PHARMACY

Cardinal Health blog: Value of MTM isn’t being realized

BY Michael Johnsen

DUBLIN, Ohio, — When a new solution benefits everyone in the healthcare system, yet still is not being widely adopted, it's appropriate to start asking why. Such is the case with medication therapy management — which has been established as mutually beneficial for payers, patients and pharmacies — yet has experienced a slower-than-expected adoption rate.  
 
In a new blog post on Cardinal Health's thought leadership site, Essential Insights, Brad Tice, medication therapy management product leader at Cardinal Health, reported that a main reason underlying the relatively slow adoption of MTM is that it can be difficult to measure and understand the total return on investment that these services deliver. He also shares his perspective on what's needed to understand the full value and benefits of MTM.
 
"I believe that one explanation for slow MTM adoption is that the complexity of the healthcare system can obscure MTM's proven value," he wrote. "Timing issues, cost allocations and financial incentives are a few obstacles that impact how MTM programs are measured. Failing to measure the full impact of MTM programs is difficult to do, yet doing so is a fatal analytical error."
 
Tice explains that health plans that focus on MTM's return on investment will gain an essential competitive advantage in the marketplace. He contends that although MTM services can generate immediate cost savings and health benefits for patients, these services can generate an even greater return in the later years, as patients remain healthy. Furthermore, most MTM savings appear outside the pharmacy benefit via fewer hospital readmissions, drops in emergency room visits, improvements in how physicians are utilized, etc. — all cost savings that can be difficult to fully measure.
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NACDS awards first-ever NACDS RxIMPACT Key Contact Award

BY Antoinette Alexander

Image credit: NACDSmedia

WASHINGTON — As the National Association of Chain Drug Stores raised the curtain on this year’s NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, it presented Shopko’s Ryan Swensen with the first-ever NACDS RxIMPACT Key Contact of the Year Award.

Presented during Wednesday evening’s Welcome Dinner, the award recognizes a rank-and-file pharmacist who actively engages on behalf of pharmacy with his or her local member of Congress.

Highly-motivated in engaging with his member of Congress, Swensen hosted an NACDS RxIMPACT pharmacy tour, inviting then-Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, to see first-hand the value of highly accessible healthcare services in the local pharmacy. During the NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill event this week, Swensen will meet with his new member of Congress, Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, to discuss key issues impacting pharmacy.  

The NACDS RxIMPACT Key Contact Program fosters one-to-one engagement of pharmacy leaders advocating on behalf of pharmacy with their members of Congress and their offices. This engagement can take various forms, including pharmacy tours and congressional district activities, attending the NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill meetings, and possible political engagement.

“Ryan’s engagement on behalf of pharmacy is exemplary,” said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. “His efforts to showcase the value of pharmacy surpass the standard of pharmacy advocacy, and is therefore rightfully deserving of the new NACDS RxIMPACT Key Contact Award.”

Earlier Wednesday, NACDS also recognized Jonathan Lee, a pharmacy student at the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy, as the 2015 NACDS RxIMPACT Ambassador, for his mentorship and serving as a role model in encouraging pharmacy students from across the country to participate in this year’s NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill.

Following Lee’s participation in last year’s NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill, he became an advocate for the event, publishing an article about the importance of student engagement and urging other pharmacy students to participate this year. Lee also addressed fellow pharmacy students at the “U” Academy event today, which was held earlier today in conjunction with the NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill events.

The NACDS RxIMPACT “U” Academy is an interactive advocacy education and training program for selected pharmacy students in lead-up to their meetings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

“As the future of their profession, students play a pivotal role in pharmacy advocacy,” Anderson said.  “Jonathan is truly an ambassador for pharmacy and a role model for pharmacy students in how to become engaged in the policymaking process. We applaud his efforts to stand up for pharmacy.”

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NACDS RxIMPACT Day proves ‘impactful’ as hundreds of pharmacy advocates take Capitol Hill

BY Antoinette Alexander

WASHINGTON — More than 350 pharmacy advocates from 44 states met with members of Congress during the seventh annual NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill on Thursday.

Pharmacy advocates conducted more than 450 meetings with members of Congress, meeting with every member of Congress who serves on a Congressional healthcare committee, and with every member of Congress who was newly elected in November 2014.

Prior to heading out to their meetings, NACDS presented its Congressional Leadership Award to House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Vice Chairman Brett Guthrie, R-Ky. NACDS recognized Guthrie for his sponsorship of legislation — both in this Congress (H.R. 592) and the last Congress (H.R. 4190) — that enables Medicare beneficiaries to access pharmacist-provided patient care services.

“Living up to its name, NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill is highly impactful,” stated NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. “Decisions on policies made in Washington influence patient care in pharmacies everyday across the nation.  This annual event is an important opportunity for pharmacy advocates to engage directly with lawmakers on pro-patient, pro-pharmacy policies, and to further reinforce the recognition by lawmakers of the evolving role of pharmacy in patient care.”

This year’s NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill program included prominent speakers. Amy Walter, national editor of The Cook Political Report, delivered the keynote address during the Welcome Dinner on Wednesday evening, providing timely insights on the current political landscape and predictions leading up to the presidential election in 2016.

“Pharmacists are uniquely positioned in their expanded roles in the healthcare delivery system to help meet the healthcare needs of all Americans,” stated Anderson. “Pharmacy has an important part to play – working collaboratively with other healthcare professionals and providers – in providing patient care for those in need.”

U.S. Senator John Tester, D-Mont., and U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Ga., also submitted official comments to the Congressional Record in support of their constituents and community pharmacy in lead-up to NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill.

Further emphasizing the pharmacy’s reach in local communities — including every congressional district — a print ad was published Thursday in the Capitol Hill publication Politico. The ad illustrates pharmacy’s role in improving patient health, and urges Members of Congress to conduct a pharmacy tour in their congressional districts.

In addition, an ad sponsored by the Patient Access to Pharmacists’ Care Coalition — of which NACDS is a member — was published Thursday in key Capitol Hill publications, including The Hill, National Journal, Politico and Roll Call. The ad urges lawmakers to support the bipartisan bill the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act.  PAPCC is comprised of organizations representing patients, pharmacists, and pharmacies, as well as other interested stakeholders.
 

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