May 30, 2000
Drug dispensing offers physicians
By Angie Antonopoulos
Physicians interested in increasing practice income may want to
consider dispensing drugs out of their office.
According to Bill Janis, Florida sales director for Physicians
Total Care (PTC) doctors can make from $20,000 to more than $90,000
by dispensing through this system - depending on prescribing habits
and payer mix.
"Doctors make $4-$5 per medication for managed care patients,
and three to four times that for Medicare, cash and Worker's Comp
patients." said Janis, who is expanding distribution in Florida
for the Tulsa, Oklahoma based company.
"The healthcare benefits alone make point-of-care dispensing
worthwhile," noted Janis; "the procedure decreases medication
non-compliance by more than half. Non-compliance is estimated to
cause $100 billion in avoidable medical costs each year- roughly
the amount spent on pharmaceuticals each year in the U.S."
Along with increased income, dispensing physicians reduce pharmacy
error and cut down or eliminate pharmacy call backs.
PTC's program, the PTC9000 Medication Management System for Windows,
reviews inventory automatically, checks for drug interactions and
allergy reactions, obtains payer approval, tracks medication histories,
and completes dispensing in only a few moments.
To ensure accuracy in drug dispensing, PTC's prepackaged medications
are bar-coded with the description, strength and count of the drug.
According to the Board of Medicine more the 1,600 physicians in
Florida are licensed to dispense pharmaceuticals. That number may
grow, Janis said., now that technology has made it easy for doctors
to communicate with payers electronically.
"Drug dispensing puts physicians in charge," said Warren
Moseley, president and CEO of PTC. "There's nothing more efficient
than coming out of a doctor's office with medication in hand."
Darshan Shah, MD, who opened a walk-in clinic in Stuart three months
ago, said he wanted to give drug dispensing a shot.
"I wanted to give patients more of a one-stop shop so they
don't have to go from here to there when they are sick," Shah
Currently, 80 percent of his patients are filling their prescriptions
through his practice. Twenty percent of those pay out of pocket.
Since Shah started drug dispensing using PTC's software and repackaged
medications, he said patients are very satisfied and that the convenience
he provides had not been a hassle.
Furthermore, he said the software has been easy to use.
"As long as I'm not losing money, I'm happy doing this."
For more information on Physicians Total Care, visit www.physicianstotalcare.com.