Increasing Preferred Pharmacy Usage (3 of 3)

This is the third of three posts on new ideas for increasing usage:
  1. Driving preferred pharmacy usage from the employer site
  2. Using social media
  3. Borrowing from other industries

The idea in all of these was to look at new ways that builds on the standard approach that we work with many clients on today.  And, if you believe that the Express Scripts / Walgreens dispute won’t get resolved, we’re going to see a lot of people using limited or preferred networks very soon.  This is also something that Adam Fein talked about in highlighting some of the progress Wal-Mart is making in this area.

So what are some examples of things we could borrow from other industries?

Referral Program:  Why not offer incentives for people who refer their friends and family into the pharmacy? Wouldn’t this play into the social network or peer-to-peer trends out there?

Satisfaction Surveys:  Why isn’t there more monitoring of the customer satisfaction to look for improvement opportunities?  [Note: I know there is some, but I think it’s under-utilized as a tool.]

Tiered Service Levels:  Frequent travelers get different levels of customer service.  Why don’t high utilizers with lots of co-morbidities and Rxs get a better level of service?

Points:  Why aren’t there more incentive systems and “points” that are used to reward consumers based on share-of-wallet or other metrics?  [I think there may be some legal issues here.]

Online Order Tracking:  Why can’t I watch my prescription being filled and track it around the system online?

Pharmacy Ratings:  Why isn’t there a consumer and business system that ranks pharmacies based on wait time, friendliness of staff, error rates, generic fill rates, overall satisfaction, or other metrics that can then be pushed to the consumers?

Incentives / Coupons: Certainly these have been tried and there are limits here especially in government funded benefits, but it’s still few and far between.

MD Programs: Physicians can certainly influence this decision.  Why isn’t there more effort to differentiate a pharmacy (mail, retail, specialty) by building relationships with high prescribers?

Check-in / Preferences: Why don’t the forms in the physician’s office (or applications) have you select a preferred pharmacy or have a pop-up with a preferred pharmacy in it to drive you there?

Credit: For some people, it’s an issue to front the money for the 90-day supply.  Why haven’t the mail order pharmacies partnered with a credit card company to allow for installment payment?

If you’re going to “win” at this game, you have to think differently.  You have to test and learn.  You have to capture insights from your customers and translate them into product offerings.  It’s not easy.

One Response to “Increasing Preferred Pharmacy Usage (3 of 3)”

  1. I’m surprised online tracking of rx is not available already for retail. It could be as simple as showing just two states: 1. Dropped off 2. Ready for pickup. This information is already tracked internally, so why not make it available? This would be an excellent way to collect customer’s email addresses too. I’m shaking my head with this one.

    But as for other incentive ideas, perhaps they haven’t been successful because it is perverse to essentially reward people for being ill and take large quantity of medications, not to mention the fact that bulk of the bills are footed by health plans and government.

    Extra friendliness and personalized service at retail pharmacies come naturally to frequent customers anyway. Making this official may not have the same effect as Amex rewarding their top spenders with tiered concierge service.

    Instead, it would be like, a bartender providing discounts and personalized service to a regular customer who is alcoholic, which would be rather depressing for both the bartender and the customer.

    Love the revised layout. 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: