As a podcasting 1st, the Pharmacy Podcast was launched in 2009 and has transformed into the Pharmacy Podcast Network with over 67,000+ listeners and subscribers and is the largest network of podcasts in the U. S. Healthcare System dedicated to the pharmacy industry. Our 25+ podcast co-hosts are some of the most brilliant minds in Pharmacy with 17 different podcast channels about Independent Community, Compounding, Long-term Care, Specialty, Hospital Systems, and Small Chain Pharmacy Businesses. Pharmacy Podcast™ is a registered trademark
Writer & director of VIALS Michael Carl Jude shares with the Pharmacy Podcast Network the story behind the comedy based on Community Pharmacy. 
Instagram @vialstv
Direct download: VIALS_Sitcom_Preview_Interview.mp3
Category:Pharmacy -- posted at: 12:58am EDT

Welcome to the Specialty Pharmacy Podcast’s coverage of the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy. The NASP hosted its fifth annual meeting in Washington, DC, on September 17-20, 2017.

The Specialty Pharmacy Podcast was featured beside the NASP main station in the exhibit hall welcoming thousands of specialty pharmacy stakeholders helping to innovate and move our sector of pharmacy forward. We’d like to thank our sponsors, Keycentrix – developers of the specialty pharmacy software ‘order based’ system New Leaf Rx, Heritage Biologics, specialty pharmacy founded by a rare disease patient and a team of pharmacy experts, and the NASP. 

The post conference podcast summary features the follow specialty pharmacy industry leaders:


Christopher W. Kennedy, MSM

Chief Operating Officer

Heritage Biologics, Inc. (Sponsor)


Michelle Sherman, RPh

Founder | CEO

MichRx Pharmacist Consulting Services, Inc.


Harris J. Travis




Elie Khalife


KeyCentrix™ LLC


Tommy Cohn

Chief Strategy Officer



Kevn McNamara, PharmD


Clinical Pharmacy Partners 


Certified Specialty Pharmacist

Applications for the first CSP examination offered in April 2017 are due by March 15th, 2017. The final CSP examination in 2017 will be offered in October and applications will be due by September 15th, 2017.


Sheila M. Arquette, RPH

Executive Director

National Association of Specialty Pharmacy

Phone: (703) 842-0122 |







Direct download: PART_SIX_NASP.mp3
Category:Pharmacy -- posted at: 6:19pm EDT

Pharmacy Podcast Network co-host Blair Thielemier PharmD discusses the next level pharmacy conference and updates our listeners on the pharmacy industry's first Pharmacist focused Virtual Summit. 


If you are looking to stand out and make your mark in new and innovative ways, be sure to watch the short introductory video above to learn what we’re all about. Then, reserve your spot and get ready to be inspired! This event features presentations by independent thinkers who are succeeding differently in the healthcare space.

You’ll hear what works and what doesn’t when it comes to:

  • Marketing
  • Meeting Quality Measures
  • Overcoming Billing Challenges
  • Creating Profitable Programs And More!


Direct download: Elevate_Pharmacy_Summit_Update.mp3
Category:Pharmacy -- posted at: 12:05pm EDT

Building Your Pharmacy Career – Pharmacy Podcast Series part II

Sponsored by CVS Health Careers: 

Millions of times a day, pharmacists are helping people on their path to better health—from advising on prescriptions to helping manage chronic and specialty conditions. Because pharmacists are present in so many moments, big and small, they have an active, supportive role in shaping the future of health care.

Today’s interview is with CVS Health Careers Papatya Tankut, R.Ph. Vice President, Pharmacy Affairs at CVS Health. 

