The importance of the local independent pharmacy in the United States can’t be understated. These businesses provide vital prescriptions and health services to millions of Americans, including many who do not live near some of the larger, national pharmacy chains.
There’s nothing like the “service with a smile” personal approach that an independent pharmacy can provide, especially for long-time customers.
According to the National Community Pharmacists Association, 77% of independent pharmacy businesses offer their service to rural areas and towns with 50,000 people or fewer. Some 21% of all zip codes have access to an independent community pharmacy only, not a major chain.
The Impact of the Pandemic
When the coronavirus pandemic arrived in 2020, independent pharmacies were harder hit than the national chains. Independents did not have the deep financial backing that larger chains have under parent companies, and the economic losses piled up quickly. Sadly, some have closed their doors altogether.
To adjust, the majority of independent pharmacists got ready to administer COVID-19 vaccines. They were prepared to perform testing too, but initially faced challenges in obtaining test kits authorized by the FDA. Some, already economically strapped, were worried about getting reimbursed for the testing services they wanted to perform.
Big Pharmacy Chains and Vaccine Fiascos
As the vaccine was approved and began to roll out, independents found a way to step up to the plate and help with continued COVID-19 testing and vaccine dosage delivery. These independents were once again on the frontlines helping to keep their communities healthy and safe.
Larger chains were in the news time after time for everything from incorrect administration to wasting precious vaccine doses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted close to 200,000 doses had gone to waste in March of 2021, a year into the pandemic.
With economies impacted and people eager to get back to some sense of normalcy, every wasted dose meant further delays and lost opportunities for a faster recovery.
Independent Pharmacies and COVID Support
Community pharmacies have been praised for their critically important role in helping communities with testing and vaccine dosing.
On average, local community pharmacies tend to have more staff per customer than larger chains, which allows them to provide more personal care. Many independent pharmacists are on a first-name basis with their customers.
Another important service that independent pharmacists provide is comfort and care. While typically not licensed mental therapists, they nonetheless offered kind words or thoughts of comfort as people struggled with the changes endemic to the pandemic.
Supporting Independent Pharmacists’ Needs
Mobile MediClaim recognizes the value of independent pharmacists and is here with services to support them. We help pharmacists with a simple and easy claim process, contracting support, and medical billing.
Community pharmacists should be focusing on the people they care for; we streamline medical billing for pharmacists to keep customers their priority.
Mobile MediClaim is designed to support independent pharmacists. To learn more about how Mobile MediClaim can help, schedule a demo today.