Medication Dispensing Q&A

General

  1. What is InstyMeds?
  2. Where are InstyMeds dispensers located?
  3. How does InstyMeds work?
  4. How do I know patients will get the medication that was prescribed?
  5. Can patients use InstyMeds for refills?
  6. How much does an InstyMeds dispenser cost?
  7. What are the space and power requirements of the InstyMeds dispenser?
  8. Does the InstyMeds system integrate with my facilities EMR?

Benefits

  1. What are the benefits of InstyMeds for doctors/administrators/pharmacists?
  2. What are the benefits of InstyMeds for patients?
  3. How does InstyMeds help my healthcare facility's bottom line?

Staff Involvement

  1. How much staff time will InstyMeds require?
  2. What if patients have questions about the dispenser or their medications?

Payments

  1. Does InstyMeds accept insurance?
  2. How is insurance processed?
  3. How is Worker’s Comp handled through InstyMeds?
  4. How are co-pays or prescription payments handled?
  5. Do medications cost more for patients with InstyMeds?

Inventory

  1. How is inventory handled?
  2. What types of drugs can be dispensed from InstyMeds?
  3. How is the InstyMeds dispenser restocked?

Patients

  1. Do I need a prescription to use InstyMeds?
  2. Can I get any medication from InstyMeds?
  3. Where can I find an InstyMeds dispenser?
  4. Can I use my insurance to get my prescription filled through InstyMeds?
  5. How long does it take to get a prescription filled?
  6. How do I know that InstyMeds dispensed the right medication?
  7. Can I get refills through InstyMeds?
  8. How can I get a receipt from a previous transaction?
  9. Who should I call if I have questions about my medication?

Current Clients

  1. How do I request a return UPS label to send a medication back to InstyMeds?
  2. How do I order patient marketing material for my site?
  3. Are medication expiration dates monitored?
  4. Can I change my drug formulary?
  5. How do I use the InstyMeds Prescription Writer tool?
  6. How do I restock the InstyMeds dispenser?
  7. How do I run dispensing history reports?

General

1. What is InstyMeds?
InstyMeds is a fully automated, ATM-style machine that dispenses prescription medications directly to patients (outpatients) at the point-of-care. InstyMeds contains prepackaged medications available in a variety of strengths and quantities, and dispensed to outpatients of that health care facility.

2. Where are InstyMeds dispensers located?
InstyMeds is typically located in the lobby or waiting area of hospital emergency rooms and urgent care centers. InstyMeds can also be found in same-day surgery centers, pediatrician offices, corporate on-site wellness clinics, and even eye surgery/Lasik clinics.

3. How does InstyMeds work?
In order to use InstyMeds, a patient must be seen by their doctor and issued a prescription. If the patient chooses to get their medications from InstyMeds, the doctor enters that patient's prescription electronically and provides the patient with an InstyMeds voucher and their drug education material.

The patient takes that InstyMeds voucher, which contains a security code, to the InstyMeds dispenser and uses the touch-screen to enter the security code and their birthday. If the patient has insurance, the claim will be processed by the InstyMeds Call Center and the cost or insurance co-pay is calculated. The patient inserts their credit card or debit card (cash accepted at some locations) to cover the co-pay or medication cost.

The InstyMeds dispenser uses a triple barcode check system to ensure accuracy, labels the medication container with all the required patient information, and dispenses the medication directly to the patient. The InstyMeds dispenser will also print out a receipt for that patient. The dispensing process takes as little as 90 seconds (per medication container).

Watch the How InstyMeds Works video.

4. How do I know patients will get the medication that was prescribed?
InstyMeds dispenses medications with 100% accuracy using a patented triple bar code check system. When the patient enters their unique security code found on the InstyMeds voucher along with their birthday, the InstyMeds system starts the dispensing process. If at any time a bar code check fails due to a smudged or incorrect barcode, the system discards that medication and restarts the retrieval process.

5. Can patients use InstyMeds for refills?
InstyMeds is designed to dispense the first-fill of a prescription.

6. How much does an InstyMeds dispenser cost?
The InstyMeds dispenser can be rented or purchased and pricing structures vary based on the needs of the healthcare facility. An InstyMeds representative will work with you to get a price quote specific to your needs. Please contact us for a quote.

7. What are the space and power requirements of the InstyMeds dispenser?
For dimensions, space and power requirements, internet and phone connection, and VPN connection details, view the InstyMeds Facility Requirements.

8. Does the InstyMeds system integrate with my facilities EMR?
InstyMeds has interfaces with a variety of EMRs. Please contact us to find out about your specific EMR.

