Three Tips to Improve Your Pharmacy’s Star Ratings

In today’s ever-changing healthcare environment, pharmacists must be in a position to balance their core responsibilities with many others—including scheduling patient appointments, managing claims relationships, and staying HIPAA compliant—all the while maintaining critical star ratings.

As an independent pharmacy, meeting and exceeding Pharmacy Benefits Managers’ (PBMs) expectations and satisfying patients is essential to ensure ongoing network participation and gaining steady access to more patients. The following are practical ways to help improve patient outcomes—which ultimately can help improve your pharmacy’s star ratings:

Tip #1. Implement Medication Therapy Management (MTM)

Implementing a comprehensive MTM program is an area where your pharmacy can play a critical role that can both enhance your revenue opportunity and improve your star ratings. This  includes medication review with intervention, documentation, and follow-up. As an MTM pharmacist, you can play an active role in your patient’s medical team and become a resource as well as an advocate for your patients.

Tip #2. Provide Appointment-Based Medication Synchronization Programs

A recent study found that independent community pharmacies are well-positioned to provide appointment-based medication synchronization (ABMS) programs and increase medication adherence in patients taking chronic medications.1 In this study, it was determined that patients enrolled in an ABMS program who recently started a chronic medication had 3.4 to 6.1 times greater odds of adherence over a 1-year period than matched comparisons. This adherence to the recommended medication will naturally boost patient outcomes and can help improve overall star ratings.

Tip #3. Commit to Improving Pharmacist–Patient Counseling and Communication

The American College of Preventive Medicine estimates that “between 20% and 50% of patients do not adhere to their recommended medication schedule. For every 100 prescriptions written, 50-70 are filled by the pharmacy, 48-66 are picked up, 25-30 are taken properly, and 15-20 are refilled. Poor medical adherence is widespread and widely recognized but it is still difficult to determine which patients will or will not take their medication as directed.”2 What’s more, a recent study that compared physician communication with patient adherence discovered that patients are 2.26 times more likely to adhere to their treatment plan if their doctor communicates well.3 Clearly, a commitment to improving patient counseling and providing communication training for pharmacy staff will boost patient communication, increase adherence and can ultimately improve a pharmacy’s five star rating.

One final tip: For pharmacies like yours to achieve the best results in these programs, it is essential to utilize technology, provide patients with multiple channels of communication and create scheduling features on your website that can simplify appointment management and streamline scheduling.

Pharmacy Connect from Updox can help your pharmacy streamline your entire process to schedule and manage appointments for MTM and ABMS programs and eliminate manual, inefficient processes—saving you time and money. Your pharmacy benefits, and your patients receive the care they need.

Learn more by downloading our business brief titled “7 Ways to Improve Patient Care and Increase Pharmacy Revenue


1 American Journal of Managed Care

2 American College of Preventive Medicine

3 American College of Preventive Medicine

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