 months of a major data theft.

Associated costs emerge from:

• Notifying customers of breach
• Credit monitoring expenses
• Regulatory fines and penalties
• Business interruptions
• Legal or public relations expenses

EPIC Pharmacies, Inc., a network of independently owned pharmacies, was one of the first pharmacy organizations to provide cyber liability/data breach insurance as a no-cost member benefit. Learn how you can protect your pharmacy with our recorded webinar featuring cyber security experts with advice specific to independent pharmacies.

Contact EPIC Pharmacies to learn how you can protect your independent pharmacy.

Create a Roadmap to Clinical and Financial Success with EPIC Rx

Pharmacies have more data than ever, but where should they focus? How are pharmacies being evaluated and compensated based on performance? What does this mean for patient care?

The EPIC Rx Clinical Programs team has developed a roadmap to help pharmacies navigate this changing landscape and put them on a path to success.

Step 1: Know which payers/plans have the biggest financial impact on your pharmacy.
The impact of each plan varies by state and region. EPIC Rx’s RxRegulator® can help identify the plans making the biggest impact on your business.

Step 2: Know how these payers evaluate performance.
Each payer has a specific way it evaluates pharmacy and network performance. EPIC Rx can show you how your pharmacy is being evaluated.

Step 3: Know how payer’s view and track your pharmacy’s performance.
EQuIPP is a program that uses claims data from payers to generate your pharmacy’s performance scores. Your pharmacy’s scores impact direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees and bonus payments.

Step 4: Identify patients impacting performance and in need of additional care.
a. EQuIPP Outliers: updated weekly and highlights patients who drive down scores and are late on refills
b. PrescribeWellness: View your patients through the eyes of your dispensing system and sort by prescriber, payer, disease state, etc.

Step 5: Engage with these patients and work to improve outcomes.
Use the tools available! From PrescribeWellness, a medication therapy management (MTM) vendor (OutcomesMTM ), and dispensing software, the EPIC Rx clinical programs team can provide one-on-one training on how to efficiently use the tools available to improve your performance.

EPIC Rx members have access to exclusive resources to help their pharmacy work through and find success with these steps. Contact EPIC Rx today to learn what we can do for your pharmacy.

EPIC Rx’s Preferred Vendors Make Running Your Business Easier

Did you know that EPIC Pharmacies has a number of approved vendors with special offers just for members? We offer our members a wide variety of tools and front-end merchandise to pick from, which can help bring their independent pharmacy to the next level.

Here’s just some of what we offer in our vendor program.

Self-Care Products: Self-care is one of the best ways for patients to manage everyday stress and tension. With CBD manufacturer Ananda, EPIC Pharmacies members can offer patients an alternative, natural way to relieve everyday pain and stress. We also work with an essential oil manufacturer, Blue Flower. Essential oils can be used in a variety of ways to promote relaxation.

Business Management: Every independent pharmacy needs a hand with business management. We’ve partnered with several companies – including staffing agencies, financial planning, inventory services, and uniform services. We make it easy for our members to manage their independent pharmacy, and we are always looking for new ways to help ease the stress of managing an independent pharmacy.

If you’re looking to take your pharmacy to the next level in 2019, we have a little bit of everything to get you there. Contact EPIC Pharmacies today at (800) 965-EPIC (3742), to learn more about how we can help your independent pharmacy thrive in 2019!

Independent Pharmacy Gathers in Nashville for Business Changing Conference

Members of the independent pharmacy community from across the United States will gather for a weekend of business changing content on April 26-28 in Nashville, Tennessee.

EPIC Rx is hosting its 28th annual stockholders meeting and trade show with opportunities for all members to:

* Connect with vendors and wholesalers one-on-one
* Attend live ACPE-accredited CE sessions on business content
* Network with colleagues at social events

This event focuses on making our pharmacy members the most successful they can be. This year free member registration includes a free 3-day/2-night stay available until March 29.

“It’s worth it to spend a weekend away from your business.”
Amjad Abukwaik, PIC, Sheefa Pharmacy, Paterson, NJ

“The CE programming here was outstanding. I mean very applicable to what we do…. This was like legitimate, ‘can help your business now’ type of CEs.”
Nate Hux, Owner, Pickerington Pharmacy, Pickerington, OH

“I’ve learned a lot that I’m going to take back to my team that’s going to help my business.”
Tom Fry, Regional Manager, Pharmacy Inc., Murray, KY

Not a member? Contact us today to learn more about EPIC Pharmacies and this event.