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BENEFITS

1. What are the benefits of InstyMeds for doctors/administrators/pharmacists?

  • Provides outpatient medication services to patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Improves prescription fill rates dramatically
  • Increases patients' compliance with medication
  • Reduces hospital admissions and readmissions
  • Decreases pharmacy callbacks
  • Replaces expensive starter packs
  • Eliminates handwriting errors
  • Reduces pharmacy workload and allows staff to focus on more complex issues

2. What are the benefits of InstyMeds for patients?

  • Patients are able to receive their prescription medication conveniently at the point-of-care.
  • Patients have 24-hour access to get their prescription medication without searching for an open pharmacy or waiting until the following day.
  • Patients feel better quicker since they are able to take their first dose of medication much sooner than they would be able to if they had to wait to fill their prescription at a retail pharmacy.
  • Patients are more likely to comply with their treatment plan since filling the prescription is the first step.

3. How does InstyMeds help my healthcare facility's bottom line?

InstyMeds will improve your healthcare facility's bottom line by saving money. Here's how:

  • Cut down on hospital admissions and readmissions: InstyMeds significantly improves prescription fill rates and reduces the risk of a patient's health condition progressing and resulting in a hospitalization. For example, a simple antibiotic to treat a urinary tract infection could eliminate the infection from progressing into a kidney infection which results in the patient being admitted to the hospital.
  • Decrease unreimbursed expenses associated with underinsured patients: Nearly 50% of emergency room patients do not have private insurance. With Medicaid reimbursements being 89 cents for every dollar, avoiding future ER visits or hospitalizations by getting the patient their prescription medication to get them better could save a hospital hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  • Eliminate starter packs/doses: Having the InstyMeds dispenser onsite to dispense outpatient medications eliminates the need for costly, unreimbursed starter packs, resulting in savings for that facility of $3,000 - $10,000 per month.
  • Maintain and expand current patient base: Healthcare is expanding into a competitive world with patients being offered a variety of choices. The better the patient experience your facility provides, the greater your chances are to retain that patient's future healthcare business and attract new patients as well.
  • Reduce healthcare staff costs: Staff time will no longer be wasted on dealing with starter packs and staff will spend less time on pharmacy callbacks and after hour calls.

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STAFF INVOLVEMENT

1. How much staff time will InstyMeds require?
InstyMeds is a fully automated pharmacy logistics system designed to reduce staff workload. There is no staff time required for the InstyMeds machine to dispense a medication or track medication inventory. The only staff involvement needed is to restock the dispenser with prepackage sleeves of medications. This task involves one of your staff members (typically a pharmacy technician or a clinic nurse) to spend approximately 15 minutes per week (depending on site usage). Click here for more details on how the InstyMeds dispenser is restocked.

InstyMeds has a 24 hour call center (a direct dial phone on the InstyMeds dispenser connects the patient to the call center) to handle patients' questions related to their medication, how to use the InstyMeds dispenser, or questions regarding their insurance coverage or medication cost.

The medication inventory in the InstyMeds dispenser is tracked real-time without any of your staff's involvement or effort. Medication replenishments are automatically shipped to the site without any reordering and drug expiration dates are also monitored automatically.

2. What if patients have questions about the dispenser or their medications?
The InstyMeds dispenser has a direct dial telephone that immediately connects patients with the InstyMeds Call Center, located in Minneapolis, MN, to speak with a pharmacy technician or pharmacist. The call center is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and also available for patients to call after they leave the facility if they have questions about their medication. The call center is there to answer all your patients' questions regarding their medication, how to use the dispenser, or insurance coverage.

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PAYMENTS

1. Does InstyMeds accept insurance?
Yes, InstyMeds accepts most private insurance plans. Public insurance plans are also accepted (vary by state rules and regulations), including Medicare Part D and other government programs.

If there is no insurance coverage for medications, the patient will pay standard retail price for their medication. If desired, the healthcare facility can elect to provide the medications at no cost to the patient (compassionate care).

2. How is insurance processed?
If the patient has insurance information entered in their registration record, an insurance adjudication request is automatically sent through a claims processing system for approval. Pharmacy technicians in the InstyMeds call center utilize basic patient demographic information to access insurance information. A technician may communicate with the patient live via the phone on the dispenser if they have additional questions on the patient's insurance information. InstyMeds is accepted by nearly all third-party payers that can be electronically submitted.

3. How is Worker's Comp handled through InstyMeds?
Patients eligible for Worker's Comp can use the InstyMeds dispenser if a medication is prescribed. InstyMeds will provide regular reports to your facility with all of the information required for your reimbursement submittal.

Patients also have the option to pay for the medication at the InstyMeds dispenser and submit a receipt to their Worker's Comp program for reimbursement.

4. How are co-pays or prescription payments handled?
The InstyMeds dispenser will calculate the amount due (if any) from the patient. The patient inserts their credit, debit, or HSA card (cash acceptance module is available as an add-on feature if needed) to cover the amount due. The dispenser processes the payment on the facility's behalf and prints out a receipt for the patient.

