Phillips Total Care Pharmacy, Mauston, Wisconsin

1 - Phillips Total Care Pharmacy - AF

Phillips Total Care Pharmacy Provides the Highest Quality Home Healthcare Equipment, Supplies and Services, in a Cost-Effective Manner

Phillips Total Care Pharmacy has four locations in Wisconsin; including two retail stores, one long-term care facility and an innovative remote location which brings much needed pharmacy services to smaller communities. Owner Wayne Macardy takes pride in the one-on-one customer interactions that come along with independent pharmacy ownership. IPC recently had a chance to speak with him about his history as a pharmacist and what makes Phillips Total Care Pharmacy unique.
IPC:

Could you tell me a little bit about the history of your pharmacy, and your involvement with the store?

Wayne:

“When I first became a pharmacist I didn’t like the idea that there were entry-level pharmacists and managers but not much opportunity after that as far as retail pharmacy went. I liked the idea of inventing myself and my career so independent pharmacy ownership seemed like the perfect fit for me.”

IPC:

Did you start out in independent pharmacies?

Wayne:

“My early career was actually in hospital pharmacy. I did that for about three years and I went to law school for a year after pharmacy school but decided that wasn’t the right fit for me. I started in hospitals, a couple very large ones and one very small one. After that I moved to a small town and started working in another hospital but also part time for an independent pharmacy. The owner of the pharmacy invited me to work in the business and after three years invited me into ownership so that’s how I basically got started as an independent pharmacy owner.

We’ve never been afraid to try new things and I think that’s been the key to our success. We got into the IV business early on along with medical supplies and equipment. A few years after that we got involved with long-term care. We’ve been doing all of those things ever since, which has been great.”

IPC:

How many locations do you have?

Wayne:

“We have four locations; two retail pharmacies, a long-term care pharmacy and a remote site. All are in Wisconsin, not far from your headquarters in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.”

IPC:

How has your relationship been with IPC?

Wayne:

“It’s been great; we were one of your very first customers. I can remember IPC founding member Mike Flint coming to our town and doing a presentation for independent pharmacists. I was very convinced after that and knew that IPC was a good fit for us. I take a lot of pride in telling other business people that we are members of IPC and that we are part of one of the largest cooperatives in the United States.”

IPC:

Have you attended any of our events?

Wayne:

“I don’t think I was at the last conference but I went the year before in New Mexico. I’ve never been to Hilton Head (2018 Conference location) and I’m hoping to make it to that event this year.”

IPC:

What is the most rewarding aspect of working in the independent pharmacy industry?

Wayne:

“I actually just had this discussion with a colleague who has worked in chains; he mentioned how people that come in our pharmacy know us and have a connection with us. We have the few extra minutes with the customers that people in chains don’t always have so we have more opportunity for one-on-one time. We also have more opportunity to implement new things and new ideas more quickly. We can get ahead of the curve as far as some of the med synch efforts, adherence and compliance. We have a chance to focus on the star ratings and metrics to stay a cut above and make ourselves more desirable for payers. Hopefully one day we’ll be able to make more than the competition. We know the customers, they know us and trust us and that’s why there’s always going to be a place for the independent pharmacies. We can offer some of the extra service and attention that the chains just aren’t able to or aren’t interested in offering.

We focus on all the immunizations which are important. We developed a room that is especially designed for immunizations, fittings, taking blood pressure, blood sugar, etc.”

IPC:

Is there a lot of competition in the area?

Wayne:

“Our pharmacies are in small towns but we’ve always had competition with chains. Some have been more successful than others, we had a Walgreens that worked out well but Shopko wasn’t able to keep their pharmacy services going. There are not a lot of independents in the area and no independent competition in the immediate area so that makes us stand out.”

IPC:

How are you involved with the community?

Wayne:

“I’ve been involved with the Chamber and we do things with the local hospital. We also give out scholarships to people that are working towards being medical professionals. We are very proud of that, we give out a couple thousand dollars to the high school every year. I am also involved with the church in town.”

IPC:

Do you have an OTC section?

Wayne:

“We have scaled back in recent years; we used to be heavily stocked in cards and gifts. I still feel strongly that cards are a lot of work; we are choosey about what we offer so we are sure we can make sales. We do use an IPC vendor and we look to IPC for a lot of OTC items. We look for items that complement the pharmacist and we have them set up that way near the pharmacy so it’s easy for the pharmacist to come out and make recommendations and give advice. We also have a strong line of DME and medical equipment too, such as wheelchairs, walkers, braces, convalescent aids etc. That’s an important business for us.”

IPC:

Anything specific you’d like to highlight about your store that we haven’t touched on?

Wayne:

“Our remote site in Elroy is unique; it’s in a community that lost its pharmacy about five years ago, in Elroy. We have a full time technician on staff and we’re adding another location in Necedah as well. It’s basically a telepharmacy, they interact through cameras and check their product remotely. We talk to the patients by phone and over a skype camera. We brought pharmacy services to communities that are too small to support a local pharmacy. There are a couple independents in Wisconsin that do the same thing, but not many. It’s useful for hospitals and clinics as well so they can provide services remotely. We’ve actually had some people from some of those types of larger organizations come visit and look at our facility for recommendations and advice. All it really takes is a high speed internet connection, cameras and telephones between the two locations that make it possible. Customers really appreciate it; there is one elderly woman who is able to walk across the street now to get her prescriptions rather than try to find transportation. She is really appreciative and grateful for the service.

The other thing I’d like to mention is our Adhere Pac, which is strip packing for compliance purposes. Meds are created by a dispensing machine and then we organize them in a box and the customers have access to their meds daily by just pulling out one pack at a time. There’s obviously a cost for the machine but we feel it really adds a lot as far as compliance goes. It’s the same technology we use for our nursing home customers. It’s a lot more accountable than a blister pack or a punch card; it has the exact date and time that the meds need to be taken. It’s a way to oversee that meds are given out properly no matter where the person is. We use a Wisconsin based company, TCG, and we were actually their first customer. I highly recommend their services.”