Where my career began and how it advanced through the years

  • I am a 1994 graduate of the University of Maryland, School of Pharmacy with a B.S. in Pharmacy
  • I have been working for CVS Health (CVS Pharmacy) ever since I graduated from Pharmacy School – 23 years ago
  • My career began as a pharmacist in the Washington Metro area, and soon transitioned to a pharmacy manager
  • After four and a half years directly serving patients, I was promoted to a field management role, Manager, Professional and College Relations. In that role, I was responsible for recruiting and hiring pharmacists and interns for our stores in the Washington Metro and Central Pennsylvania markets – building relationships with the area schools of pharmacy and the professional associations.
  • Five years into that position, I was approached to interview for the Director of Pharmacy Recruiting position, located in the corporate office in Woonsocket, RI. My responsibilities involved owning the recruitment strategy for the organization at a time when CVS was heavily focused on acquiring many large retail competitors (Eckerd, Savon/Osco, Longs)
  • In 2005, having 1 year under my belt in the corporate office, I was approached to take on a newly created role of Vice President, Pharmacy Professional Services.
    • This position encompassed many challenging facets of the professional side of pharmacy – recruitment of pharmacist and interns, clinical services, quality assurance and patient safety, regulatory compliance and professional practice standards.
  • Since moving to the corporate office, I also had the unique opportunity of being media trained and serving as a spokesperson for key pharmacy issues affecting our business and industry
  • At the end of 2013, after having spent my entire pharmacy career in Pharmacy Operations, I was asked to consider a position in Corporate Communications as the Vice President of Pharmacy Affairs, the role I hold today. This role initially began as responsibility for establishing and deepening the Company’s relationships with non-profit, governmental and other health-based organizations to raise awareness of the many ways CVS Health is helping people on their path to better health. Today, it has continued to evolve into managing our company’s Corporate Communications Public Affairs strategy through position CVS Health as a relevant leader in the health care landscape expanding our influence with the policymaker audience all with the intent of enhancing the company’s visibility and marketplace.
  • Finally, in August 2016 I also assumed the ownership and management of our Corporate Meetings and Events Department.

As the profession of pharmacy and the landscape continues to evolve and change, the opportunities and career tracks for pharmacists have significantly progressed too

  • More than a decade or so ago, it was customary for pharmacists to generally choose from 2 to 3 career tracks – community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy or continued education through residency programs.
  • Today, a pharmacist’s career path is endless. Many pharmacists take advantage of the traditional frontline pharmacist roles, while others have the ability to venture into field and areas of healthcare where a pharmacist role is important.
  • Pharmacists are an integral part of the healthcare delivery system where their medication and drug expertise are critical, their ability to educate and influence around immunizations and opioids are imperative to public health and their presence in the community is paramount.
  • With the years of training and preparedness, pharmacists are playing a very important role in helping people on their path to better health – whether it’s on the frontline or in management or consultant roles.

Working for CVS Health feels like the opportunity to explore and work for many different companies – all under one roof. The opportunities are truly endless

  • A pharmacist at CVS Health is a pharmacist with endless opportunities.
  • Many graduating students will begin their career as a pharmacist at CVS Health – whether it’s in the retail pharmacies, at a specialty pharmacy or at one of our mail order facilities.
  • The roles and responsibilities vary and colleagues have the opportunity to explore different workplace settings throughout their career
  • In addition to the practicing pharmacist roles, many corporate departments across the organization are led by or include pharmacists on their teams. Some are more tradition than others.
    • Pharmacy Operations, Store Operations, Regulatory, Legal and Government Affairs, Underwriting and Contracting, Clinical Operations, Marketing, Merchandising, Corporate Communications, Human Resources, and Government Services to name a few
  • With the many business units at CVS Health, pharmacists can have a career that spans from ‘Cradle to Grave’, feeling like a new opportunity each time. Working in a retail store is very different than a management position, which is very different that working for our Omnicare or MinuteClinic divisions.

Having a sound education, being open to new opportunities and willing to take risks is key to success in Pharmacy and CVS Health is certainly a company to help you get there

  • CVS Health is a great place to start your career and a great place to end your career
  • Many times, pharmacists are asked why they chose pharmacy as a career– and the answer is always the same – to have the opportunity to take care of patients. That’s the most rewarding part of the profession.
  • Being a CVS pharmacist in the many 100+ different positions and roles that are available provides that gratification and send of accomplishment
  • Opportunities are sometimes a clear fit for a pharmacist, and other times they require the individual to assume some risk and work in a white space area
  • With all scenarios, the organization is ready to walk with you as you take the next step in your desired career path.


Direct download: CVS_Health_Careers_Papatya_Tankut.mp3
Category:Pharmacy -- posted at: 9:44am EDT

What an honor. We interview the one & only Zubin Damania, MD.

Catch ZDoggMD's fun and thought-provoking keynote address Sunday, Oct. 15 at the Opening General Session of the annua NCPA Meeting in Orlando FL. 

