Swope Health Services (SHS), in Kansas City, Mo., is the largest Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in the Midwest. It has been a cornerstone of healthcare for four decades, currently serving 40,000 residents from nine medical and residential treatment centers located throughout the greater metropolitan area. At all clinic sites, 90 percent of the patients live below the poverty line and 10,600 are children. Many patients are employed and uninsured, and 45% are Medicaid recipients.
Integrated Pharmacy Services Reap Patient Benefits
SHS runs a $40 million operation, having built a national reputation for its commitment to comprehensive model of healthcare, which includes integrated pharmacy services.
While many FQHCs do not operate on-site pharmacies, SHS is a big advocate of the value of an integrated Pharmacy Services Program. “Convenience for our patient is a big plus as many patients lack reliable transportation. And because we are located within the clinic our pharmacist can easily collaborate with providers, helping them to tailor appropriate medication therapies,” states Mike Hattaway, R.Ph., Chief Pharmacist at SHS.
“Utilizing technology behind the pharmacy counter, as well as technology-based services with our patients, we’ve been able to add many new pharmacy programs. We have more time to interact with our providers, nursing staff, and most importantly, our patients.
“When you can streamline operations – and especially when you have pharmacy systems that are integrated with the clinic’s patient records – that’s when you’re in the best position to efficiently and accurately handle DUR, adjudication, etc., and really be present for your patients.”
Generating Revenue for Overall Health System
Mike Hattaway, R.Ph., Chief Pharmacist
“By focusing on and expanding our 340B program, we recognized there would be great benefits for both our patients and the overall entity’s bottom line. The cost of some medications can drop from hundreds of dollars to pennies, making a lot of products more affordable and thereby improving access to medication for our self-pay patients.” Mike notes. “Additionally, the pharmacy can generate much needed revenue, allowing us to stretch our federal and state funding for valuable programs.
“When we can support our patients’ access to affordable prescriptions, and offer the on-site convenience, we’re able to net those prescriptions and grow our volume. There’s also noticeable financial savings when our patients understand their prescriptions and adhere to the clinical protocols outlined for them. They’re better able to manage chronic conditions, not needing to return as frequently due to emergency health concerns.”
SHS Looks to the Future
It’s no surprise that SHS is continually looking to the future and finding ways to better meet the needs of their patient population.
It recently received a $1M grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to greatly expand capacity for its Ob-Gyn and Pediatric clinics in spring 2017. SHS also plans to build a specialty clinic that will offer cardiology, gastroenterology, and possibly podiatry services. Learn more about Swope Health Services.