Q&A: How CityMD enables access
CityMD offers retail pharmacies a resource
CityMD was founded was founded in 2010 by a group of emergency medicine physicians with the goal of offering high-quality care and convenient access. Since then, the company has grown to operate more than 85 locations in the greater New York City area and Seattle, and has treated more than 5 million patients. Drug Store News caught up with CityMD executive vice president David Shih, a physician by training, to talk about the company’s growth and how it partners with the retail pharmacy community to provide patients with the care they need.
Drug Store News: How is CityMD helping retail pharmacies serve their patients?
David Shih: CityMD is committed to collaborating with all of our valued partners, including primary care physicians, health systems, insurance companies and retailers, to deliver an optimized continuum of care for our patients.
For our retail pharmacy partners, CityMD’s Aftercare, a centralized clinical call center, helps pharmacists by providing important information and answering any questions about a patient’s prescription, even when the treating physician is not available. We also institute automatic primary care physician notification, so every patient’s visit summary and medication journal can be reviewed by their PCPs to ensure accurate dosage and compliance, which saves time and avoids redundancy for the pharmacists. CityMD offers a special provider access line, which is available for pharmacy providers to receive triage advice, to seamlessly send patients to CityMD, or to ensure that clinical concerns are properly communicated.
DSN: How does the retail pharmacy benefit from working with CityMD?
DS: A retail pharmacist may be the first person to see someone with undiagnosed symptoms and conditions ranging from colds, flu and allergies to severe headaches and skin rashes. When approached by patients about over-the-counter medications for their symptoms or when too frequently refilling prescriptions, these pharmacists can refer patients to a trusted provider for the next level of care that is outside the typical scope of retail practice. This includes higher-acuity diagnoses, treatments and procedures (i.e. IV hydration, migraines, asthma management, laceration repair, X-rays, EKGs and a multitude of onsite lab testing) by board certified physicians. Because these services are offered at every site, wait times are less than 10 minutes on average, and patients are in and out very quickly.
Additionally, CityMD’s connections to many top laboratory and advanced imaging partners in the neighborhood enable patients, who require additional testing as part of their evaluation — Lyme disease testing for tick bites, suspected Zika testing, CT scans for abdominal pain or head injury, etc. — to be treated at CityMD.
Retail pharmacists and other providers working at a retail pharmacy who are partnered with CityMD can send their patients to us as an alternative to the emergency room, knowing the high-quality care, resources and referrals available to them. Prevention of unnecessary ER visits leads to significant cost savings to the healthcare system, while tremendously improving the patient experience. When patients are guided on their healthcare journeys to the right providers and have great experiences, we all benefit.
DSN: Tell us about the future — what new CityMD products or capabilities can help the retail pharmacy?
DS: To ensure accurate medical history and medication summary documentation for all our patients and partners, CityMD plans to integrate with local and national Health Information Exchanges. These shared electronic records can be reviewed by all the patient’s providers, which will help avoid any medication dosage confusion. By having an urgent care provider who believes in care coordination, loop closure, primary care notification and transparency, retailers have a trusted medical partner.
CityMD’s plans also include growing our presence in underserved communities within the New York metro area. The increased locations and expanded hours near retail pharmacies will be even more convenient for our shared patients. Our vision to build healthier, kinder communities can only be achieved by working closely with retail pharmacies and all our partners in the healthcare ecosystem.
NACDS Foundation supports March of Dimes gala
The National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation reprised its sponsorship of the annual March of Dimes Gourmet Gala this year. The NACDS Foundation was a platinum sponsor of the event, which took place April 17 in Washington, D.C., and had more than 600 attendees and more than 50 lawmakers serving as celebrity chefs.
“The NACDS Foundation is honored to help present this amazing opportunity in support of March of Dimes programs and research, and we are equally honored to partner with March of Dimes throughout the year,” NACDS Foundation president Kathleen Jaeger said.
The March of Dimes gala raises money for research, education, advocacy and programs designed to help more moms have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies. However, it is one part of collaborations between March of Dimes and the NACDS Foundation. During the past flu season, the two organizations worked together to raise awareness of flu prevention strategies through a radio media tour, and have worked together on disease prevention previously.
“We also have partnered on other public health issues, such as raising awareness of the Zika virus and steps that can be taken to protect mothers and babies,” Jaeger said. “Consistent collaboration across a spectrum of issues reflects the true spirit of collaboration between the NACDS Foundation and our partners.”
FDA approves ANI’s morphine sulfate oral solution
The Food and Drug Administration has approved ANI Pharmaceuticals’ morphine sulfate oral solution, 10 mg/5 ml, 20 mg/5 ml and 100 mg/5 ml. The Baudette, Minn.-based company’s generic is indicated to manage acute and chronic pain severe enough to require an opioid analgesic for which alternative treatments are inadequate.
ANI executives said that this approval marks the sixth that the company has received for a product from its internally developed pipeline. The company said it expects to ship the product — whose annual market size QVIA data pegs at around $17 million — in the near future.
“We are pleased to announce the approval of this internally developed generic product, which leverages both our liquid manufacturing and controlled substance capabilities,” ANI president and CEO Arthur Przybyl said. “In addition to the standard packaging formats, we intend to launch the product in a unit dose configuration.”