Community Pharmacies Must Position Themselves as Part of the Healthcare Team, New URAC White Paper Says

Old time pharmacy

WASHINGTON, DC – June 5, 2018 – A new Industry Insight Report released by pharmacy accreditor URAC today shares expert insights into the challenges faced by community pharmacies in a fast-changing, turbulent environment, and how they are adapting and innovating to succeed in a value-based healthcare economy.

In brief:

  • The report, “Retail Community Pharmacies: Adapting and Innovating to Succeed in a Turbulent Marketplace,” outlines five major challenges: industry consolidation, specialty pharmacy market growth, technology choices, provider status, and collaborative practice agreements.
  • Interviews with industry experts provide various perspectives, insights, and tips on successfully navigating these challenges
  • Pharmacists must adapt to succeed in the new healthcare economy. Those who position themselves as an essential part of the healthcare team will succeed – and those who don’t are likely to lose out.
  • The report concludes with the opportunity for community pharmacies to demonstrate they have the processes in place to provide quality, patient-centered services and the ability to monitor their performance, through URAC accreditation.

Click here to download the report.

The pharmacy industry is evolving, fueled by major changes in the healthcare environment, including value-based reimbursement, the impending physician shortage, demand for better patient outcomes, rising cost of prescription drugs, rapid increase in the incidence of chronic diseases, and more.

This Industry Insight Report focuses on retail community pharmacies (independent pharmacies, chain drugstores, and pharmacies in supermarkets and mass merchants), diving into five major challenges. Experts discuss what’s driving the mergers and acquisitions in the industry, and what retail community pharmacies need to do to remain competitive. While launching a specialty pharmacy practice has emerged as a potentially effective way for pharmacies to thrive, experts provide advice for independent pharmacies thinking about expanding into the specialty market, including doing a detailed readiness assessment.

The report also discusses how technology can help reduce dispensing errors and improve medication adherence. Community pharmacists are uniquely positioned to help improve medication adherence because of their access to the prescription refill information and frequent interactions with patients.

A big hurdle for pharmacists to overcome is attaining provider status so that they can be compensated directly for pharmacy care and clinical services. The community pharmacy lobby has worked for years to push federal legislation to ensure its pharmacists get paid for such services without much luck, but recently there’s been some traction on Capitol Hill.

For the last challenge described, experts give tips on developing relationships to obtain collaborative practice agreements, the “Holy Grail of clinical services in the community pharmacy.”

Finally, the report explains why community pharmacies pursuing URAC Community Pharmacy accreditation would benefit from the process, and introduces Tom Davis, RPh, Vice President of Pharmacy Professional Practices at CVS Pharmacy, which is URAC-accredited for Community Pharmacy.

Davis says: “As a pharmacy innovation company, we are constantly introducing new patient care programs aimed at improving medication adherence or enhancing the programs we already have in place. The URAC reaccreditation process ensures that our work always meets strict quality and patient safety standards and helps us continue to provide optimal pharmacy care to all of our patients.”


About URAC
Founded in 1990, URAC is the independent leader in advancing healthcare quality through leadership, accreditation, measurement and innovation. URAC offers a wide range of quality benchmarking programs that reflect the latest changes in healthcare and provide a symbol of excellence for organizations to showcase their validated commitment to quality and accountability. URAC’s evidence-based measures and standards are developed through inclusive engagement with a broad range of stakeholders committed to improving the quality of healthcare. For more information, visit

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