Care Services, LLC has some exciting things in the works for 2019. We talked to CEO Joe Boures and recently promoted President of Backup Pharmacy Services Jay Palin to get the inside scoop on Care Services’ recent accomplishments and what they’re looking forward to this year.
New Capital Partners: Care Services held their first annual Client Advisory Council (CAC) meeting in 2018. Can you tell me more about this meeting and what was accomplished there?
Joe Boures: The CAC meeting held in late 2018 was for our Backup Pharmacy Services (BPS) business unit. We will have a CAC meeting with our Hospice Clients in early 2019. The main objective of this meeting was to get a dozen or so clients to help us strategically think about our business. Having these annual meetings, along with quarterly conference calls, allows our customers to weigh in on all of our strategic initiatives. Having the voice of the customer in this process is critical to the success of our organization.
Jay Palin: The BPS Advisory Council has several objectives, including building stronger relationships with our top clients and gaining client feedback on our services, market intelligence, and how we can mutually improve each other’s businesses. For this first meeting, we wanted to let our clients know that we have heard their concerns, as well as provide them with our road map to success. To help set the tone of open and honest discussion, we explained how we perceived ourselves, discussing both our strengths and our weakness.
NCP: Care Services has some new and exciting strategic initiatives coming in 2019. Could you tell me more about these programs and solutions and what they’ll bring to Care Services’ customers?
JB: Care Services has three different business units within its umbrella: a hospice PBM, a backup PBM and a delivery service network. Each business has its own exciting strategic initiatives.
Hospice PBM – Hospice Pharmacy Solutions (HPS)
JB: Our focus in 2018 had been almost entirely one of automation. We have made connections to electronic medical records companies to help build efficiencies of managing data on both the hospice and our internal workflow. In addition, we have completed an e-prescribing system to help the doctors and nurses get medication needs to pharmacies without having to fax or call. Finally, we spent time revamping our internal platform to make it much more effective for our customer service representative and clinical professional to manage their day-to-day activities. In 2019, we will be focusing on how we get organized around our customers. We will be rolling out to our CAC a complete new service model that will allow us to help drive better results and interactions with our clients. The goal is to be a true partner in the business of the customers we serve. That means all of our customer-facing organizations (account management, clinical and CSRs) will be working very differently than how they are today. We are very excited about the possibilities that this new model will bring for our business.
Backup PBM (BPS) – doing business as MedCall, GeriScript and RxServices
JB: Our backup PBM uses its retail networks to help long-term care pharmacies and correctional pharmacies get medications that are needed on a STAT basis to the facilities they service. This service is 24/7/365, and our clients cover all of the United States. 2018 was focused on bringing all the separate brands together from an operations perspective and refocusing our efforts from a client-facing perspective. This focus is similar to what we are now invoking in HPS. 2019 will be all about technology. This group is building a platform called TracRx that will be integrated with our customer’s platform to allow their pharmacist to send scripts to the backup PBM with a couple clicks in their main business application. The result will be a significant increase in their productivity based on how the process works today. We made a presentation to our CAC late in 2018 to rave reviews. They liked it so much that they volunteered to be our beta clients and have all taken an active interest in helping us develop the 2.0 version of the product. We currently have this platform in beta and things are going well.
JP: We want to be a trusted business partner to our clients. And this begins with the selling process and continues with our new and improved account management program.Our clients were particularly excited when they heard about our TracRx portal, which will provide transparency into the fulfillment and delivery of their emergency medication needs. Think Domino’s Pizza Tracker; if they can do it for pizza, why can’t we do it for medications?! This new technology brings Care Services backup pharmacy services division into the 21st century and makes using our services easier for our clients.
We’re also excited about expanding our presence in the correctional market space. After landing a few correctional pharmacy clients, we realized we had to develop a solution for them that was bigger than just backup pharmacy services. We developed our release and re-entry programs during 2018, which allowed released inmates to assimilate back into their communities by facilitating their building a relationship with their local pharmacy. This helps our clients reduce recidivism rates when an inmate/patient assimilates into the community, and it saves our clients money, as they only pay for the predications that are picked up.
Delivery Service called Completed Delivery Solutions (CDS)
JB: CDS is a network of delivery companies located across the United States. They have over 3,000 couriers covering 94 percent of the United States. This business unit was started from scratch to fill a need with our backup PBM customers – getting the drugs filled in our retail pharmacy to the customer’s client facilities. This company was formed over six years ago and built the network one customer at a time. Now that it is a fully developed network, there is an opportunity to broaden this business to service other industries. They have spent a fair amount of time in 2018 looking at what needs to get done from an operations perspective to attract other market needs. In 2018 we built a strategic roadmap, and in 2019 we will be executing against our plan. We have had some early successes that have given us positive momentum.
NCP: What was the highlight of 2018 for you at Care Services? What are most looking forward to in 2019 for the Company?
JB: The theme since I joined Care Services in May of 2017 has been getting our house in order. In 2018, we made a big step forward in that direction. We have improved our businesses from a process standpoint across the board. In 2019, I am looking forward to more customer focus and growing each one of our businesses.
JP: 2018 was a foundation-building year for BPS, which included the evolution of our account management team. This required a complete overhaul of our account management program, including getting the right team players on board and trained. In 2018 we completed over 150 quarterly business reviews with our top 75 clients as compared to 25 in 2017. In 2019 we look forward to building on this success and extending our account management reach from our top 75 to our top 150 clients. We also look forward to the continuation of the advisory council to include 15 of our top 25 clients and the implementation of our Executive Sponsorship Program.
NCP: What do you love most about your work at Care Service and the company as a whole?
JB: No question – it is the people I work with and for at Care Services. We have a great group of professionals and a great client base. For the company as a whole, all of our businesses are services-related, and the companies we work with service individuals that are in need. Whether it is the elderly in long-term care facilities or individuals in hospice care, I like the fact that we play such a critical role in our clients’ value proposition.
JP: There are 3 things I like about working at Care Services:
It maybe a little cliché, but I love working with people at Care Services. Not just the executive team, which is great, but also the BPS leadership team. We are making a positive change in our culture, and I like being part of the change. Secondly, the new market opportunity. Our core service is backup pharmacy services for long-term care pharmacies where we have +60% of the market, and if you remove OmniCare, we have closer to 90% of the market. The corrections market is new and exciting for us, and we are still learning the total potential it has. Finally, the ability to provide an important service for our clients and their patients. The patients that our clients serve (especially on the long-term care side of the business) are in need of the medication STAT, and we are able to provide that for our clients in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
NCP: Describe the partnership between Care Services and New Capital Partners?
JB: We have a great partnership with Jim Little and Ryan Berg at New Capital Partners. I have worked with a few private equity firms during my career, and New Capital Partners is a very different relationship. First, they come with many years of operating experience, so they can help you work through problems or help in developing strategy like none I have worked with in the past. In addition, they are there when we need them, but give us the latitude to operate when things are heading in the right direction. Finally, they want what is best for the company, and that is refreshing.
JP: As I was recently promoted to president of BPS, my interactions with NCP have been more limited than Joe’s, but these interactions have been nothing but positive during this time. I can tell they want to build great companies and do what is right for the clients and their patients. Having worked in healthcare all of my career, I can tell you that not all companies take the approach of doing what is right for the client and patient vs. the bottom line.
NCP: What has been the most beneficial part of the relationship with New Capital Partners?
JB: Having an operator I can bounce ideas off of has been a great help to me, especially in my early days. These guys understand the industries that we operate in and bring value to the table every time we get together.