Virginia Garcia offers on-site pharmacies at Center locations in Beaverton, Cornelius, Hillsboro and McMinnville. Each pharmacy is staffed with one full time pharmacist and two pharmacy technicians. We offer comprehensive pharmaceutical care that includes helping our patients who need financial assistance with patient assistance programs. At Virginia Garcia, we believe that having on-site pharmacies helps our patients to overcome barriers to access in getting the medications they need, when they need them.
The number of Virginia Garcia patients who chose to fill their prescriptions at one of Virginia Garcia’s four pharmacies keeps growing. Virginia Garcia pharmacists are filling over 200 prescriptions at three of the four pharmacies each day, according to pharmacy director Christine Hicks. “This spring we plan to hire another part-time pharmacist in Beaverton, and a technician in McMinnville,” said Hicks. “Beginning last fall, when Virginia Garcia restructured scheduling so that providers could see more patients, our pharmacies in turn began filling more prescriptions,” said Hicks.
Virginia Garcia pharmacies fill prescriptions at a lower cost to patients than most commercial pharmacies and electronic health records (EHR) make the transaction seamless. “Before EHR, I think some of our patients walked out with their paper prescriptions in hand, but never filled them,” said Hicks.
VG Pharmacy also works with patients who fall below the federal poverty guidelines to help them get their medication at reduced or no cost. “About 80% of our patients fall into this category,” said Hicks. “Our Indigent Medical Assistance program (IMA) allows us to work directly with drug manufacturing companies to get our patients the medication they need. We also work with Pfizer who provides us with some prescription medications through their Sharing the Care program. These are benefits that commercial pharmacies just can’t offer.”
VG Pharmacy is hoping to expand the clinical pharmacy program currently in the Virginia Garcia Hillsboro clinic. Clinical pharmacist Sarah Deines works one on one with patients to help them understand and manage their medications. At VG Hillsboro, the results have been remarkable. “Both the patients and the providers can attest to the value of this program,” said Hicks. Virginia Garcia has applied for a federal expansion grant to hire two more providers.
The increased income could help expand the clinical pharmacy program, according to Hicks. “We also continue to work at the state and national level to have clinical pharmacists classified as providers so they can be reimbursed as such. I think as health reform goes forward, legislators will increasingly understand the value that a clinical pharmacy program can bring.”
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