The Afternoon After


By Kurt A. Proctor, Ph.D., RPh, NCPA Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiatives

So where was I? Oh yeah, I was recapping the standing room only NCPA post-convention program, Networking for High Performance Pharmacies; part of NCPA’s active leadership role on behalf of our members to put them in the best possible position as these trends continue and accelerate.

The morning after was filled with payer interaction. The crowd refueled and networked with each other over lunch. Truth be told, I hated to have to interrupt those discussions, but there was much more to share during the afternoon after the NCPA Annual Meeting.

First up, Rebecca Snead, the dynamic leader of the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations (NASPA). Becky, as you might expect, told us what is happening at the state level, both in terms of pharmacist authority to engage and be paid for new services and state-based pharmacy networks.

Achieving patient access to pharmacists’ patient care services is dependent on provider designation, payment for service, and optimization of state pharmacy practice acts. When all three come together is when you are able to maximize patient access.

Here are a couple of her slides depicting the current landscape…

You can click here for a .pdf document from NASPA summarizing the state network activity.

With this excellent background on state activity, we dove deeper into one great example of a statewide pharmacy network in a session we called The North Carolina Experiment: Weaving Community Pharmacy into the Medical Neighborhood.

Troy Trygstad, Vice President, Pharmacy Projects with Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC) led the presentation and Joe Moose of Moose Compounding Pharmacy was his color commentator giving everyone the straight scoop on how the innovative initiative was playing on the front lines.

To say the experiment is ambitious is akin to calling Mt. Rushmore a carving. Take a look what they aim to achieve, all with the intent to lead to higher quality and lower cost care delivery…

Aim 1—Determine effective Payment Models for Enhanced Services Delivery in a Community Pharmacy Setting

Aim 2—Determine requisite workflows, communication patterns, and task sharing between Community Pharmacies, the Primary Care Medical Home and others participating in the Medical Neighborhood (Care Team)

Aim 3—Determine requisite Health Information Technology Utilities that foster effective workflows, communications and task sharing between Community Pharmacies, the Primary Care Medical Home and others in the Medical Neighborhood (Care Team)

Consistent with the theme of the day, data is king for the North Carolina effort, and Troy and Joe had plenty of it to share. They emphasized the fact that the CCNC enrollees on their priority list for medication management see their pharmacist 35 times a year, compared to 3.5 visits to their primary care provider. These data were instrumental in opening the eyes of decision makers to the potential of engaging pharmacists.

Data like this below really summed up the pharmacy value proposition. We all talk about it, but it is the data that makes it real; investing in appropriate pharmaceutical utilization leads to lower health care costs elsewhere.

We asked pharmacy rock star Tripp Logan to lead a panel discussion and Q&A with attendees reacting to the North Carolina experiment and other pharmacy-led efforts around the country. Troy and Joe were joined on the panel by Dr. Gloria Sachdev who had presented in the morning and Brad Tice of Cardinal Health. Frankly, I can’t begin to capture all the excellent points and insights shared during this free flowing dialogue. Suffice it to say the rest of the day was spent with can-do attitudes discussing “how”, not “why” or “if”.

I’ll do now what I did then and thank the ten companies that made this meeting possible, in alphabetical order… Ateb, Cardinal Health, Emdeon, EPIC Pharmacies, Good Neighbor Pharmacy, H.D. Smith, McKesson, Parata, Pioneer Rx, and PrescribeWellness. Thank you for your support of independent community pharmacy and NCPA’s #rethinkpharmacy series.

My thanks again to David Pope, Chief of Innovation at Creative Pharmacist for co-hosting the day with me.

Whether you were fortunate enough to be in Austin with us, or you are hearing about this for the first time, I encourage you to join the dialogue and help #rethinkpharmacy.

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