Trying to find a directory of all the long-term care pharmacies in the United States has, until now, been a huge (if not impossible) challenge. The sites that have the highest Google rankings are those operated by proprietary LTC pharmacy chains and include only those pharmacies operated by those companies. You may find a list sponsored by a GPO, but you will probably only be able to locate pharmacies affiliated with that particular GPO.
Seems like a good idea to have a directory for LTC pharmacies, so why hasn’t there been one?
Long-term care pharmacies are licensed as retail pharmacies, so a simple search by type of pharmacy is unlikely to pull out LTC pharmacies apart from general retail operators. So, what other information can we use to locate those pharmacies that are dedicated to long-term care?
If you own a pharmacy you are familiar with the requirement to obtain a national provider identifier (NPI). This is necessary if your pharmacy is covered by HIPAA regulations or if you bill Medicare for any services. Nearly all pharmacies fit this description. When applying for the NPI you are asked to identify your pharmacy by a primary taxonomy code. There are dozens of these, including community pharmacy, compounding pharmacy, mail order, nuclear and, yes, long-term care pharmacy. The taxonomy code for LTC pharmacy is 3336L0003X.
It is possible to search for the LTC Pharmacy taxonomy list. What you get is a listing of pharmacies with the correct taxonomy code, but it may not be the primary code. This is important, since many community pharmacies claim the LTC pharmacy taxonomy code but add it as a secondary or tertiary listing.
We began with the LTC pharmacy list and then painstakingly checked it for primary taxonomy code. About half the pharmacies on the list dropped off after this step and we were left with about 2,000 pharmacies.
Using a Word Press Plugin we uploaded the list to the website and made it searchable. We also discovered that CMS updates the NPI list each week, so we now capture the weekly updates and keep the list as current as we can.
Suppose you are the administrator of a nursing facility and the contract with your current pharmacy is set for renewal within the next few months. You may be pretty well satisfied with your current pharmacy but you would like to check around and get some other proposals before you make a commitment.
The LTC Pharmacy Directory is perfect for this. The administrator can establish a radius of up to 100 miles from her address and see how many and which pharmacies are potential candidates.
The value to the pharmacy should be pretty obvious. If not, see the paragraph above.
If you own or operate a LTC pharmacy, your first step is to locate and claim your pharmacy’s listing on the directory. This ensures that the information included in the listing is correct and gives you the opportunity to include a phone contact number.
There is a tutorial on the left column to show you how to do this. The basic listing is free, so why not do it now?