XENIA — Citing decreasing reimbursements from insurance and the government, IHS Pharmacy and Wellness Center closed its retail doors for good July 18.
Co-owners Greg Fiely and Steve Weeks sold that part of the business to CVS on Allison Avenue, where prescriptions were transferred. IHS will continue to operate its long term care pharmacy at its current location. Of the approximately 40 employees, the owners anticipate keeping as many as 35.
“To continue would have been pretty much at our own expense,” Fiely said. “It was diminishing returns.”
A large part of the business, Fiely said, was insurance money, while another large chunk was from government-funded programs such as Medicaid. Since the beginning of 2017, IHS — which opened in September 2003 — has seen that money cut in half. At times, they weren’t even breaking even on prescriptions.
“It hasn’t been about the customers not coming here,” Weeks said.
Added Fiely, “They’ve been great. The customers have always supported us. Even when their insurance was forcing them to go someplace, they would call and write and tell the insurance company they didn’t want to go.”
IHS sold its Fairborn store about five years ago. At the time Weeks and Fiely felt that long term care was their niche moving forward.
“Pretty much nothing has changed to make us think otherwise,” Weeks said.
Fiely and Weeks will be able to utilize the space formerly occupied by the retail pharmacy to expand the six-year-old long term care portion of the business.
The pair will continue to operate the pharmacy in the Cincinnati suburb of Reading. They hope Xenia IHS Xenia customers will give CVS a shot.
“We encourage all the customers to at least give CVS the opportunity,” Fiely said.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.