FPP Blog: Issue 50: The DAA Dilemma That Could Be Costing You More Than $100,000

Blog Post

Date: 18 September 2018

As we all know, Dosage Administration Aids (DAA’s) are an invaluable tool in medication management and should be embraced in modern pharmacy practice.

For the purposes of the 6CPA, a DAA is defined as ‘a well-sealed, tamper-evident device that allows individual medicine doses to be organised according to the prescribed dose schedule.’

Pharmacists can be remunerated $6.08 by the 6CPA per patient each week for the supply of DAAs to eligible community patients. Amongst other conditions, eligible patients must hold a concession and Medicare card, and the numbers are capped.

Residential care facilities are the highest users of DAAs to maintain patient medication safety and compliance. Supply of DAAs to care facilities does not attract federal funding for the pharmacy.

However, the pharmacy owner is able to negotiate a fee for preparation and supply of DAAs to patients.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

More patients, more scripts, more turnover, more revenue!

Maybe even more accompanying retail sales!

But unfortunately, there are some financial and logistical considerations when taking on more DAAs. In fact, using some basic assumptions, the true cost of a DAA can be around $18.

  • Firstly, there is the extra space required for packing. How much is the space used for DAAs costing you annually in rent?
  • Other infrastructure costs such as lighting, software, hardware, packing materials.
  • Wages are probably the highest cost consideration. The table below shows some simple cost calculations based on the assumption that a DAA patient consumes 30 minutes per week of Dispensary Assistant (DA) time and 10 minutes of pharmacist time. This includes time for record keeping, dispensing, packing, checking, liaison with the prescriber and the carers/patient/family. Conservatively this is over $16 in wages.
  • Delivery costs. Do you need to pay mileage? Use a courier service? Purchase a car for the pharmacy?
  • Administration time. There are more customer accounts to reconcile. Who is responsible for the pharmacy account? The patient? A family member? Have you got all the correct details? Will you accumulate some bad debts?
  • Owing scripts can be a NIGHTMARE! Enough said.
  • Depending on the number of DAAs you pack, it may be worth looking at programs that use a virtual pill count, an external packing service or investing in your own automation.

Most importantly, consider the time and effort required by you and your pharmacists. Do the sums and be sure this is the best use of resources. Are you taking a pharmacist away from a customer facing role? How will this affect service levels in your pharmacy? Will OTC and retail sales suffer? Will your Professional Services Offer be impacted?

Customers like and appreciate time spent with them by the pharmacist. Optimum pharmacist contact with your customers is vital to enhance the Customer Experience.

Weekly Dosage Administration Aids - Financial Worksheet

DAA - Materials$1.50
DAA - 30 Min Tech$10.00
DAA - 10 Min Pharmacist$6.65
DAA - Total Cost$18.15

Weekly Calculation:

 CostIncomeNet Loss
DAA Packing$18.15  
Pharmacy Infrastructure$12.00  
AHI + Dispensary Fee $8.32 
6CPA/EMHS $6.08 

$15.75 loss per patient per week

$819.00 loss per patient per year

$40 950 loss per per year per 50 patients

Calculations Assumptions

  • Wages Costs include: Provision of medication profile to facility; liaison with GP and medication management
  • Pharmacy Infrastructure cost $120/hr. 20$ attributed to DAA. 30 min per week at 40c per minute.
  • AHI plus dispensing fee $11.09 per script monthly
  • Patient taking 3 medications
  • 6CPA payment $6.08 per week

Contact: Andria Aird
Phone: 08 9429 4100

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Page last updated on: 22 April 2020