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Special meeting in Washington DC to advocate for independent pharmacies, HME/DME providers, and small business
Special meeting in  Washington DC to advocate for independent pharmacies, HME/DME providers, and small business

Author: Pam Wedow, IMCO Home Care

We are excited to share with you that one of the EBS clients, was invited to participate in a very special meeting in Washington DC to advocate for small business, independent pharmacy, and the HME industry.

Dudley Hoskins Bostic, and her sister, Mollie Hoskins Scarbrough are owners of Hoskins Drug Store in Clinton, TN.  Hoskins Drug Store was invited to the White House to meet with Vice President Pence, Secretary Price, and SBA Administrator Linda McMahon, Kellyanne Conway, and CMS Administrator Seema Verma regarding the ACA and its impact on small business.  Their meeting took place on Monday, June 5th.

During the visit Dudley, whom spoke on the behalf of Hoskins Drug Store, highlighted their concern with competitive bidding and how it has adversely affected their business, as well as the access to care for their patients.  Hoskins Drug Store is a contract supplier for the Knoxville, TN CBA.  They won the contract for many of the competitive bid categories, however did not win the bid for oxygen equipment, which they had been servicing for their community residents for many years.  "They don't want multiple providers in and out of their homes-it's supposed to be a calming time for them, not a revolving door,"  Dudley states.  "They need everything, I can do beds and support surfaces, but I can't do oxygen.  What goes with oxygen, but a bed?  It make no good sense."

While discussing "cost savings" options, Dudley mentioned the need and desire to eliminate the audits and implement a prior authorization process for items over $150.  Dudley stated that Secretary Price and CMS Administrator, Seema Verma seemed to like the idea as they began jotting down notes as she spoke.  She also referenced cost saving ideas of including pharmacists as a part of the healthcare team, allowing them to treat patient's with standard cough and colds, as well as treatment and education of patients with diabetes and asthma.  Allowing pharmacists to participate in treating these patient's would eliminate excessive ER visits for routine care.

Dudley spoke about the low reimbursements that are being paid for many of the products and services.  Providers simply can not continue to dispense product/prescriptions, while being paid below their cost of goods.

During the roundtable discussion, Bostic says she told Price and Verma that Hoskins Drug Store's two priorities are getting pharmacists recognized as healthcare providers and securing reimbursements that goes along with that; and repealing and replacing the competitive bidding program.  "He pointed his finger (referring to Price) and said, "Yes ma'am," she said.

A special thanks to Dudley Hoskins Bostic, and her sister and co-owner Mollie Hoskins Scarbrough RPh, and daughter Mollie M Farrar, for stepping out to make a difference their community and for seizing the opportunity to shed light on the struggles in our industry has been facing and proposing real life solutions.

As an Independent Pharmacy, how can I create "Stickiness" with my customers?
As an Independent Pharmacy, how can I create

I wanted to share a few cool and creative ways some of our independent pharmacy accounts have created a truly unique store experience for the patients that they serve:

I love this idea! (pictured above) Many pharmacies are trying to return their image to the "old corner drug store" and take their customers on a trip back in time to the 1950's when soda fountains and malt shops where a common occurrence at the neighborhood drug store. Who wouldn't like to enjoy an old fashioned banana split while they wait on their prescriptions to be filled?

Rifles, Ammo, and Knives

               ... IN A PHARMACY?

When I walked into this customer for the first time, I took a double take.  But then, as I looked at the amount of folks in there browsing the selection of hunting and fishing merchandise - it hit me. This customer is a genius! Sure, they had the normal gift store offerings as well that most pharmacies offer, but they created a "Cabelas" type experience to help differentiate their store from their competitors. If you are an outdoor enthusiast and live in their area, I can bet this is where you go to get your prescriptions filled.



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