Fast, Quality Service: Mail Order Pharmacy Excels, Improves Veterans’ Experience
The mail order pharmacy is a VA innovation that has brought Veterans peace of mind, convenience, and better health. Its success story began in 1946 with individual medical facilities using mail delivery services for some patient medications. In recent years, the VA Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy (CMOP) has evolved into a centralized, state-of-the-art network responsible for processing nearly 80 percent of all outpatient prescriptions filled by VA. With its automated controls and quality metrics to monitor and address safety and performance, the mail order program is leading in high marks to better serve Veteran patients.
For the eighth consecutive year, the CMOP was rated among the best for customer service in the 2016 U.S. Pharmacy Study by J.D. Power and Associates. Recipient of the second highest score, the CMOP outperformed many private mail order pharmacies and brick-and-mortar drug stores. The study measures customer satisfaction across five factors: prescription ordering, prescription delivery, non-pharmacist staff, cost competitiveness, and pharmacist. The results are based on responses from more than 14,000 pharmacy customers who filled a new prescription or refilled a prescription between March and May 2016.
VA participates in the annual survey as a way to compare itself against industry leaders and to ensure VA health care meets the highest standards. The CMOP serves nearly 5 million patients across the country and processes more than 117 million prescriptions a year, eliminating the need for Veterans to stand in line at the hospital or a clinic pharmacy to refill prescriptions in person.
In a recent audit of the CMOP, VA’s Office of Inspector General found that more than 99 percent of Veterans using the mail order pharmacy received their prescription packages within 10 days. They also found that Veterans can effectively track their prescription requests using My HealtheVet. My HealtheVet is a web-based portal where Veterans can request online refills of medications and supplies, generate a prescription refill history, develop a complete list of medications and supplements, and track vital signs, food, and activity.
Veterans wishing to enjoy the time and cost savings associated with using the CMOP, should sign up for a My HealtheVet account at www.myhealth.va.gov. An advanced or premium account offers the most features and greatest benefit. To learn more about the CMOP, please visit http://www.pbm.va.gov/PBM/CMOP/VA_Mail_Order_Pharmacy.asp.
By Kenneth Siehr R.Ph., M.P.A., Kenneth is the Deputy Chief Consultant, Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM) Services Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy (CMOP). As the National CMOP Director, he leads an organization with seven mail-out pharmacies that are located across the US which process over 118 million prescriptions annually with a budget of 3 billion dollars.