Offer Your Medicare Expertise

October 18, 2019 | Smart-Fill

You are in a unique position to serve your current and future patients at a time in need. Over the next month, everyone 65 and older will be considering their Medicare and prescription options—and, as you know, they may be choosing between several difficult financial options. Some will try to make their decision on their own. Many others will turn to their children or other family or friends for help. This is where you come in. You can be the trusted expert they can count on for guidance.

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Congrats, Lone Star Pharmacy—2019 GNP Pharmacy of the Year!

September 05, 2019 | Smart-Fill

We are excited to announce that, for the second consecutive year, Good Neighbor Pharmacy named a Smart-Fill member as its pharmacy of the year! The award “recognizes a pharmacy that exemplifies what it means to be a pillar in the community they serve. Beyond filling prescriptions, they display excellence in patient care, community outreach, and innovative pharmacy practice.”

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Ready, Set, Vaccinate!

August 15, 2019 | Smart-Fill

With the re-emergence of diseases like measles, vaccines continue to make headlines. Pharmacists arguably must make vaccines a priority. In addition to growing top-line revenue, a robust immunization practice makes your pharmacy more than a dispensary—it makes it a wellness destination. As you gear up for the coming flu season, here are a few things to keep in mind.

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From ThoughtSpot 2019: Get Local with Digital

August 08, 2019 | Pamela Youngberg

One of the most exciting digital outreach opportunities for community businesses—according to Denver-based Alex Porter, CEO of Location3—is the “near me” function introduced by Google. It’s gained 500 percent in usage over the past two years. Porter presented “Get Local! Increasing Pharmacy Revenue with Digital Marketing” at ThoughtSpot 2019 and shared several ways for community pharmacies to do better with their local marketing efforts. Here are three critical components to add to your strategy.

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From ThoughtSpot 2019: National Diabetes Prevention Program

July 31, 2019 | Pamela Youngberg

The conceptual framework for a new diabetes prevention program went through a series of pilots across the country in 2016, each coming to the same conclusion: it works. Over the typical course of a 15-month program, healthcare cost savings of more than $2k per participant were achieved. The pilot programs, many of which were run through local YMCAs, provided enough proof of concept to warrant the launch of the National Diabetes Prevention Program which supplies education, coaching, and support to patients. Once those patient outcomes are met, with its built-in opportunity for profit, the program is a boon to pharmacists, who are often untapped resources in the fight against the disease.

In the “National Diabetes Prevention Program: An Opportunity for Pharmacy” presentation at ThoughtSpot 2019, co-presenters Bill Popomaronis (NCPA), Ashley Keller (STRAND Clinical Technologies), and Donna Avant, RPh (Ehrhardt Pharmacy), identified a few tips for taking advantage of the program in the community pharmacy setting.

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The Weekly Roundup: Continued State Action on Step Therapy (7.19.19)

July 19, 2019 | Pamela Youngberg

In May, CMS announced its final rule allowing step therapy for Medicare Part B drugs. Although various interests pushed back, the move had clearly been signaled, pushing legislators across the country into motion to counter—or at least clarify—the plans to mandate the approach. Almost two dozen states thus far have addressed step therapy—or as opponents like to refer to it, the “fail-first policy”—at their respective legislatures. This includes last year’s efforts in our home state of Minnesota and the bill signed this month in Wisconsin that seeks to provide for a more clear patient appeal process.

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Time to Buy or Sell? Keep it in the (independent) family.

July 12, 2019 | Pamela Youngberg

Owning a pharmacy is complicated. You are responsible for delivering the highest level of patient care. You are running a business in one of the most tumultuous and competitive markets the industry has ever seen. And, you are responsible for representing the voice of independent pharmacy both in your community and in your local, state, and national legislative bodies.

When it comes time to sell your pharmacy—or to add one to your existing roster of businesses—that complexity increases. But don’t worry if you haven’t mastered every aspect of the transition process. Here are a few things to keep in mind whether you are buying or selling:

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The Weekly Roundup: Alzheimer’s Awareness (7.5.19)

July 05, 2019 | Pamela Youngberg

Although Alzheimer’s Awareness Month has come to a close, there is still plenty of time to put together a team to join the Walk to End Alzheimer’s scheduled to take place near you. For Astrup Companies—the family-owned Minnesota company that started Smart-Fill; a couple of dozen retail, long-term care, and specialty pharmacies; and a smattering of other pharmacy-related businesses—supporting Alzheimer’s research is an important, and very personal, part of our mission. Our founder, Leonard Astrup, lost his battle with the disease five years ago, which is why we keep tabs on the latest research developments in the industry and companies that are emerging to make a difference in the fight to end the disease. It’s also what makes stories of thwarted research (login required) so disheartening. Many of our patients, and no doubt yours, have personal stories about how the disease has impacted their lives and the lives of those they love. To that end, we’re happy to share with our community some patient and caregiver resources as well as this downloadable sheet on the warning signs of disease, all of which you can feel free to share with your patients. For more information on how you can help, find your local Alzheimer’s Association chapter here.

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