What is Health 3.0? 

Health 3.0: Repersonalized & Transcendent

A new paradigm is emerging at last — one that treats both Health 1.0 and 2.0 as partially true, but incomplete. A paradigm that transcends both, preserving their strengths while allowing for the emergence of something far greater: repersonalized care that honors both the unique individual and the larger whole.

Health 3.0 is about connections and the primacy of human relationships, but it’s no longer simply paternalistic (Health 1.0) or strictly commoditized and informational (Health 2.0). It’s a partnership with our patients and each other that can only emerge when clinicians are given the time, space, and tools to understand the unique hopes, dreams, and fears of the human in front of them, while also recognizing that no person exists in a vacuum — including the caregivers, who are now part of a seamless team where every member is allowed and expected to practice at the top of their license.

Actual outcomes matter in Health 3.0, not click-box “quality measures” that don’t actually measure quality. Clinicians are given the tools and autonomy to achieve the outcomes that matter to their patients; do the right thing, and let technology work in the background to enable and empower the relationship. This allows the emergence of real value, where cost, quality, and patient experience intersect. We’re paid to create this value, not to do more tests or withhold needed care or click through checklists on a computer screen. Our administrators seek not to greedily grab more of a shrinking pie, but to grow the entire pie for everyone.

In Health 3.0 we are evidence-empowered but never evidence-enslaved. We find a nerdy kind of joy in process improvement science that allows us to better achieve the outcomes that actually matter to our patients. We hold patients accountable to take control of their health, and they hold us accountable to be their shepherds. We recognize that interiors matter as much as exteriors: the mind-body connection and the conscious experience of human beings is no longer discounted. Each member of the healthcare team supports one another while bringing their unique gifts to bear, and clinician-leaders guide our organizations with compassion and wisdom.

This is medicine as a living, evolving, beautifully complex organism where every cell is unique and autonomous yet an integral part of the larger whole. And here we find the joy of caring restored.

Welcome to Health 3.0. 

Direct download: ZDoggMD_Pharmacy_Podcast_Network.mp3
Category:Pharmacy -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Pharmacy Future Leaders

Guest: Brandon Dyson Founder of

Welcome to the Pharmacy Podcast Network, I’m your cohost Tony Guerra for the PharmacyFutureLeaders podcast broadcasting from the Des Moines Health and Public Services Building at DMACC’s Ankeny Campus

Connect with me via messenger on Facebook at TonyPharmD1 or you can find over 1200 pharmacy videos at TonyPharmD on YouTube or my website

Brandon Dyson founded - which provides cheat sheets and easy to understand overviews of dense clinical topics. He is a clinical pharmacist for an academic medical center in Austin, Texas and an Assistant Professor of pharmacology for the online nurse practitioner program at the Georgetown University School of Nursing. He graduated from Howard University College of Pharmacy and completed a PGY1 practice residency at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC. He is board certified in pharmacotherapy.

He can be reached at

In this show we talk about his experiences going to school and opportunities in downtown Washington DC, moving to Austin, taking on jobs in oncology, a discipline he didn’t necessarily know much about and generally being open to the openings pharmacy life gives you.

I’m excited to talk again with a former Marylander who had a chance to work and now teaches part time at an elite Washington University, Georgetown in a graduate nursing program. Also, we talk about his very helpful website He’ll trade you one email address for an:

Antibiotic Cheat Sheet

Residency/Job Interview Evaluation Form

Chapter 1 of our book, Pharmacy School: The Missing Manual

I was introduced to the site by an APPE student who found it useful. I think you’ll enjoy this conversation.

Direct download: Pharmacy_Future_Leaders_-_Brandon_Dyson.mp3
Category:Pharmacy -- posted at: 8:39am EDT

Pharmacy Podcast Network's special series from the Cardinal Health RBC 2017 in San Antonio in late July 2017 was recorded live during this exciting event.

Part 3 of the series is Dr. Erin L. Albert & Todd S. Eury interviewing Dr. Adam Chesler who is the Director of Regulatory Affairs at Cardinal Health talking with us about the importance of Tele-Health to further expand pharmacy & healthcare services to millions of rural based patients. 

