Pharmacy has been at the forefront of the electronic exchange of information for years. This industry leadership started with the first electronic claims submission (via “dumb” terminals) decades ago and followed with the advent of electronic prescribing. These efforts have been incredibly valuable for the industry.
The act is composed of a number of provisions that are designed to improve and modernize different aspects of the healthcare system. The primary areas address acceleration of medical product discovery, development, and delivery. The act’s goal is to improve the health of Americans across a wide array of initiatives.
Many recent conferences, including ASAP’s annual conference, have addressed the topic of pharmacy accreditation. In this column, we’ll do a deeper dive into what accreditation is and why it’s getting so much attention by pharmacies.
Over the past few months, the price of drugs has gotten a lot of attention. It was an issue on Capitol Hill, on the campaign trail, and in newspapers, magazines, and television. We’re all familiar with the names Shkreli and Bresch. With all this discussion, there are still no easy answers.
Finding and implementing solutions regarding specialty pharmacy is taking on increased importance, as these products account for a growing percentage of the annual healthcare spend. According to the Express Scripts 2016 Drug Trend Report, based on 2015 data: “Today 37.7% of drug spend is for specialty medications, with the number expected to increase to 50% by 2018 and continue to grow from there.”
It seems that you can’t go a day without seeing or hearing something about the opioid epidemic, whether in trade publications or mainstream media. Now that everyone is paying attention to it, what happens? While we wait for Congress, or maybe, instead of waiting for them, there are steps that the healthcare industry can take today.
Pharmacies are now competing on so many fronts — to be in payer networks, to offer additional services, to achieve high-quality metrics to retain patients — it is a challenge to evaluate all of the options and determine the best approach to be successful.
Through our current evolution of adopting health information technology, pharmacy has often led the way. We were the first to have real-time claim submission and adjudication. We’ve led the way in receiving prescription orders electronically. We have adopted technology to facilitate patient communication (refill reminders and requests).
A new report from Avalere Health, entitled “Developing Trends in Delivery and Reimbursement of Pharmacist Services,” outlines several factors that could help facilitate broader reimbursement for pharmacist services. The report was released in November and funded by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS).
This fall a number of IT and medication therapy management (MTM) developments have been released. ONC released its final 10-year nationwide interoperability roadmap to advance the safe and secure exchange of electronic health data. HHS released the final rule changes to the Stage 1 and Stage 2 meaningful use EHR incentive program and Stage 3 requirements. And CMS announced an Enhanced Medication Therapy Management model test for Medicare Part D programs.