Myth vs Fact: The Truth Behind Pharmacy Performance Data

Quality measures, medication therapy management (MTM), patient outcomes, etc., are all ways pharmacies are evaluated and affect the bottom line of independent pharmacies. Below are some reality checks to help your pharmacy on the path to success.

Myth: Pharmacies receive a star rating.

Reality: Medicare plans receive star ratings from the CMS; pharmacies do not. Star ratings may be used as a general term by third-party payers and technology vendors when discussing pharmacy performance. However, pharmacies are evaluated on a plan-by-plan basis and the quality measures evaluated can vary significantly across plans.

Myth: It’s ok to focus on performance scores from one technology platform.

Reality: Many payers use EQuIPP to track pharmacy quality measure performance, which in turn determines direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees and pay-for-performance (P4P) bonuses. A wider field of view by using different platforms, including dispensing software, strengthens your pharmacy by allowing you to create benchmarks, identify patients in need of intervention, and facilitate outreach.

Myth: Not completing MTM cases won’t have a big impact on my performance.

Reality: Not completing MTM cases can significantly impact your pharmacy’s performance and bottom line.

  • Comprehensive medication review (CMR) completion rate is used by some payers to determine DIR fees and can affect a pharmacy’s ability to qualify for P4P program bonuses.
  • MTM cases often address drug therapy problems that directly relate to quality measures, such as medication non-adherence and gaps in therapy.
  • Pharmacies that regularly engage in MTM services often demonstrate high-quality performance.

Myth: If we focus on quality measures and scores once a month or so, the pharmacy will be ok.

Reality: You should check your pharmacy’s performance at least weekly, if not daily. Most third-party payers use quality measures to determine DIR fees and P4P payments. By monitoring your scores at least weekly, you can identify opportunities for improvement and make subtle changes in your workflow to make big impacts in the long term.

Contact EPIC Rx today to learn how our clinical programs team can help your pharmacy stay ahead of the game when it comes to performance and patient care.

What is Your Pharmacy’s Emergency Plan?

A quarter of Americans report they could only go 2-3 days without access to their medications or medical equipment before they begin to experience negative health outcomes.1 Independent pharmacies can provide a vital link for continuing care and access to medication during emergencies — if they are prepared.

Properly preparing for, responding to, and recovering from an emergency should be an independent pharmacy’s priority. However, we know how busy independent pharmacists and owners are already. EPIC Rx provides resources an independent pharmacy needs to safeguard their business and patients.

  • Pharmacy Contingency and Disaster Recovery Policy and Plan Template
  • Pharmacy Disaster Checklist
  • Access to Emergency Patient Communication Tools

Contact EPIC Rx today to learn about these and other emergency resources to protect our member’s stores.

Take the Stress Out of Compliance and Credentialing

PharmCAP® is a web-based program that provides all the compliance tools independent pharmacies need through a simple point-and-click process. Breathe easy knowing that your pharmacy meets mandatory compliance and credentialing requirements for Medicare Part D, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), third-party payers, and federal and state regulatory authorities. They offer flexible communication options, support to keep you abreast of regulatory changes, and easy access to resources that allow you to focus on running your business and caring for your patients.

This program tracks compliance due dates and alerts you so you never miss a deadline. From licenses, proof of insurance, business associate agreements, training renewal dates, and more—PharmCAP tracks it all.. Their support team is available by email and phone for any compliance-related issues, board of pharmacy inquests, or pharmacy audits.

They use a simple online interface that allows you to fax or electronically upload your documents for filing and storage. Once received, documents are stored electronically for 10 years, per CMS record retention requirements. Members can retrieve documents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through their password-protected website. The site contains training and resources that are constantly updated, such as human resources and business tools, as well as pharmacy-specific resources for a well-rounded benefit to your pharmacy. Additionally, many different employee training programs are available, including HIPAA and cultural competency training.

PharmCAP has a network of partners that offer invaluable services to members. Their work with Bula Law Group utilizes their national expertise on regulatory intelligence, and their connections with the Alliance for Patient Medication Safety (APMS) and a federally listed continuous quality improvement (CQI) program, provides members with the highest level of safety and patient care at no cost. PharmCAP members also receive a   discount with InfiniTrak, which offers a complete solution for Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) compliance requirements. Finally, PharmCAP members also receive a discount by using Private Eyes, Inc., a comprehensive criminal background check company.

