Pharmacies benefitting from new programs, recognitions, Anne Burns says

March 20, 2012

New programs and recognitions make 2012 a great year for community pharmacies to be more involved in medication therapy management, according to a speaker at the FMI Health & Wellness Conference in Orlando, Fla., this week.

New programs and recognitions make 2012 a great year for community pharmacies to be more involved in medication therapy management (MTM), according to a speaker at the FMI Health & Wellness Conference in Orlando, Fla., this week.

Supermarket pharmacies may face challenges with getting recognized and reimbursed for MTM, said Anne Burns, RPh, senior vice president of professional affairs at the American Pharmacists Association, but community pharmacies will benefit from programs from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) and a growing recognition of pharmacists’ role in healthcare.

“CMMI really sees a significant role for pharmacists in the Million Hearts Initiative. It is about things that community pharmacies can impact in a significant way,” Burns said.

For example, many supermarket pharmacies are already providing blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, along with smoking cessation programs. Pharmacists are also well versed on aspirin therapies for heart conditions, Burns added.

The CMMI’s Partnership for Patients program – a public/private partnership designed to improve care transitions – is another program that will boost pharmacies’ role in MTM. “There are a number of area agencies on aging that are interested in working with pharmacists to assist in [transition of care],” Burns said.

Another boon for community pharmacies and MTM is a January report to the U.S. Surgeon General, which recognizes the long-standing role of pharmacists in the healthcare system. “The report advocates that compensation [for MTM] should match the services,” Burns said.