In the midst of today’s evolving healthcare system, pharmacists stand in an opportune position to define their role and declare their importance in patient care. With an overload of strategies to expand pharmacy services and practice, there is an increasing need to demonstrate pharmacy’s tangible and immediate impact. Many ideas point to changes in legislation and care models, but a different value proposition may provide the answer and evidence currently demanded by the profession. Focusing on those who purchase healthcare and hold the resources for reimbursement may be the untapped solution for pharmacists to stake their claim in the healthcare industry.
Medical professionals are always in search of new ways to affect patient behavior, reduce costs, and improve overall patient health. Some patients miss doses due to the rising cost of their medications. Others skip doses as a result of busy schedules or because of the sheer number of medications they take. Dr. Anuj Bhargava, founder of My Diabetes Home, believes that the best way to change this trend is to empower patients to better manage their medications. Dr. Bhargava's solution uses technology as a tool with empowerment at the patient's fingertips. MedSimple™, an innovative smartphone application, is a unique and user-friendly medication management tool ready to download from the Internet.
As our society seeks to provide more effective and efficient health care, it is becoming increasingly more important for pharmacists to recognize the importance of implementing patient-care services and supporting their integration into the health care system. The number and variety of patient-centered services offered by pharmacies has increased in the last several years, primarily due to the rising attention garnered by medication therapy management (MTM). Jane Allen, PharmD, MBA who currently serves as the MTM Pharmacist for Hy-Vee, presented information about the MTM opportunity to the Drake DELTA Rx student branch.
The pharmacy profession is part of a changing healthcare environment, and the time is right for expanding our role in the provision of patient care. The ASHP’s Pharmacy Practice Model Initiative has featured 20 hospitals and hospital systems, spotlighting innovative practice models that have worked to improve efficiency, patient safety, and quality of care. Read to learn more about which practice models have been found most effective and how they accomplished the change.
Heather Rickertsen is a consulting and dispensing pharmacist whose patient care activities include an anticoagulation clinic, immunizations, Iowa Medicaid Pharmaceutical Care Management, Medication Therapy Management (MTM), employee health screenings and medication reconciliation. She strongly believes pharmacist provided patient care services are required for patients to safely and effectively use their medications and has developed a beneficial system in which pharmacists can efficiently provide care to patients utilizing various pre-existing tools.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule during the first week of October 2011 that had major implications for Long Term Care (LTC) consultant pharmacists and pharmacies. The rule was entitled, "Medicare Program; Proposed Changes to the Medicare Advantage and the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Programs for Contract Year 2013 and Other Proposed Changes; Considering Changes to the Conditions of Participation for Long Term Care Facilities." Read more to discover how this rule could impact the role of consultant pharmacists and the implications on LTC.