Reasons to Open an Outpatient Pharmacy
December 2011 - Vol. 8 No. 12 - Page #42

When evaluating the viability of opening an outpatient pharmacy at your facility, it is not enough to have sufficient space for the pharmacy and to think, “Why not?”. For the outpatient pharmacy to be successful, there must be a specific need or gap in patient care that the pharmacy will address.

There are three reasons to open an outpatient pharmacy: for profit, to service unique patient needs, and to offer 340B benefits. Making a profit should not be the primary motivating factor in the decision to open an outpatient pharmacy; providing a location for patients to access hard-to-find medications is a better reason, as it results in improved patient care. Taking advantage of 340B discounts is a worthwhile pursuit, but can only be utilized if the facility is 340B-contracted. Some facilities have opened successful 340B outpatient pharmacies inside the lobby gift shop. The 340B program provides enormous cost savings on medications, and patients find it convenient to pick up these deeply discounted drugs at the same time that they purchase other items. Facilities that are 340B-eligible can operate self-sustaining outpatient pharmacies, provided there is a sufficiently high volume of patients.

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WHERE TO FIND: Outpatient Pharmacy Automation

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