Home health care and community pharmacy: Who is my competition?

February 2, 2018By Focus on the Pharmacy Front End Blog, Home Health Care Opportunity, Independent Pharmacy, Resources focused on Independent Pharmacy

by Megan Moyersenior marketing communications specialist, for the Home Health Care Opportunity blog series

This is the fourth post in a series about home health care (HHC) in community pharmacies, helping you determine if it’s a category you should add to your store. As stated in my last post, this statistic may encourage you to carefully consider it: in a news release from Zion Research from a report they published in January 2017: “…the global demand for home healthcare market was valued at USD 228.90 billion in 2015 and is expected to generate revenue of USD 391.41 billion by 2021, growing at a CAGR of 9.40% between 2016 and 2021.”

An important consideration is the competitive landscape for home health care in your community. This post will help you assess your competition.

Within your community, what retail stores or other outlets offer home health care products? If nothing comes to mind, search online for “home health care” plus the name of your city to see if there are any retailers serving these patients. If you do not find any, or just one or two home health care competitors in your area, it could be that there hasn’t been a demand for it. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be, and it could also be that your pharmacy is the first to recognize the need. We recommend conducting a demographic analysis of your area to discover the average age of residents to get a better idea of whether potential exists. We can help you find resources to conduct a thorough, low-cost demographic analysis.

If you found competitors, personally visit each one. We’ve created a worksheet you can take with you and fill out. Gathering all of this information in one place will help you evaluate the level of home health care competition you could face.

Two examples have been filled in below to help illustrate how to use the worksheet. In the column labeled “T/O,” your goal is to gauge whether the element to the left of the T/O column is a potential threat (T) or opportunity (O) for your pharmacy. In the first example below, the products carried are neither a threat nor an opportunity. However, the fact that Spring City Home Care does not look like a place to “shop” and that the staff does not know much about nondurable supplies is an opportunity for your pharmacy. Your pharmacy can benefit from its appearance as an “approachable” retail store and from your knowledge of everyday home health products such as daily living supplies and incontinence care.

Take Action

The second worksheet will help you summarize the threats and opportunities from the information gathered during your visits. It will help you understand if there is more opportunity than threat to entering the home health care market segment and point you in the direction of where you might find a niche. An example summary is offered below.

It’s likely you’ve found areas where you can compete, if not dominate, in home health care in your area. Hang on to these sheets to refer back to as you look at other aspects that will help you decide if HHC is right for your store. My next post will help you determine the demand among your current patients for home health care items.