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Profile of an Innovator: Jennifer Musick

Jennifer Musick, PharmD
Health Solutions, Inc.
Cedar Rapids, IA

“By the time I finished residency I had a drive and hunger for wanting to do something different and I learned you had to have a good business plan.” Entrepreneurs Jennifer Musick and Amy Moet opened Health Solutions Inc. in June 2004. As a service-based pharmacy they have taken on a unique challenge to offer medication and disease management, health screenings, and education services to their patients through out of pocket payments and contracts with area employers without the income from traditional dispensing pharmacy. Musick says that patients see her as an unbiased source of information because there is not a dispensing component to her practice. Patients are more willing to listen to her solutions because they do not think she is trying to push a pharmaceutical product.

Health Solutions, Inc is based in Iowa, where there are multiple organizations, both state and private, that pay pharmacists for providing services regardless of prescription product business. She says that having the state Medicaid funded Iowa Pharmaceutical Case Management program (PCM) as a revenue source made the difference when considering their business venture. “Without the Medicaid program, I don’t think we would have started Health Solutions.” The difference between a service-based pharmacy and a traditional dispensing pharmacy is that, “You get paid by seeing patients. If you’re not seeing patients, you’re not paying your salary.”

Musick says that for her, the idea of a service-based practice came on her rotation at Main at Locust Pharmacy in Davenport, Iowa. “From training in school I wasn’t even remotely aware of the opportunities and possibilities,” Musick says. Through her community pharmacy practice residency she learned business sense from preceptors, Lisa Ploehn and Randy McDonough. Her residency project was to make Iowa PCM an efficient, cost-effective process. Now at Health Solutions, she wants to expand the PCM concept through employers and benefit brokers.

Jennifer says, “[Health Solutions] will be successful when we can pay ourselves at a retail [salary] rate and bring on new pharmacists” offering them the opportunity to help patients without dispensing. With that goal in mind, Health Solutions is taking their message of the value of a pharmacist to the classroom, physicians, and other pharmacies. Musick says she truly believes the service-based pharmacy model will be status quo in the future, “Don’t all new grads want to do this type of thing? Everyone has an innovative seed inside them because we all want to go out and provide the care we’re taught in school.”

Entrepreneurial Leadership Analysis:

How did Jennifer Musick and Amy Moet identify the opportunity?
As students in pharmacy school they learned about the program in the state of Iowa called Pharmaceutical Case Management that pays pharmacists to provide services to patients. Utilizing their experience from working in community pharmacy and residency they started Health Solutions.

What step in the entrepreneurial process has Health Solutions reached?
Health Solutions, Inc. has been implemented and is being managed. This is the fifth of six steps in the entrepreneurial process. Jennifer and Amy have implemented services with individual patients and an area health care payor via a physician’s office.