78% of Retail Pharmacists Fear Losing Patients When They Choose New Medicare Plans

Additionally, approximately 70% who responded to the EnlivenHealth survey say that one-third or more of their revenue comes from individuals eligible for the government health insurance.

More than 78% of retail pharmacists fear losing their high-value and Medicare-eligible patients when the patients choose a Medicare plan that are out of their pharmacy’s networks, according to the results of a national survey administered by EnlivenHealth.

Approximately 70% of pharmacists who responded said that one-third or more of their pharmacy revenue comes from individuals who are eligible for Medicare.

Additionally, more than half of survey respondents said that their patients have expressed concern about increased drug copays and the overall cost of Medicare plans.

“Medicare-eligible patients are often the life blood of the retail pharmacy, which is why we believe the majority of pharmacists responding to our national survey were so concerned about losing these valuable patients when these patients choose a new Medicare plan,” Danny Sanchez, senior vice president and general manager of EnlivenHealth, said in a statement.

“We have been working closely with pharmacies large and small to empower them to retain their Medicare-eligible patients by helping patients successfully navigate the major life event of enrolling in a Medicare plan that’s right for them. With our Medicare Match solution, we believe pharmacists can further enhance their growing role as a trusted community health care provider and advisor focused on their patients’ health and wellbeing,” Sanchez said.

Investigators also found that more than half the pharmacists who responded ranked “insufficient staffing” as the main barrier to implementing Medicare plan comparison solutions in their pharmacies.

For pharmacists who provide this service to patients, the respondents indicated that in-person communication was the preferred method for patients.

Approximately 75% of pharmacies that responded to the survey said they use in-person communication to regularly engage with patients about enrollment to Medicare Part D.

“Medicare plan comparisons have always been important for our pharmacy to ensure our patients can afford their medications and, ideally, save money. In our view, Social Security and pension benefits have not increased their payments enough to counter current levels of inflation,” Nicolette Mathey of Palm Harbor Pharmacy in Palm Harbor, Florida, said in the statement regarding EnlivenHealth’s Medicare Match solution.

We think inflationary pressures make plan comparisons even more important for this year’s Annual Enrollment Period,”

Additional findings showed that 54% of pharmacist indicated that they are “very active” or “extremely active” in helping patients choose a Medicare plan.

Approximately 73% of respondents said that they regularly communicate with their patients about Medicare Part D enrollment.

In addition, approximately 82% of pharmacists indicated that they want to improve adherence and health outcomes for patients who are eligible for Medicare.

EnlivenHealth conducted the survey in July 2022 and surveyed 14,450 retail pharmacists, with 375 respondents completing the survey.

The results were intended to provide information about the expectations of pharmacy patients’ Medicare plan selection.

Reference

New EnlivenHealth national survey finds majority of retail pharmacists fear losing high- value, Medicare-eligible patients when those patients change Medicare plans. News release. EnlivenHealth. August 23, 2022. Accessed August 25, 2022. Email.

https://www.pharmacytimes.com/view/78-of-retail-pharmacists-fear-losing-patients-when-they-choose-new-medicare-plans