How Direct-to-Consumer is changing the way healthcare is ordered and delivered?


Today we are going to cover about Direct-to-Consumer model that is changing the way Healthcare is ordered and delivered. Before we start talking about some or the trends in Direct-to-Consumer model let's understand what is direct to consumer (DTC) model.

Traditionally, when a patient visits a doctor's clinic and the patient receives a prescription, a drug is collected from the Pharmacy Store based on a prescription or on the basis of "over the counter" availability of drugs. While a drug is available at the counter this drug has travelled from a manufacturer's premise to the wholesaler and from wholesaler to our distributor and from the distributor to the pharmacy retailer.

A consumer gets the drug only when they pay the price or it is covered by their pharmacy benefit program. In a Direct-to-Consumer model a patient gets a drug through the manufacturers website by ordering directly through the manufacturer’s website. This new way of ordering directly on manufacturer's website or through an affiliate or partner website is central to direct to consumer model. Once an order is placed, order is then fulfilled through a shipping partner who is usually responsible for pick, pack and ship. 

While it may sound straight, direct to consumer orders are highly regulated as the prescription orders are usually reimbursed by the consumer's medical or pharmacy benefit coverage. What it means for the order flow is the calculation and integration of the copays and deductibles, that an order checkout process has to fulfill even before an order is placed. 

Because of these dynamics and the complex nature of distribution of medicine usually dictated by the prescription, innovations across the Direct-to-Consumer model will be seen in the following areas - 

·       New business models are evolving where getting the prescription from doctor's office will be a key responsibility either before or after the orders are confirmed. 

·       Intelligent smart bots will be enhancing the knowledge of the past orders made and recommend potential order reminders and automated order in case a refill request is due 

·       Accurate Management of Reimbursements associated with an order will be an important revenue cycle goal 

·       Handling potential denials upfront will be a key to stop revenue leakages 

·       Retail pharmacies may potentially act like a tele health enabled pharmacy where patients can walk in for some more diagnosis that may need remote monitoring through devices 

·       Home health care models will evolve to a level where healthcare services and prescriptions are delivered through home visits more frequently 

·       Integrated care management modules will further evolve where Hospital EHRs and pharmacy management systems will directly talk with manufacturers Direct to Consumer Websites 

·       Personalized targeting for the brands will be done by leveraging data and AI to ensure the campaigns running are more effective and precise across channels and platforms.

·       Tele Health and Virtual Care will be integrated with the DTC interfaces to expand the horizon of Direct-to-Consumer strategies

·       Digital technologies will continue to disrupt and encourage seamless healthcare experience across various channels or touchpoints

As per reports: U.S. Online Pharmacy Market Size to Reach Revenues of over USD 146 Billion by 2026 – Arizton Advisory and Intelligence

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Health Viva Team