HILL AIR FORCE BASE – After serving as the busiest single-site pharmacy location in the Air Force, Hill Air Force Base has now opened a second pharmacy to accommodate the large numbers and to service community members currently getting their prescriptions filled by area pharmacies.
Beginning this week, the new 75th Medical Group Satellite Pharmacy is open, located in the Base Exchange, Bldg. 412, 5845 E. Ave.
The pharmacy had always exceeded its capacity, resulting in long wait times for customers, leading many TRICARE beneficiaries to get their prescriptions filled by local pharmacies, resulting in copays and out-of-pocket costs, which will be eliminated for customers at the new satellite pharmacy.
“Our customers will see decreased wait times for new prescription refills and an improved overall customer experience with six additional service windows,” said Maj. Dave Jarnot, the 75th Medical Group Pharmacy Flight commander. “Our satellite pharmacy will double our prescription processing capability to more than 600,000 prescriptions annually, all at zero out-of-pocket cost to the individual. This will really bring it to the next level, bringing prescriptions back onto base.”
Jarnot concedes it may be a longer drive for some, but the military wants to provide their TRICARE beneficiaries with a less expensive option, with Hill AFB supporting approximately 71,000 TRICARE beneficiaries in the 60-mile radius surrounding the base. The Department of Defense will see cost savings because prescriptions can be filled more cheaply on base. “It really is a win-win situation with less cost for our patients and for our government,” said Jarnot.
After taking a tour of the site Monday morning, Col. Ronald Jolly, Sr., commander of the 75th Air Base Wing, said, “This is just a phenomenal addition to our Air Force, not just for our active duty military, but for our community members.”
The process of the new pharmacy’s inception to its building completion only took 10 months, a record-time for a military installation, according to Jarnot, who credits local leaders on up to top Air Force officials who recognized the need to expand the pharmacy to reach more community members.
Roy Pritchett of Layton traveled to the base to get his prescriptions filled at the new satellite pharmacy this week. “Being in the military for 20 years, I am familiar with the hurry up and wait sentiment, which included the pharmacy, so this (new satellite pharmacy) will help alleviate those wait times and confusion,” said Pritchett.
The new pharmacy has a robot that fills their top 150 fastest moving prescriptions, which means even less waiting time for customers. The pharmacy is able to fill any prescriptions from off-base doctors, including prescriptions that were originally not fillable.
“The rules have changed. In the past, some prescriptions we didn’t fill because of the Department of Defense’s strict formularies,” said Jarnot. “We still have formularies, but if the patient has a prescription that was traditionally non-formulary, we can call the doctor, get confirmation, and then fill the prescription.”
Refills called in by 5 p.m. to 801-775-3630 or 1-800-453-2388, will be ready for pick-up the following business day after noon. Faxed prescriptions (including off-base doctors) will be ready 24 hours after received at the pharmacy. If the medication is needed sooner, patients may call 801-777-0418 to request an earlier fill time.
The Exchange Satellite Pharmacy will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, but closed on all federal holidays and Family Days. Patients are encouraged to avoid peak hours at the pharmacy and pick-up prescriptions between 8-10 a.m. and 2-5 p.m.