We’re just days away from the start of this year’s Medicare Open Enrollment period. It’s an important time for pharmacies and their Medicare-eligible patients. Patients can enroll in a Medicare Part D plan that will help them save money on their prescriptions. And retail pharmacies can help their Medicare-eligible patients choose a Part D plan that will not only save money on prescriptions, but also ensure they can continue to use their trusted, preferred pharmacy.
For most retail pharmacies, Medicare-eligible patients represent a significant source of recurring revenue. Pharmacies can take advantage of Medicare Open Enrollment to protect that revenue while also ensuring the continued health and happiness of those patients.
We recently conducted a survey to learn more about the pharmacy’s role in helping patients choose a Medicare Part D plan. The survey revealed that there are many factors at play in Medicare Part D plan decisions.
Balancing cost with pharmacy options
Our survey showed that cost is a prevailing concern for patients – and their pharmacists. When we asked about the key issues that factor into their decision to help patients navigate Medicare Part D plan options, we found that:
- 70% of pharmacists surveyed are concerned about the annual estimated prescription cost to the patient
- 52% said patients are concerned about their overall Medicare Part D plan cost and increase in drug copay
While cost savings are certainly important, our survey showed that many Medicare-eligible patients are more concerned about continuing to use their trusted local pharmacy. As many as 78% of pharmacists surveyed said keeping their trusted pharmacy in-network is most important to patients.
Helping patients choose a Medicare Part D plan
Given these concerns, we found that most pharmacists are not shy about helping their Medicare-eligible patients choose the right plan. The survey revealed that:
- 73% of pharmacists regularly communicate with patients about Medicare Part D
- 54% are very active or extremely active in helping patients choose a Medicare Part D plan
While insufficient staffing is a barrier for more than half of respondents to providing more plan selection services, many pharmacists plan to implement a technology solution to help with the task. When asked what type of solution they are looking into implementing, most respondents (62%) said they were considering an in-pharmacy plan finder tool.
Finding the right plan with Medicare Match
Medicare Match from EnlivenHealth is a Medicare plan finder solution that empowers pharmacies to strengthen their patient relationships while expanding revenue growth opportunities. With Medicare Match, pharmacists can efficiently support patients in choosing the Medicare plan that’s the perfect match for their healthcare needs and financial requirements.
The solution enables pharmacies to:
- Expand services and attract high-value patients by delivering Medicare plan comparison and selection support assistance
- Mitigate DIR fees by identifying plans with lower (or even zero) DIR fees
- Compare plans using out-of-pocket costs specific to the pharmacy and patients’ medications
- Deliver Medicare plan comparisons with minimal involvement from staff
The result is a true win-win for patients and the pharmacy’s bottom line.