Forget the old fill-and-bill — 2022 is all about implementing clinical services that boost your bottom line. In the last year, independent pharmacists gained more authority than ever before. With each new move, pharmacists earned authority, credibility, and trust. In response, they opened up new services and created new streams of revenue.

Which ones will you be capitalizing on this year?

If you’re looking to expand your scope of practice and increase your profit, look no further. Learn about some of the most profitable clinical services in the industry and start implementing new opportunities for success in the New Year.

1. Immunizations

Almost two years into the pandemic, jabbing arms has become standard practice — but did you know that you can expand your immunization program well past COVID-19?

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) reports that 80% of pharmacies currently offer immunizations.

This means that the market is still untapped. In 2022, it’s one to jump on — as COVID-19, seasonal illnesses, and chronic diseases continue to run rampant. Not only do immunizations keep your patients safe, but they open up an opportunity to generate profit. As NCPA reports,

“As margins continue to shrink due to decreased PBM reimbursements, vaccines are a good way to increase your business & profitability. They also help add value to your patient base and can be a great tool to increase business in other areas as well as provide exposure to local physicians and businesses on other services that pharmacies can provide.”

So what immunizations should you be offering? PBA Health reports that these shots are some of the most profitable:

  • Influenza
  • Strep
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • HPV
  • Meningococcal
  • MMR

PBA Health goes on to say, “Multiple pharmacy experts say pharmacies that offer expanded immunizations can expect a minimum $40K per year in additional revenue, but more likely closer to $90K.” With estimates like these, immunizations are an opportunity you don’t want to miss out on.

When you decide to open up your program, choose a technology partner that can give you the tools you need to get more shots in more arms. PioneerRx Pharmacy Software offers a number of features designed for immunizations, from the Bulk Patient Process to the Vaccine Scheduler.

Click here to find out how PioneerRx can streamline every part of your patient process.

2. Point-of-Care Testing

Alongside immunizations, point-of-care testing has been one of the most important clinical services for community pharmacies. You’ve probably given your fair share of COVID-19 swabs, but are you making use of other testing opportunities. too?

If you haven’t started, you should — because, as NCPA reports, “Point-of-care testing is predicted to exceed immunizations as a driver of revenue for community pharmacies.”

Some of the most popular (and profitable) point-of-care tests include:

  • Strep
  • Influenza
  • HIV
  • Hepatitis C
  • Lipids
  • Hemoglobin A1c
  • HIV

Because patients pay for tests with cash, you can expect to see higher profit margins with point-of-care testing. As an added bonus, initial out-of-pocket expenses are low, too.

According to PBA Health, “Devices [for testing] run a few hundred dollars and often come with a bundle of free tests… On top of the cash payment, patients will inevitably leave the pharmacy with another purchase, whether it’s a prescription to treat a positive case or some OTC items to treat the symptoms in a negative case.”

For more information on how to start your new service, visit NCPA’s Point-of-Care Testing page. 

3. Lab Testing

Once you’ve got on-site testing in full gear, consider expanding into laboratory testing, too. Every year, over 7 billion lab tests are conducted — and independent pharmacies have an opportunity to get in on the action.

As NCPA reports, “Lab tests offered through your pharmacy can lower the healthcare costs to your patients and [give you] the opportunity to provide incremental healthcare services to your customers and patients while generating incremental income for your business.”

Estimates suggest that the market size for lab tests is 58x larger than the market for flu shots.

Not only is the market big, but so is the opportunity for profit. With more patients in your door, you can generate more income from testing. You can also bundle tests with immunizations or supplemental OTC items, opening up revenue even more.

Popular lab tests include:

  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Basic metabolic panel
  • Lipid panel
  • Cultures — for illnesses like pneumonia, meningitis, and urinary tract infections
  • Pharmacogenetic testing — which can pull in an estimated $8,500/month alone

With so many options available, lab testing is a lucrative business opportunity. If you haven’t started yet, this is your sign.

To learn more about this service, look to NCPA’s Lab Testing page.

4. Specialty Pharmacy

Dispensing is the bread-and-butter of pharmacy, but some prescriptions prove to be powerful sources of revenue. Specialty medications treat specific conditions like cancer, Chron’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and more: and, often, they come at higher price tags.

While specialty medications make up less than 1% of prescriptions dispensed, they account for almost 38% of total pharmacy spending in the US.

When you dispense these medications, you can bring in more revenue and, more importantly, give vulnerable patients the care they need.

According to PBA Health, specialty pharmacy is a “competitive advantage for independents because many times patients are getting [these] medications from their specialty pharmacy and the rest of their medications locally. This is an opportunity to provide better care under one pharmacy.”

Patients that take specialty medications are also more likely to take advantage of other services, like patient counseling and medication therapy management (MTM). Thus, they can not only increase your revenue but diversify it at the same time.

If you’re interested in specialty pharmacy, get in while the market’s still hot. In 2020, only 1,200 pharmacies held specialty accreditation — meaning that it’s a niche service that your pharmacy can fill.

For advice and additional resources, visit NCPA’s Specialty Pharmacy page.

5. Veterinary Care

For most people, four-legged friends are like family: and families care for each other in sickness and in health. It’s no surprise, then, that pet owners spent over $100 billion on their pets in 2020. Of that amount, they spent nearly $22 billion on supplies and OTC medication. Who better to provide those items than your pharmacy?

Chris Cielewich, Senior Vice President and General Manager of FLAVORx, a company designed to help the medicine go down, says, “It’s safe to say that 65 to 70% of the patients you’re currently filling scripts for probably have a pet at home… If they’re not getting their [pet’s] prescription from you, that’s an opportunity to grow your business.”

If you’re looking for a way to diversify your revenue, look to veterinary care. You can offer a number of products and services to accommodate all of your patients’ furry family members. They include:

  • Compounding — including treats, capsules, creams, and even flavoring. To learn more about flavoring (with options like bacon, beef, and peanut butter), watch Chris’s episode of the Catalyst Pharmacy Podcast:

  • Specialty medications
  • Vitamins and supplements
  • Specialty foods
  • Pet care products
  • Accessories

Pet care profit margins are high, especially when it comes to medications. Because most medications are paid in cash, you don’t have to worry about low reimbursements or pesky DIR fees. As a result, pet care can offset the costs of standard care: so they’re great services to have hand-in-hand (or, in this case, paw-in-paw).

With the New Year in full swing, take advantage of these profit-making, pharmacy-shaping clinical services. With the right tools on your side — especially your PioneerRx Pharmacy Software System — you can get a new service up and running in no time, then start reaping the rewards. What are you waiting for?

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