FMFCU Choices

Special Issue 2013

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R l for saving money on meds Dr. Kristin Motley, member since 2000, helps people like Sheila McIntire, member since 2003, get the medicines they need at affordable costs. 38 D R. KRISTIN BALL MOTLEY is passionate about solving the prescription drug problem, one person at a time. As a pharmacist turned patient advocate, Kristin is dedicated to helping those without insurance — or without enough insurance — get the medicines they need at affordable costs. According to a 2012 Consumer Reports poll, many Americans are going without their prescribed medicines, because they don't have the money. The annual survey of prescription drugs found that nearly half of American consumers take prescription drugs (4.1 prescriptions on average); and 45 percent of those under age 65 and who don't have prescription drug benefits never filled their prescriptions because of cost. For Kristin, the issue was personal. The road to her founding Health Care Solutions of Delaware Valley began in her hometown of Chester, where she often heard her grandmother complain about the high cost of medications. The impetus for action came many years later. Her friend's mother survived heart surgery, but couldn't fill the seven prescriptions issued upon discharge from the hospital because she couldn't afford the $600. It was February 2010. Kristin held a doctorate of Pharmacy from Florida A&M University; she was a certified geriatric pharmacist; had experience in retail pharmacy; and felt compelled to help patients in a different way. Pharmaceutical companies offered a number of prescription assistance programs, all with different rules and requirements. She would help patients navigate the bureaucracy to get the drugs they needed, often at much lower or no cost. She would also offer medication management services, a one-on-one consultation with patients to explain what each prescription is for, how to take it, and to check for compliance and appropriate dosing. Kristin turned to the Widener University Small Business Development Center for help in making her ideas a solid business reality. "I never wanted to start a business. I just wanted a career — to go to work, do my job, and come home without having to bring my work," Kristin says. "But once I moved back to the area, I felt compelled to help people, much like a colleague was doing where I completed my pharmacy practice residency. He started a program to help those who couldn't afford to pay for medications, and encouraged me to do the same." At Widener, she took free courses and low-cost workshops on the fundamentals of starting a business, and she met with counselors for help with specific issues. "The two most beneficial things I learned were how to develop a marketing strategy and to build a pricing model," she says. She credits the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce for providing "tremendous networking opportunities." She credits FMFCU for help in receiving payments from patients on time. A member since 2000, Kristin met with Business Services Analyst Janet Fitzgerald who told her about a new business service: Consumer Initiated Payments. "Because of the electronic process, bookkeeping is easier. Patients prefer the Consumer Initiated Payment system, because it is more convenient than paying with a check or money order," Kristin says. "This service benefits my company and patients. And the fee I pay to FMFCU for this service is very reasonable." The less time Kristin spends on paperwork, the more she can spend helping patients and promoting her business. She participates in health fairs and gives free presentations to community groups on safe medication use. She visits doctors' offices and small businesses that don't offer health insurance or have part-time workers. She thinks about the possibility of one day starting her own non-profit pharmacy. This would allow her to distribute medications people need to take right away, without waiting several weeks to get an initial prescription through an assistance program. As a pharmacist turned patient advocate turned entrepreneur, Kristin often brings her work home now, but she also brings her expertise into patients' homes on a daily basis. And they are richer for the experience.

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