PHARMACY

Kirby Lester marks 10-year milestone

BY Michael Johnsen

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – September marks the 10-year anniversary since the Kirby Lester company was brought under the ownership and leadership of Garry Zage. The purchase sparked a dramatic rejuvenation for the company that pioneered pharmacy automation in the 1970s.
 
Kirby Lester fields many of the executives brought on board when Zage first acuired the company, including Dave Schultz, CTO; Aleks Geltser, VP engineering; Christopher Thomsen, VP business development; Dave Johnson, VP sales. Even now, after Kirby Lester became a division of Capsa Solutions in 2014, the entire executive team remains intact inside Kirby Lester. “The stability of this team is extremely beneficial in all aspects of the business from product development, customer relations, customer support and the operation of the company,” Zage said. 
 
“Some battle-weary pharmacists have told me that the only thing that’s remained reliable and steady in this era of constant change has been Kirby Lester," Zage added. "I take great pride in this company’s ability to reinvent itself starting in 2005," he said. “The old Kirby Lester devices that so many veteran pharmacists trusted are many miles behind us, literally and figuratively. I am proud to have ushered the respected ‘Kirby Lester’ name into a new era. We’re taking high-efficiency dispensing to new levels of patient safety as well assisting the pharmacies in reducing their costs to fill prescriptions.”
 
Since 2005 when Zage took the helm, Kirby Lester has notched several milestones, including:
 
  • Six new product launches, including KL1 and KL1Plus counting devices and the Kirby Lester high-speed mail order cell;
  • The successful entry into the robotic dispensing market with 60-drug and 100-drug robotic dispensing systems;
  • High water marks of reaching its 40,000th customer and selling into its 40th country;
  • Lasting partnerships with three of the world’s largest pharmacy providers: a retail pharmacy chain, a PBM and an integrated delivery network; and
  • Zage received the highest honor from his alma mater, the University of Illinois College of Pharmacy, as their Alumnus of the Year in 2012. Zage also was selected to the College’s National Advisory Board.
 
 
 
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PrescribeWellness enhances med sync tool

BY Michael Johnsen

IRVINE, Calif. – PrescribeWellness on Tuesday launched StarWellness+, an add-on service to PrescribeWellness’ popular Med Sync software, StarWellness.
 
StarWellness+ empowers pharmacies that wish to streamline their workflow for patients enrolled in medication synchronization. Through its strategic partnership with TeleManager Technologies, the pharmacist can push synced medications into the workflow queue of virtually any pharmacy management system.
 
“As our industry moves toward the appointment-based model, or ABM, we are ideally positioned to help our clients manage their patient appointments using our platform,” stated Al Babbington, president and CEO of PrescribeWellness. “Whether a pharmacy uses our electronic calendar or selects StarWellness+ to push meds into their queue, our flexible solution will help them expand their med sync offering and improve adherence with hundreds of their patients.”
 
“StarWellness+ from PrescribeWellness is a big part of our success in syncing so many patients,” said Beth Husted general manager, central services, Ritzman Pharmacy. “Their intuitive software really makes it easy to manage hundreds of med sync patients from each of our locations.”
 
“We are excited to expand our partnership with PrescribeWellness,” added Val Gurovich, chief technology officer of TeleManager Technologies. “We are happy to provide the StarWellness+ platform with the functionality that allows the PrescribeWellness pharmacy clients to automate and streamline medication synchronization for their patients.”
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CMS unveils updated MTM model

BY DSN STAFF

WASHINGTON — The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Tuesday unveiled the latest enhancement to its model for testing medication therapy management (MTM) and its impact on health outcomes.

The five-year test of the Enhanced MTM model  — launching Jan. 1, 2017 — is aimed at assessing the efficacy of offering prescription drug plans certain incentives will help achieve MTM program goals like improving compliance, adherence and proper use; reducing medication related problems; increasing patient knowledge of their medication regimen; and improving communication between patients, providers, prescribers and caregivers.

“As part of our approach to building a health care delivery system that results in better care, smarter, spending and healthier people, CMS will test changes to the Part D program to give prescription drug plans stronger incentives and flexibility to improve prescription drug safety and efficacy,” Dr. Patrick Conway, CMS’ acting principal deputy administrator and chief medical officer, said. “Through this model, we are hopeful that Part D plans will invest in medication therapy management and identify new, effective strategies to optimize medication use and improve care coordination in Medicare.”

There are three central elements to the Enhanced MTM model: regulatory flexibility that CMS hopes will allow for more individualized interventions, potential for payment for extensive MTM inteventions that might fall outside of a plan’s Part D coverage and a performance payment that takes the form of an increased direct premium subsidy, which would benefit MTM plans meeting a reduction benchmark in fee-for-service spending and fulfill the model’s quality and data reporting requirements.

The model will be tested in five regions: Region 7 (Fla.), Region 11 (La.), Region 28 (Ariz.) and Region 25 (Iowa, Minn., Mont., Neb., N.D., S.D. and Wyo.). Eligible regional PDPs can apply to change up their MTM offerings and look for ways to individualize outreach and engagement among their patients. 

For the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the Enhanced MTM model is a welcome change. 

“NACDS and our allies know that MTM can go a long way toward helping patients get and stay healthy, and toward addressing the $290 billion in annual costs that are associated with not taking medications as prescribed,” NACDS President and CEO Steve Anderson said.  “That is why NACDS is advocating for the Medication Therapy Management Act (S. 776), and that is why NACDS has advocated consistently for MTM programs in the Affordable Care Act — including the passage and subsequent implementation of patient-centered comprehensive medication reviews in Medicare Part D plans, which will further reinforce the importance of patients taking their medications as prescribed.”

During the test, certain MTM program requirements will be waived in the participating regions, and PDPs who participate are expected to work closely with network pharmacies and local prescribers to identify the patients that would benefit most from MTM intervention, CMS said.

CMS plans to offer a webinar about the Enhanced MTM on Oct. 21, will make application materials available on its website. 

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