About TelePharm: A Cardinal Health company At TelePharm, our mission is to help healthcare organizations provide convenient access to quality pharmaceutical care regardless of geographic location. Our core focus is the safe and secure delivery of remote pharmacy and healthcare services across all areas of medicine. As an industry leader in retail and outpatient telepharmacy software, we empower pharmacists to become more efficient, effective and take better care of their patients. Our user-friendly digital platform enables healthcare teams to maximize the reach of their medication experts and provide access to essential pharmacy care services.

About Adam Chesler: Doctor of Pharmacy with broad management background and more than 15 years of experience in retail and independent pharmacy. A unique combination of financial and pharmaceutical training. A persuasive individual possessing strong negotiating skills, oral and written communications skills as well a firm grasp of pharmaceutical knowledge. A history of successfully reducing expenses and increasing productivity at a retail level. 

Direct download: RBC_2017_Telepharmacy.mp3
Category:Pharmacy -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Independent Community Pharmacy owner Bruce Matte Sr with Matte's Pharmacy Inc from Monroe, Louisiana talks with Jamie Gramz Vice President, Product Management at McKesson Pharmacy Technology & Services about the importance of quality customer service which intensifies the effectiveness of their pharmacy management system's functionality. 

ABOUT Matte's Health Mart Pharmacy: 

Our Health Mart pharmacy specializes in serving our community with fast, friendly, professional service and the highest-quality medicines and health products. You’ll always work with somebody at our pharmacy who greets you by name, and our pharmacists take the time to counsel you and answer your questions. 

ABOUT McKesson Pharmacy Systems: 

McKesson Pharmacy Systems provides technology and services that help you deliver care to your patients, manage your operations, and gain insight into your data. In addition to three unique pharmacy management systems, we offer adherence and clinical solutions to help minimize DIR fees, manage patient care, and simplify management of patient wellness programs. Our pharmacy technology, software and services all work together to help you take your pharmacy to the next level.

For more information, call (866) 682-8942

Direct download: MPTS_05_Mixdown_2.mp3
Category:Pharmacy -- posted at: 9:52am EDT

Pharmacy Compliance Guide

Podcast Session 7

Participating or Non-Participating, That is the Question

Participating vs non-participating, what does this mean?

  • Participating means that you are accepting the Medicare reimbursement or allowable for each product you bill for.
  • Non-Participating means that you are not accepting the Medicare reimbursement.

So participating means accepting Assignment?

  • Yes, you are accepting the Medicare allowable or Assignment. You also agree to charge the patient no more than 20% of the allowable at the time of dispensing. Medicare sends the supplier the reimbursement of 80%, less the 2% sequestration fee. If you know the patient has a secondary insurance carrier, the copay should only be the balance after the secondary payment. This can be collected at the time of dispensing which is preferred or after all payments are received.

I guess this means if I’m non-participating, I’m not accepting Assignment

  • Correct, you are not accepting the Medicare assignment.

Is the pharmacy penalize in any way?

  • No, there is no penalty to the supplier, except if the supplier is a competitive bid awardee supplier who must be a participating supplier. The major difference is the supplies is not accepting assignment. Which means the Medicare reimbursement will be sent to the patient. The supplier collects the full amount from the patient at the time of dispensing. This fee can be your Usual & Customary (U&C) down to the Medicare allowable. It is the supplier’s choice for each dispensing action.
  • Yes, you can accept assignment on a specific item or a specific patient if you so choose

OK, we now understand this, there must be a reason why you want to talk about this subject now. It doesn’t sound very important or fun?

Well it is definitely not fun!

However it is very important. Medicare reimbursement are continuing to be slashed and every supplier should look at this option every year, but especially this year. There is only a short time period where a supplier can change their status from Participating to Non-Participating and it’s coming in November. The official time frame is from November 15 to December 31, but we strongly encourage not to go past December 15th. NSC states the letter must be post marked by December 31st, but if there is a glitch, the supplier has to wait a year. It doesn’t matter whose fault it is, you must wait until next November 15th.

The requirement states, “if you are currently a participant, write to each carrier to which you submit claims, advising of your termination effective the first day of the next calendar year. This written notice must be postmarked prior to the end of the current calendar year.”

In plain English, the supplier writes a letter on their letterhead to the National Supplier Clearinghouse for CMS 855S products or to the Part B Contractor for CMS 855B products advising the contractor you are terminating you participating status. The letter must contain your Legal Business Names as reported to the IRS, Address on your CMS 855, PTAN, NPI and the “Authorized Persons” signature. CMS doesn’t tell you that.

