Frequently Asked Questions
- Q?Is Physician Dispensing Legal?
Physician Dispensing is legal in most states and limited in others. States like New York, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, Texas, and Wyoming have restrictions, but still allow dispensing with restrictions. It’s best to check your state’s medical board or pharmacy board for up-to-date information. This summary is intended as a guide only. It is not a legal opinion. It represents best knowledge at time of publication.
- Alabama – Permitted
- Alaska – Permitted
- Arkansas – Permitted
- California – Permitted
- Colorado – Permitted
- Connecticut – Permitted
- District of Columbia – Permitted
- Delaware – Permitted
- Florida – Permitted
- Georgia – Permitted
- Hawaii – Permitted
- Idaho – Permitted
- Illinois – Permitted
- Indiana – Permitted
- Iowa – Permitted
- Kansas – Permitted
- Louisiana – Permitted
- Maine – Permitted
- Maryland – Permitted
- Massachusetts – Restricted
- Michigan – Permitted
- Minnesota – Permitted
- Mississippi – Permitted
- Missouri – Permitted
- Montana – Restricted
- Nebraska – Permitted
- Nevada – Permitted
- New Hampshire – Permitted
- New Jersey – Restricted
- New Mexico – Permitted
- New York – Restricted
- North Carolina – Permitted
- North Dakota – Permitted
- Ohio – Permitted
- Oklahoma – Permitted
- Oregon – Permitted
- Pennsylvania – Permitted
- Rhode Island – Permitted
- South Carolina – Permitted
- South Dakota – Permitted
- Tennessee – Permitted
- Texas – Restricted
- Utah – No
- Vermont – Permitted
- Virginia – Permitted
- Washington – Permitted
- West Virginia – Permitted
- Wisconsin – Permitted
- Wyoming – Permitted
- Q?Will My Staff Have To Count Pills?
Medication is packaged in standard sizes and no pill counting is required. We do offer bulk dispensing if that is an option your practice would like to explore.
- Q?Who Can Dispense or Assist?
States vary on who can assist, but most states allow the doctors staff to assist under the supervision of the physician on site. Be sure to check your state regulations.
- Q?How Is Billing Handled?
Cash and Carry programs handle the transaction as a “cash sale.” No billing is required. If your office is participating in “Commercial Claims Adjudication” then your office would be doing the billing when you electronically transmit the claim.
- Q?Will Physician Dispensing Raise My Malpractice Insurance?
It should not raise your malpractice insurance. Most doctors offices are already passing out samples to their patients and there is no more risk than writing a script to a patient. If this is a concern for you, then contact your insurance agent.
- Q?Can We E-Prescribe Medication?
Our system does capture electronic prescriptions sent via EMR to our system saving time and effort.
- Q?How Long Will It Take To Get Medication?
Medication typically arrives between 4-7 days after an order.
- Q?Will Inventory Take Up A Lot Of Space?
Depends on how much you order, but most medications can fit in a 36 x 18 x 72 cabinet.
- Q?What Medications Can I Inventory?
You can inventory any medication you can typically prescribe to a patient. There may be some limitations on controlled medication per state regulations, but typically this isn’t an issue.
- Q?How Are Medications Stored?
Most offices typically store their medication where they store their samples. To be compliant with DEA & FDA regulations, you will need a locked cabinet if you plan on carrying controlled medication. The locked cabinet must have a double lock on the cabinet or be in a room that is behind a locked door. Contact your state medical board or pharmacy board for more information specific to your state guidelines.
- Q?How Long Can Medication Be Stored?
Most medications that are prepackaged come with a year or longer shelf life.
- Q?How Much Inventory Do I Need?
Initially we recommend 1-3 months of medication on your first order. The goal is to only order medication that you will routinely prescribe on a consistent basis. You can always grow and expand your formulary in the future.
- Q?What Hardware Is Needed?
Our system only requires a computer with an internet connection, pharmacy paper, and a dedicated laser printer. Cabinets may also be required if stocking controlled medication.
- Q?How Much Time Will Physician Dispensing Take?
Physician Dispensing can be a very simple and quick process. The process involves scanning the medication, printing a label and collecting payment. Every practice has a different process on how they dispense, but the basic mechanics of dispensing is pretty simple.
- Q?How Will Physician Dispensing Benefit My Patients?
Convenience is the main benefit to the patients. The last thing sick patients want to do is make an extra stop to a pharmacy when they are not feeling well. Patients will typically travel 10-20 minutes out of their way to a pharmacy, wait another 20 minutes to get their medication filled and possibly do some shopping while they wait.
- Q?Are Controlled Meds Reported To The Proper Agencies?
All scheduled medication is reported to the proper agencies if you operate in a state that requires prescription drug monitoring. Our program participates in the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and will report through batch reporting. There is nothing that the practice, providers or staff will have to do in order to report controlled substance dispensing.
- Q?Does The Software Print Off Labels?
The dispensing software program will print off all required labels to run your dispensing program as well as drug advisory leaflets.
- Q?What Price Should I Charge My Patients?
The price point is up to you if offering a standard cash and carry dispensing program. Most practices typically charge between $15-$20 per medication, but you can charge what you feel is right. Some practices will markup up a few dollars, while other may charge what they paid.
If your practice is processing insurance then they will communicate how much of a copay your practice should collect from the patient.
- Q?Will Physician Dispensing Upset Local Pharmacies?
Most pharmacies should not have an issue with physician dispensing. Physician dispensaries are typically limited and only focus on a group of medications. Not enough to compete with a pharmacy that offers a wide variety of medication options.
- Q?How Is Physician Dispensing Different Than Being A Pharmacy?
Physician Dispensing only involves the doctor dispensing to his/her own patients at point-of-care.
- Q?What Practices Are Ideal For Physician Dispensing?
Any practice that writes prescriptions for their patients are candidates for physician dispensing.
- Urgent Care
- Family Medicine
- Self-Insured Employer Groups
- Trade Unions
- Pain Management
- Q?How Much Does It Costs To Start?
Typically, it’s only the cost of your inventory to get started. Some repackagers do provide inventory on initial orders, but ask your sales representative for more information.
- Q?How To Get Started?
Getting started is easy! Request an initial dispensing application from your sales representative and they will guide you through the process.