Originally published in IPA Journal Apr/May/Jun 2023 by the Iowa Pharmacy Association
Tracy Kleinschrodt’s entry into pharmacy began in the early 1990s while working as a clerk at Hy-Vee. In 1992, a pharmacy technician job opened at the Medicap Pharmacy in Pleasant Hill. Tracy secured this position and worked there until 1995, when she moved to Newton. Luckily, the pharmacy in Newton was also in need of a technician, and Tracy dutifully filled this role for twenty-five years. During her time with Medicap, Tracy greatly enjoyed the relationships she was able to build and maintain with her patients.
In the fall of 2021, Tracy accepted a position at GRX Holdings in West Des Moines as their DME (Durable Medical Equipment) Billing Specialist. GRX Holdings is the owner of twenty-four Central Iowa pharmacies, including Medicap, Oakland Pharmacy, and Midwest Compounding.
Within this role, Tracy’s main priority is to assist the twenty-four stores with successful billing of DME. When a GRX pharmacy receives a prescription for DME, they forward the information to Tracy along with an inquiry, diagnosis, doctors notes, and insurance information. Tracy verifies this information and ensures that the pharmacy will be paid before the store actually bills it, ultimately saving time and money.
When asked what she enjoys most about her current role as a DME Billing Specialist, she says she appreciates being able to help both the store and the patient. Instead of a pharmacist taking the time to verify reimbursement for DME, Tracy’s work helps free up the pharmacist at the store level. This allows the pharmacist to perform more clinical services and process a higher quantity of prescriptions—something that is crucial for the survival of community pharmacy today.
“If technicians are able to see their position as ‘more than just a job,’ they will have improved performance and show greater priority toward … caring for the patient.”
Tracy shares the most challenging part about being a DME Billing Specialist is “getting the insurance on board with what is best for the patient.” The patient may be best suited for one type of equipment, but the insurance only pays for another type. She often has to be an advocate for her patients to ensure they are getting the best treatment for their needs, while ensuring the dispensing pharmacy gets paid.
Early on in her pharmacy career, Tracy got involved with the Iowa Pharmacy Association (IPA) to be an advocate for her profession. In 2003, she was honored with the IPA Pharmacy Technician of the Year Award, recognizing an Iowa technician who has demonstrated outstanding involvement in the association and the profession. Currently, she serves on the IPA Technician Advisory Committee, where she is focused on getting technicians more involved in all aspects of their career.
When not working, Tracy stays actively engaged in her community. She is currently serving her sixth elected year on the Jasper County Agricultural Board. Additionally, Tracy is a member of her church board, Kellogg’s RAGBRAI Committee, and stays involved with the East Jasper County Food Pantry. Tracy’s hobbies consist of crafting, DIY projects, and following her kids as they go through college. Tracy and her husband have two kids, a son and a daughter.
As Tracy reflects on what IPA can do to better support its technician members, she says she would like to see more outreach and encouragement for technicians to get involved. Tracy appreciates the scholarships offered by IPA for obtaining advanced technician credentials and would like to see those continue. Additionally, as a member of the IPA Technician Advisory Committee, she plans to work with IPA to bring back Pharmacy Technician Day and potentially restart Saturday Technician CE Day in Des Moines. Tracy believes that if technicians are able to see their position as “more than just a job,” they will have improved performance and show greater priority toward the main goal of caring for the patient.
Thank you, Tracy, for your commitment to your patients, community, and Iowa Pharmacy!