The Ultimate Guide to Provider Dispensing


Let’s face it: Waiting in line at the pharmacy isn’t any fun when you feel great and it’s even worse when you or your family member feels sick. But what if there was a way to tackle prescription pick up alongside your doctor visit? Or better yet, streamline both into one seamless interaction?

That’s where provider dispensing comes in.

What is provider dispensing and how does it work?

Provider dispensing, also commonly called pre-pack or point-of-care dispensing, is pre-packaged medication that is both prescribed and dispensed at the time of an appointment, in the exam room by a provider – an MD, DO, NP or PA, depending on which state the appointment takes place in.

Since 20 – 30% of prescriptions never get filled, this solution offers convenient access to treatment during a regularly scheduled appointment. That means more opportunities for you to ask questions about medications, fewer opportunities to forget to fill or pick up prescriptions and better visibility for providers into how members understand and take their medication.

It’s an effective pharmacy solution for acute conditions that can be treated with a short course of medication – like antibiotics for strep throat and urinary tract infections – but can also be life-changing for someone managing a chronic condition like diabetes, hypertension, or thyroid conditions.

What are the benefits of provider dispensing?

For patients:

1. It’s confidential and comfortable.

This is especially true for someone that is more comfortable asking their primary care physician, who they already know and trust, questions about their medication or expressing hesitations about taking it. When their medication is provided to them at their appointment, they don’t have to worry about standing in line at a community pharmacy and speaking with someone they don’t know about sensitive health information.

2. It’s convenient and cost-effective. 

Instead of having to fit in an extra stop on the way home, members can get their acute medications or up to 90-days of their prescription in-hand and mark it off their to-do list by combining it with their regular appointment. There’s no need to make time to swing by a community pharmacy when they have more important things going on. Even better? Many organizations offer provider dispensing at reduced or no cost to the patient with wallet-friendly generic prescriptions and $0 copays.

3. It improves their health.

Provider dispensing makes it more comfortable and convenient for you to get your medications and learn how to take them, making you more likely keep to a course of treatment that will help you feel better, faster. This increased medication adherence improves outcomes, especially for those challenged with managing chronic conditions or comorbidities.

For organizations:

1. It increases cost savings.

Providers with medication dispensing capabilities can sync up with organizations to save money by stocking and dispensing lower-cost generic medications, while offering the same level of personalized care. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Provider dispensing at Premise Health can also offer a combination of scale, buying power, and preferred vendor pricing that can save organizations money via pass-through savings, reducing the initial cost of stocking pharmaceuticals in the onsite or nearsite health center.

2. It improves productivity.

When employees can get crucial medication during their appointment at an onsite wellness center, it means they can skip commuting to off-site pharmacies and away from work.

They can also begin their medication regimen immediately, rather than risking a delay when filling at a community pharmacy. The sooner someone can begin taking their medication, the better health outcomes; this reduces employee absenteeism due to sick days and creates a healthier, more productive, workforce.

3. It encourages engagement at onsite and nearsite wellness centers.  

For employers who are looking to boost utilization and encourage their people to use healthcare services available at an onsite or nearsite wellness center, the convenience of provider dispensing can be encouragement for employees and dependents to begin scheduling regular in-person appointments.

How does provider dispensing fit in with other employee health services?

Provider dispensing complements primary care services.

Because provider dispensing requires minimal space in the wellness center, it can be quickly implemented at an onsite or nearsite wellness center. It not only saves members time and money but delivers an outstanding experience at primary care appointments and builds a deeper relationship between patient and provider.

Provider dispensing boosts the effectiveness of condition management services.

According to the CDC, among patients prescribed medications for chronic diseases, about 20 to 30 percent of the prescriptions are never filled and those that are, 50 percent are not taken correctly. This results in treatment failures and an estimated 125,000 deaths per year in the U.S.

Provider dispensing creates opportunities for the providers working closest with members daily to get insight into how they take medication to reverse, manage, and improve their health issues. At provider dispensing sites, this creates more opportunities to check in with members and confront non-adherence before it begins.

Provider dispensing is a flexible alternative to a full pharmacy.

Because it doesn’t require additional space or staff, provider dispensing can be a great addition for organizations that don’t have the resources or space for a full-service pharmacy. With Premise, provider dispensing can be integrated immediately, can be part of an existing medical home, and can better serve small populations who regularly meet with their onsite or nearsite providers.


Premise Health’s provider dispensing solution can save time, boost health center utilization, and help members be more productive by offering pharmaceutical services at their routine primary care appointments. Are you ready to make your member’s lives easier? Reach out to us today to learn more about how to implement provider dispensing at your onsite or nearsite wellness center.


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