The Annual Wellness Visit (AWV) is a trending pharmacy business tactic, with more and more owners adding the service to their repertoire. It’s an annual check up intended to update and review patient history, assess a patient’s vitals, screen them for risks and establish a list of their health care providers and medicines.
The AWV can be provided by any healthcare professional, including pharmacists, with physician approval, and is covered by Medicare B – which is great news for patients! Additionally, it is the perfect opportunity for independent pharmacies to offer value-added, relationship-building services to doctors.
According to a study conducted by the University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy, in about 40% of a pharmacist’s available working time, AWV could cover $120,000 of their annual salary, making it a particularly lucrative endeavor for increasing profitability. However, surprisingly, only 11% of patients are taking advantage of the opportunity for an AWV – mostly because they haven’t been asked - making this a hugely untapped market for pharmacy businesses.
Pharmacists who invest the time and resources in setting up the clinic in a doctor’s office and proactively reaching out to existing and new patients to get them scheduled for an AWV have huge potential for increased earnings.
The numerous advantages of AWV include...
- A better understanding of patient needs
- An opportunity to update files
- Increased profits by offering ancillary services, such as diabetic shoes and pharmacogenomic testing
- And, an important check-in with your patient, guaranteed to happen at least once a year!
It’s clear Annual Wellness Visits are a pharmacy business’s secret weapon!
5 Reasons Why Annual Wellness Visits Are Pharmacy Business’ Secret Weapon
1) Gain greater involvement in patient care
An Annual Wellness Visit is an opportunity to check in with your patients. It’s a great way to keep your patient files streamlined and up-to-date, which makes offering the best standard of care to your patients that much easier.
Having this guaranteed face-time with your patients also allows your team to share new programs and opportunities with your patients efficiently, as well as ensure your patients are following proper protocol when it comes to their medications.
2) Sync your patients
AWVs are also a fantastic time to focus on getting patients who haven’t taken advantage of medication synchronization. Your team can easily make the sync set up part of the visit and even look at offering applicable patients adherence services if that’s something your pharmacy offers.
3) Implement profit chart recommendations
During the AWV, you and your patient will both be focused on the conversation about their health care needs. This is an ideal time to implement strategic switches that your team may have identified through data mining and regular use of the PDS Profit Chart.
In some cases, you may be able to recommend a switch, such as a pain cream that yields superior results for your patient’s care and is also incredibility profitable to your business.
4) Complimentary products and add-ons
Due to the general nature of the Annual Wellness Visit, you’ll receive a comprehensive picture of your patient’s up-to-date health care needs, and your patient will likely be more receptive to a conversation about supplementary products.
With this style of visit, most patients are not in a rush and will be open to talking further about their needs and potentially beneficial products from their trusted healthcare provider.For example, the AWV is a great time to speak to diabetic care patients about diabetic strips and pain creams.
5) Nurture relationships with physician partners (and grow your client base)!
Working with a local physician to offer AWV in partnership is a great way to develop and build strong doctor-pharmacist relationships.
This can be extremely valuable when it comes to requesting medication switches with physicians, as well as a valuable way to grow your business through new patient opportunities.
Additionally, working in partnership with a physician (or a few physicians for AWV services) is a good gateway into developing other mutually beneficial clinics in partnership. For example, rolling out pain clinics, diabetic clinics and flu clinics with physician partners is a great way to nurture your business and optimize your opportunities for growth.