Compliance is a confusing issue for many pharmacy owners. It is made even more confusing when each compliance company says they are the best, most affordable, etc. Thus, how does a pharmacy owner with limited time decide what company to choose?
The first thing to know is that most of these companies do not provide everything required for a pharmacy to be fully compliant. They may have the more obvious components, like HIPAA, Fraud, Waste and Abuse and Exclusion Checks. However, what about Pseudoephedrine Compliance, FDA Track and Trace, OSHA, Cultural Competency and Non-Discrimination, Quality Assurance, Pharmacy Operations Manual and Employee Handbook, to name a few. Moreover, what about compliance programs that can expand your bottom-line like Point-of-Care Testing and Immunization – do they have those?
It is critically important that a pharmacy compliance provider have an experienced pharmacist on staff to give insight into daily pharmacy operations and workflow. They can offer the necessary input on how the requirements of the various pharmacy compliance programs affect operations and workflow. How can you write the best pharmacy compliance program for retail pharmacy if principal staff and employees have never worked in and/or owned a pharmacy and none of them is a pharmacist? The answer is easy; you simply can’t. A compliance provider who employs experienced retail pharmacists and pharmacy owners will always be the best choice. Be especially careful of the self-proclaimed experts and remember…a little research goes a long way.
Most of the current pharmacy compliance companies, with the exception of PRS, are missing programs critical to a pharmacy’s overall legal compliance. Here are just a few of the programs every other competitor is missing and their importance:
- FDA Track and Trace (Drug Supply Chain and Security ACT (DSCSA) – FDA mandated as of March 1, 2016. All Pharmacies must have practices in place to investigate suspect medication and receive and store the Transaction History, Information, and Statements for all drugs received for a period of at least 6 years.
- Pharmacy Operations Manual – Collection of PRS, state and federal good business practices to help your Pharmacy operation run more smoothly. Some State Boards and other entities require an Ops Manual.
- Employee Handbook Template – Some business insurances and overall best practices require an Employee Handbook.
- Form I-9 Immigration Compliance – The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires all employers to retain a completed I-9 form for each employee. This program gives you the rules and the tools for collecting, documenting, destroying (when appropriate), and auditing these I-9 forms.
So how do you decide which company to choose? In addition to the quality and providing a wide selection of required and optional programs, you need to look at what industry experts have to say, the company’s reputation and ask if there is an experienced retail pharmacist on staff. Here is a chart comparing PRS to our competitors:
|ITEM||PRS Pharmacy Services||P**S||R******S||W*********S|
|Are principals, owners or any employees licensed pharmacists who have worked in retail pharmacy?||Public Company|
|Has principal staff or the owner ever owned and operated a retail pharmacy?||Public Company|
|Clients and experience in all 50 States|
|Does the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) endorse them?|
|Does the Federation of Pharmacy Networks (FPN) endorse them – FPN has 26 Member Buying Groups representing over 15,000 Independent Pharmacies?|
PRS Pharmacy Service’s Compliance Program is the most endorsed, comprehensive and cost efficient on the market. If you still aren’t certain, we invite you to ask some of the thousands of pharmacies we currently provide compliance programs to and see what they say. Give us a call and we will put you in touch. Better yet, call NCPA or the Federation of Pharmacy Networks, the two largest organizations representing independent pharmacy in the U.S., and ask who they recommend for pharmacy compliance. The answer will be PRS Pharmacy Services.
And after all of this if you still need more proof…ask your insurance auditors what they think about PRS Compliance Programs. We have had many, many pharmacy owners tell us that when the auditor asks about compliance and finds out PRS is their provider; the compliance part of audit was pretty much over. Here is an actual Auditor’s quote, “if you are using PRS, I know you are compliant and I don’t need to review your programs. PRS is in many other pharmacies I audit and I have never found an issue.” Many other auditors have made similar comments. Don’t hesitate to call us today, we will gladly put you in touch with PRS clients who have had a similar experience with insurance auditors.
Oh, one more thing, after providing multiple compliance programs to thousands of pharmacies, over many years, not one single pharmacy has ever been fined while using PRS’s Compliance Programs. Moreover, PRS is the only pharmacy compliance company confident enough in its HIPAA and FWA Programs to guarantee that if you are ever fined while following these programs, we will pay the fine. As you may know, HIPAA and FWA are the largest fine generators and as a pharmacy owner myself, that’s real peace of mind.
-Harry Lattanzio, R.Ph. President of PRS Pharmacy Services
About the Author:
Harry Lattanzio is a registered Pharmacist, Pharmacy Owner and President of PRS Pharmacy Services and has been helping independent pharmacies succeed for over thirty-five years.
He has spoken numerous times in front of top pharmacy and medical professionals both in the US and overseas on the topic of American pharmacy practice. He directed and oversaw the opening of PRS’s first overseas pharmacy and has consulted on pharmacy projects in Eastern Europe and Asia.
Harry was the recipient of the first Pharmacy Times Next Generation Pharmacist Award for Industry Advocate of the Year created to honor the future of pharmacy and the professionals who are defining it through their innovative professional practice.