Is it true that doctors are having a tie-up with pharmacies? Is it possible that a pharmacist is benefiting financially from a physician’s decision to join a health plan? There are many reasons why a doctor would do so, but the financial benefit is less than obvious. Nonetheless, there are a number of reasons that a pharmacist would consider partnering with a physician.
Many pharmacy operators are not making this choice voluntarily. While it’s true that pharmacy services are becoming an important part of medical practice, it’s not one of their core competencies. In addition, the industry’s recent push toward direct contracting and value-based payment models have made pharmacy a less attractive option for ambulatory care providers. Furthermore, pharmacists are expensive to hire and integrate into an overall care model.
There are also significant barriers to becoming a clinical service provider. CVS, for example, operates about 7,600 pharmacies and 800 clinics. These relationships extend across several states. Although the financial benefit of these relationships is not necessarily apparent, the partnerships are advantageous for both parties. Some pharmacists have even questioned whether pharmacists should join a hospital system to improve patient care. However, others see the value in this and other partnerships.
In a blog post, general surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Singer wrote about the controversial issue of nonphysician prescribing. He argues that a physician’s role should not conflict with his role as a pharmacist. He also argues that physicians should not be in a position to profit from patients’ medicines. He also pointed to an Arkansas law that gave pharmacists the power to treat some conditions for which point-of-care tests were available.