Raj Chhadua, PharmD


PHARMACY: ReNue Apothecary (multiple locations throughout Texas including Fort Worth, Frisco, and Plano)

EDUCATION: Texas Tech University School of Pharmacy

IDENTIFYING NEEDS: “I’m in a unique position to be a pharmacist for more than 25 years, and my brother is a technologist, and we talk about it all the time. Where does pharmacy sit? What needs aren’t being addressed? About 80 to 85 percent of our time is spent on administrative or tactical tasks versus the actual service, skillbased things that we’re good at and the public needs. COVID-19 put us in the limelight – the public wants to talk to us on a health care spectrum, but administrative stuff bogs us down. So, how do we overlay technology to reduce the administrative burden? Right off the bat, there are industries that do a great job of pivoting off this, even if health care is slow on this. A perfect example is when everything shut down during COVID, we had to figure out how to take payment. So we spun out text-to-pay, we spun out HIPAA-compliant platforms. That’s what we had to do.”

SOLVING FOR “X” AND SCALING UP: “My background was with a large chain for over 18 years. There are great things you learn doing that. But our 10 locations are now located in provider-practice offices, serving the community and hand-in-glove with the patients and the providers. Our pharmacists act as a pseudo-support mechanism for the providers. It’s about adherence. It’s about appropriate therapies, it’s about monitoring. There were no pharmacy-centric remote patient monitoring solutions out there, so we built one at ReNue for ourselves, and that was important to us. Whenever we build something, we make it scalable to our 10 locations – and therefore scalable to any independent pharmacy. Moving forward, how do we use these solutions for pharmacies across the country? It’s not our wheelhouse, but we’re using it and we’re propping up independent pharmacies. We’re starting to navigate medical billing, too, and we work with preferred vendors who do credentialing, for instance, but there are gaps in between all those things. How do I capture medical billing through my workflow to get a higher adoption? We worked with DocStation to create an algorithm to identify viable medical claims, capturing medical billable events seamlessly.”

CREATING SOLUTIONS: “One of the items that seemed simple but didn’t exist was that patients wanted the ability to fill out their immunization forms electronically at home before they came in. They didn’t want to sit in the office or the pharmacy, filling in fields. And, when they have lots of people in their families, that equals more time filling in fields. It seems simple, but it didn’t exist as a solution. We completed that through our website and our mobile app and it saved a lot of time. Taking the documents and making sure they integrate in our pharmacy system is important, too, so we’re not doing double entry. It’s about figuring out what are meaningful tasks and streamlining everything. If there’s a task we can break down [and find a way] to automate that to help the individual who deals with it, it’s all the better.”

SCANNING THE HORIZON: “NCPA saw technology was running really fast and independent pharmacist input wasn’t being taken into account, so that’s why it started the NCPA Technology Steering Committee. We have a unique view as members of the committee, and as technology accelerates, we need to keep up with it. The goal for us is to look at what comes up and to find guardrails to help pharmacists. Look at the Change Healthcare debacle, which is about one company owning the end-to-end solution. When you have one company that owns the provider-practice, the pipeline that drives the script, the PBM billing process, and the medical billing process – all of that data means they can do a lot of things for their own advantage. If there isn’t governance around that, and the infrastructure has breakdowns and there is no redundancy, it affects the patients and providers when it breaks down.”

WHAT NCPA MEANS TO ME: “I’m a member of NCPA because my voice matters with this organization, which makes change for the profession. NCPA and state associations are the voices of our profession, and we need more members to actively participate to protect the profession and, in the end, protect our patients.”