3 Benefits of Outsourced Clinical Pharmacy Services
If you’ve been contemplating how to articulate the value of the benefits of in-house vs outsourced pharmacy programs to internal leadership, you’re not alone. With ever-changing CMS Star measures, health plan quality and pharmacy leaders find themselves searching for the most cost-effective way to deliver high-quality medication consultations to their members. What are the benefits of outsourced pharmacy services vs in-house? Let’s dive in to find out.
The challenges of in-house pharmacy services
Cost and overhead
Creating in-house programs can be expensive. For small or regional health plans, it can be cost-prohibitive. The expenses associated with in-house health plan programs stem from the high costs of technology platforms and ongoing backend support. As health plans search for ways to drive value for their membership populations, they are looking toward value-based care initiatives to improve overall health and cost containment.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, staffing in every industry was in short supply, and healthcare is no exception. While healthcare employment has rebounded, it still lags compared to pre-COVID levels. This means that for health systems, health plans, and pharmacies, hiring highly skilled clinicians such as pharmacists is difficult and costly. As healthcare’s top medication experts, pharmacists go through extensive education and training to gain their clinical knowledge. This means that hiring, training, and retaining your own in-house team of pharmacists can come with a high price tag.
What are outsourced pharmacy services?
In recent years, as the tremendous value of pharmacists has become more recognized, new organizations have begun providing pharmacy services to health systems, insurers, and at-risk providers who are looking toward pharmacists for the next wave of revolution in healthcare.
Remote clinical pharmacy teams
The latest innovation in healthcare is the shift toward remote teams of clinical pharmacists. These pharmacists can utilize their skills from anywhere with an internet connection. This new remote model alleviates many of the struggles of traditional, in-person pharmacy environments. With a model staffed by remote pharmacists, there are no long lines, phones ringing off the hook, or inventory management . This allows remote clinical pharmacists to bring their whole selves to each medication consultation with their patients. When allowed to live up to their full potential, pharmacists can produce tangible results for the health of their patients, and the bottom lines of health plans.
Benefits of outsourced pharmacy services
Cost (and time!) savings
When you work with a partner to outsource your clinical pharmacy programs, the most immediate benefit is a reduction in cost. Outsourcing means that you no longer have the burden of finding, recruiting, and retaining expert pharmacists. Not to mention the costly office space that your team would occupy. Outsourcing allows your clinical pharmacy partner to use economies of scale to provide a pharmacist workforce that meets your needs.
Aspen RxHealth’s model, powered by remote pharmacists, allows unparalleled flexibility for health plans, health systems, at-risk providers, and other strategic partners to meet their goals without breaking their budget. Boasting over 7,000 pharmacists across the nation with fluency in over 27 languages and 65 clinical specialties, the Aspen RxHealth Pharmacist Community has the capacity to meet your needs, no matter how big or small. Because our pharmacists operate in a gig-economy model, they can be surged to meet a spike in consultation demand at a moment’s notice.
There’s no substitute for the clinical medication knowledge of pharmacists. From comprehensive medication reviews to medication reconciliation and adherence, pharmacists are best suited to delivering medication consultations. While some platforms use pharmacy technicians or students, Aspen RxHealth only uses licensed clinical pharmacists.
Beyond the quality of the consultations themselves, outsourced pharmacy programs can help to drive quality measures such as Star Ratings for health plans. With the performance of heavily weighted Star measures hanging in the balance, some health plans find themselves searching for a way to drive their quality ratings and ultimately, their bottom lines. Fortunately, pharmacists hold the keys to unlocking improved member health and Star Ratings.
What if I already have an in-house team?
The benefits of a remote pharmacist workforce are clear, but you already have your own in-house team. Are you out of luck?
Of course not.
For organizations that already employ their own teams of pharmacists, we created Alliance by Aspen RxHealth.
This new service delivery model equips your team with our award-winning technology to deliver consultations. No more back-end administrative work or building a tech stack. Alliance by Aspen RxHealth lets your team flex their clinical muscles and deliver high-quality care, and we handle the rest.
Here’s the best part—when your team uses the Aspen RxHealth platform, our Pharmacist Community is your backup plan. This means that should your team ever falter in its ability to deliver the needed consultation volume, with the flip of a switch, thousands of expert pharmacists can begin filling the gaps and delivering care to your members.
You can learn more about Alliance by Aspen RxHealth here.
When you’re ready to take the first step, we’ll be here.