A report from the Pharmacy Quality Alliance noted that the transition to value-based care will promote pharmacists as arbiters of patient engagement.
Prioritizing value-based care principles and patient engagement outcomes will help integrate the pharmacist as a key member of the patient care team, according to a new report from the Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA).
Pharmacists are some of the most central healthcare figures in patients’ lives, according to PQA CEO Laura Cranston, RPh.
“Pharmacists are the clinicians most accessible to patients and uniquely positioned to provide care that effectively engages patients in medication management and chronic disease management,” Cranston said in a statement. “The recommended actions identified by this task force can help pharmacists sustainably partner with payers and other healthcare stakeholders to deliver essential, value-based care.”
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The report, which outlines the steps both community pharmacies and payer partners can make to emphasize pharmacist-provided care, noted that the basis for pharmacist-provided care is the industry transition to value-based care. Pharmacy care is set up to deliver on value-based care priorities by driving medication adherence, measuring patient outcomes, and making patient satisfaction a priority.
“Centered on patient engagement, pharmacists deliver high-quality, affordable care in accessible community settings that improve patient outcomes,” the report authors said. “The pharmacist-provided care includes the collection of patient information, assessment of patients, the identification of intervention opportunities, the proactive engagement of patients in services such as medication synchronization, medication therapy management, immunizations, point-of-care testing, chronic disease management, and appropriate follow-up for monitoring and evaluation.”
In fact, it’s that emphasis on value-based care that can help propel the pharmacist into a more prominent position as a member of the patient care team, the report authors contended. This will require actions on the part of payers and community pharmacists, as well as teamwork between the two.
Payers foremost should establish risk-based partnerships with community pharmacies. These partnerships can serve as the backbone for pharmacist-provided care.
Payers may begin by creating hybrid partnerships that combine fee-for-service and value-based care, easing the transition to fully value-based care. These programs should come complete with a clear system for monitoring and assessing value-based care success and alignment between payer and pharmacist reporting goals.
Additionally, payers should allow for better patient data exchange between themselves and pharmacist partners.
For their part, community pharmacies need to empower their employees in pharmacist-provided care models, the report noted. This will require training individual pharmacists in patient interactions, clinical skills, and certain value-based care reporting requirements. Pharmacists may also need help with technology functions and data access.
Additionally, pharmacy leaders may consider areas to drive efficiency as pharmacists begin to spend more time with patients. This will allow for more patients to be seen as well as ensuring pharmacists turn a profit.
Finally, pharmacy leaders can standardize patient engagement and clinical care to create reliable experiences for patients and payers. Patient engagement should include medication adherence checks, medication synchronization, medication therapy management, and other care interventions.
The transition to pharmacist-provided care will also require teamwork between pharmacy leaders and payers. Both parties will need to compromise on its shared priorities for patient outcomes. Additionally, pharmacy leaders and payers should drive care requirement alignment across all payers.
Payers and pharmacists should implement pharmacist-led care in all community pharmacies, ensuring all patients have access to more holistic care. Payers and pharmacies can first implement pharmacist-provided care among high-risk patients and move into lower-risk populations.
These steps are aimed at driving higher quality patient care in and out of the pharmacy. When pharmacists can guide care and practice patient engagement, they work as another layer to promote patient-centered and value-based care.
And with pharmacists as the providers many patients see the most, they are well-positioned to drive these outcomes, according to Loren Kirk, PharmD, the director of Stakeholder Engagement at PQA.
“Pharmacists and payers share the same goal,” Kirk said. “Both want to improve patient outcomes. Now is the time for pharmacies and payers to align their efforts and develop sustainable partnerships that are mutually beneficial and advance high-quality patient care.”
Date: March 29, 2019