PharmCAP’s services are available exclusively to members of EPIC Pharmacies, Inc. and EPIC Pharmacy Network, Inc. The priority is to save you time by making sense of rules and regulations, which saves you money. And with a 96 percent member satisfaction rate, the results speak for themselves.

To learn more about PharmCAP®, visit www.pharmcap.com or call 888-559-2039.

Start 2019 Strong Knowing These Quality Measure Changes

It’s no secret that performance on a variety of measures can have a significant impact on community pharmacies, especially when it comes to a store’s bottom line. A continued focus in 2019 on performance and quality will see payers seeking to improve health care quality and outcomes while reducing spending.

Continuations for 2019:

Although the specific quality measures that pharmacies are evaluated on is payer-specific, the focus will largely remain on the following categories:

  • Cholesterol (statin) proportion of days covered (PDC) aka adherence.
  • Renin-angiotensin system antagonist (RASA) PDC.
  • Diabetes (non-insulin meds) PDC.
  • Statin use in persons with diabetes (SUPD).
  • Comprehensive medication review (CMR) completion rate.

New and Notable in 2019:

Statin Use in Persons with Diabetes (SUPD) Becomes a Part D Star Measure
Previously a display measure, Statin Use in Persons with Diabetes (SUPD) is now a Medicare Part D Star measure. Performance on this measure will factor into a plan’s Star rating.

What this means for pharmacies: While some payers have evaluated pharmacy performance on this measure for some time, including factoring into direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees and pay-for-performance programs, they will likely be taking a closer look in 2019.

Statin Therapy for Patients with Cardiovascular Disease (SPC) is a Part C Measure

Measures the percentage of males 21 to 75 years of age and females 40 to 75 years of age who were identified as having clinical atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and were dispensed at least one high or moderate intensity statin medication during the measurement year.1

What this means for pharmacies: While not a contributor to DIR fees at this time, payers will likely be monitoring pharmacy performance in this area and may begin factoring it into pay-for-performance programs.

What Should I Do?

The Clinical Performance Dashboard was developed exclusively for EPIC Pharmacy Network, Inc. (EPN) members. It is designed to quickly and easily provide pharmacies with essential performance information. Pharmacies can view their performance at a glance for PrescribeWellness, EQuIPP, OutcomesMTM, and Mirixa; and, most importantly, are provided support on how to improve.

Interested in learning more about this exciting performance tool or viewing a demo? Contact the Clinical Programs Team online or at 800-965-EPIC (3742).

 

 

 

References:

  1. PQS Summary of Quality-Related Updates in the CY2019 Final Call Letter. PDF. 2019. Pharmacy Quality Solutions.

How EPIC Pharmacies can save your independent pharmacy money!

EPIC Pharmacies works with over 1,500 independently owned pharmacies across the country. As a buying group, we offer a full range of programs and services to return net revenues to members through monthly rebates and year-end distributions.

Directed by a board of independent pharmacists, EPIC Pharmacies is a true cooperative. Your EPIC Pharmacies membership will literally pay you back with the benefits of large-quantity pricing and our ability to return revenues directly to our members. Additionally, your EPIC Pharmacies membership includes membership in EPIC Pharmacy Network (EPN) and all of the third-party contracting services it provides to boost your bottom line.

With EPN, you’ll be better able to administer managed care with centralized third-party contracting and access to hundreds of third-party payers. You’ll have peace of mind knowing our lawyers provide a general review of each PBM contract to better protect our pharmacists. You’ll also have access to RxRegulatorTM, our electronic claims reconciliation program, designed to save you time and money. Regulatory compliance for pharmacies has become a major issue. The PharmCAP program has been developed to assist pharmacies with their documentation and tracking of compliance requirements.

The pharmacy industry is shifting toward pay-for-performance, and high-performing pharmacies and networks are being rewarded. Our Clinical Programs Department, led by an in-house PharmD, gives independent pharmacies the support, resources, and personalized assistance to succeed with pharmacy performance and medication therapy management (MTM), including comprehensive medication reviews (CMRs), while improving patient health.

Over 1,500 independent pharmacies turn to EPIC Pharmacies to help them with their bottom line. If you’re an independent pharmacist looking to take your business to the next level, contact EPIC Pharmacies today. We look forward to hearing from you!

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