5. Do medications cost more for patients with InstyMeds?
Patients with insurance pay the same co-pay as they would at any retail pharmacy. Patients without insurance pay the standard retail price for medications. Occasionally a site will choose to add on an additional $1-2 convenience fee to the medication cost charged to patients.

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INVENTORY

1. How is inventory handled?
The medication inventory for the InstyMeds dispenser is purchased by the client from the InstyMeds owned, VAWD accredited, RedPharm Drug. The medication inventory in the InstyMeds dispenser is tracked real-time through its barcode scanning technology. The facility is able to run management reports to show what medications have been dispensed, which medications need to be restocked, and other dispensing history.

Since inventory is monitored real-time, InstyMeds (RedPharm Drug) knows when a dispenser is running low on a certain medication and will automatically ship medication replenishments to that site. There is no re-ordering involved for the client. Expired inventory will also be monitored through InstyMeds and the facility will be instructed to remove and properly dispose of as directed.

2. What types of drugs can be dispensed from InstyMeds?
The InstyMeds dispenser is stocked with acute prescription medications (antibiotics, anti-histamines, inhalers, pain relievers, etc.) and over-the-counter medications. The typical formulary consists of 50-60 different medication types, totaling approximately 1000 medications in the InstyMeds dispenser.

3. How is the InstyMeds dispenser restocked?
The InstyMeds dispenser's bar code check system ensures that medications cannot be restocked incorrectly. When a sleeve of medication is removed and replaced with a new sleeve, the system recalibrates its inventory. Therefore any type of medication sleeve may be placed in any available location area.

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Q&A FOR PATIENTS

1. Do I need a prescription to use InstyMeds?
Yes.  A patient must be seen by a medical provider and issued a prescription.  Only patients of that specific health care facility can use the InstyMeds dispenser.

2. Can I get any medication from InstyMeds?
InstyMeds contains prescription medications that are considered short-term.  These medications include antibiotics, antihistamines, muscle relaxants, inhalers and other medications that are associated with non-chronic health conditions. 

3. Where can I find an InstyMeds dispenser?
InstyMeds dispensers are most commonly located in emergency departments and urgent care centers.  You must be a patient of that specific healthcare facility, and issued a prescription, where a dispenser is located in order to use the dispenser.

4. Can I use my insurance to get my prescription filled through InstyMeds?
Most of our healthcare clients do offer the option to use your insurance and most private insurance plans are accepted by InstyMeds.  Public insurance plans are also accepted (vary by state rules and regulations), including Medicare Part D and other government programs. If there is no insurance coverage for medications, the patient will pay standard retail price for their medication. 

5. How long does it take to get a prescription filled?
Once the patient enters in their InstyMeds voucher code and makes their payment, it takes the InstyMeds dispenser approximately 90 seconds (per medication container) to dispense.

6. How do I know that InstyMeds dispensed the right medication?
InstyMeds dispenses medications with 100% accuracy using a patented triple bar code check system.  When a patient enters their unique security code found on the InstyMeds voucher along with their birthday, the InstyMeds system starts the dispensing process.  If at any time a bar code check fails due to a smudged or incorrect barcode, the system discards that medication into the discard bin and restarts the retrieval process.

7. Can I get refills through InstyMeds?
InstyMeds is designed to dispense the first-fill of a prescription.

8. How can I get a receipt from a previous transaction?
To request a copy of a receipt, please call 1-866-306-3502.

9. Who should I call if I have questions about my medication?
The InstyMeds Call Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can assist you with questions about your medication.  The number to call is 1-866-306-3502.

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CURRENT CLIENTS

1. How do I request a return UPS label to send a medication back to InstyMeds?
To request a UPS label, email your request to cs@instymeds.com or call 952-653-2549.

2. How do I order patient marketing material for my site?
Use the InstyMeds Marketing Catalog to see available options and request desired material by filling out the order form on page 10 and emailing to info@instymeds.com or faxing to 952-653-2540.

3. Are medication expiration dates monitored?
Yes.  InstyMeds will notify the site when expiration dates are approaching and will instruct your site's designated "restocker" with what to do with those medications.  If a drug in the machine has expired, InstyMeds will set that medication to a status of unavailable so that prescribers can't order that specific medication for a patient.

4. Can I change my drug formulary?
Contact your site's designated InstyMeds Clinical Specialist to go over your options.  If you do not know who your Clinical Specialist is, send an email to cs@instymeds.com or call 952-653-2549.

5.How do I use the InstyMeds Prescription Writer tool?
View the InstyMeds tutorial "Using the Prescription Writer Tool"

6. How do I restock the InstyMeds dispenser?
View the InstyMeds tutorial "Restocking InstyMeds"

7. How do I run dispensing history reports?
View the InstyMeds tutorial "Running Management Reports"

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