Helping pharmacists perform at the top of their licenses and be reimbursed for services such as medication therapy management (MTM) are among the goals of the National Community Pharmacist Association’s (NCPA) Innovation Center.
“A pharmacy may have a great transition-of-care program, for example. However, we are not really hearing about it and we are not figuring out how we can make it a replicable model to other pharmacies in other parts of the nation,” said Joe Moose, RPh, owner of Moose Pharmacy in Concord, N.C., and a member of the Innovation Center Board of Directors. “We want to try to foster that movement through education, help pharmacists get grants and get what they are doing more viral, so other pharmacists can see what they are doing.”
The changing healthcare environment is leading the push for this type of pharmacist education and promotion, according to NCPA. There is a growing focus on value and quality-based payments and declining product reimbursements, an increasing integration of healthcare providers including pharmacists, an increase in the services that can be provided in a community pharmacy setting, and a growing influence of the digitalization of health care and business.
Kurt Proctor“Pharmacy is moving to get out of just the 10% silo of prescription drugs and, more and more, recognizing the impact that pharmacists have on medical costs and total healthcare costs,” said Kurt Proctor, president of the NCPA Innovation Center.
Moose Pharmacy is already involved in some of the services the Innovation Center aims to support. Partnering with Community Care North Carolina and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), it is one of 275 community pharmacies that provides medication synchronization and other patient care programs.
“We are doing care management and care coordination with physicians, social workers, dietitians, and others,” Moose said. A majority of the pharmacy’s customers are also enrolled in its Moose Medication Adherence Program. “We don’t just synchronize patients’ medications. We also look at problems like why they haven’t been adherent in past, and make sure they can afford the medication and have access to it, and we communicate our findings back to their primary care physician and all other providers,” Moose said.
The Innovation Center will shine a light on pharmacies like Moose Pharmacy that are helping to lower total healthcare costs. “We will be seeing what we can do with the industry to help support the spread of what are proving to be very good efforts to engage pharmacists in these kind of services,” Proctor said. For pharmacists who want to be more involved in patient care, the Innovation Center plans to identify what is needed in terms of education, better use of technology, and other support.
Pharmacists will also be able to gather information on implementing new technologies and increasing front end sales via the Center. “The pharmacy marketplace is very competitive. The Innovation Center is to help pharmacists be more competitive while expanding services,” said John Norton, director of public relations for NCPA.
In addition to Proctor and Moose, the Innovation Center Board of Directors includes: Doug Hoey, NCPA CEO and Innovation Center board chairman; Brian Caswell, RPh, NCPA board member and owner of Wolkar Drug, Baxter Springs, Kan.; Rex Catton, senior vice president of McKesson; Jeff Key, president of PioneerRx; Steve Lawrence, senior vice president, of independent sales at Cardinal Health; Tripp Logan, PharmD, L & S Pharmacy, Charleston, Mo.; Mike McBride, vice president of partner relations at Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc.; Rob Meriweather, corporate vice president of sales for H. D. Smith; DeAnn Mullins, RPh, NCPA board member and president-elect as well as owner of Mullins Pharmacy, Lynn Haven, Fla.; Jimmy Neil, general manager of pharmacy lending for Live Oak Bank; Brian Nightengale, RPh, president of Good Neighbor Pharmacy, AmerisourceBergen and Walt Slijepcevich, RPh, senior director of pharmacy development for Pfizer.