We are writing a blog on this subject and it will be posted on our public website, and we will have a sample letter there for you to download. Our clients will find the sample letter on the Compliance Portal® in the Message Center.

OK, we know what this means and how do to it, but what are the reasons to make the choice?

Simple. Profit margin. At some point every pharmacist and healthcare provider must stop being a healthcare provider and start being a business owner.   There is a big difference and this might sound harsh, but it’s true. If you take care of the patient at all costs, you will be out of business and you and your staff will be out of a job. You must keep a keen eye on your profit margin. Everyone knows a lot of pharmacy owners who have gone out of business. They were great pharmacists, took care of the patients, but maybe not the best business people.

You must look at your competition, your patients, and your staff and make an informed decision whether moving to a non-participation status will work for you. The first thing you need to do if you move to non-participating and not accepting assignment, is educate your patients. Let them know that starting January 1st, you will be collecting the full fee of Medicare Part B products and Medicare and their secondary will send them their reimbursement checks. They also must understand about the sequestration 2% and copays and the difference between the Medicare allowable and your Usual and Customary fee.

I have had clients who have transition to non-assignment with no problems and other who have had a disaster. It’s all about education

I’m still concerned about repercussions from the patients. How do I answer questions like?

  • Why are you making me pay now and wait for Medicare pay me?
    • Changes in Medicare are happening to you as well as me. It is getting harder for us to stay in business so we can take care of you and everyone else in the community. This is one way we are trying to see if it will work. We are not happy either but we have to make adjustments so we can be here to take care of you.
  • You are supposed to be helping me, how does this help me, I don’t have all the money right now?
    • OK, let’s sit down together and see if we can work out a plan together that works for you. You just personalized the conversation

Answers need to be straight forward to the patient. These are tough questions and depending on your individual market, you may say I don’t want to do this and that is OK. Every business must look at their options every year and this is one of them. There are no simple answers. For example:

  • If the patient is dual eligible the individual state Medicaid program may have very specific restrictions that prohibit this. In this case you can accept assignment for the individual product for the individual patient at the time of billing.
  • Your competitor may have all dropped DMEPOS products and when your patients ask why, you can explain the cut in reimbursements and the wait in payments.

Jeff, so wrapping up, on our conversation today,

At the end of the day, it comes down to a business decision that each pharmacist owner needs to make. And we are strongly recommending that every pharmacy owner look at this option this year. We are not telling you to do it, but to review your books, your patients and your competition. Be prepared to act or not act on November 15th. If you decide to move to non-participation you now know you can still accept assignment on certain products at any time.





Direct download: Participating_or_Non-Participating_That_is_the_Question.mp3
Category:Pharmacy -- posted at: 8:45pm EDT

Brad Tice, PharmD, MBA, FAPhA, Director, Product Strategy & Commercialization at Cardinal Health -- joins Erin L. Albert, MBA, PharmD, JD, PAHM and Todd S. Eury - on the Pharmacy Podcast Network at the Cardinal Health annual conference dedicated to independent pharmacies throughout the country - the RBC 2017. 

Pharmacists in Washington State got SB 5557 passed in early 2015—a bill requiring commercial or private health care plans regulated by Washington State to enroll pharmacists into their provider networks, and it mandates that these plans pay pharmacists for services provided if they are within a pharmacist’s scope of practice.

With more than 10,000 active collaborative practice agreements in existence for pharmacists in Washington State, Rochon said they wanted to “push the bar” even further and make sure pharmacists were compensated for their services. The process was long and involved and passage of the bill was achieved largely through several partnerships with stakeholders ranging from legislators to patient advocacy groups. Part of the process also involved legal maneuvering with an existing Washington State law having to do with providers and health care plans.

Please see -- and encouraged pharmacists to  share their patient care stories with policy makers.

Thank you to our podcast series sponsor - Cardinal Health. 

The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent official policy or position of Cardinal Health or its customers. The primary purpose of this podcast is to educate and inform. This podcast does not constitute and is not intended to offer medical or other professional advice or services.

Direct download: Provider_Status_Impact_on_Pharmacy.mp3
Category:Pharmacy -- posted at: 6:00am EDT