Figueroa noted in the article that last month the Senate mulled proposal to scale back or cut access to mental health services. Such a move would “severely impact mental health patients’ access to pharmacies and drugs,” he wrote.
“Any discussion in Washington, D.C., on repeal or replacement of the ACA must focus on how to preserve, not curtail, mental health services and pharmacy access as essential benefits for all beneficiaries, including individuals with pre-existing conditions,” Figueroa said in the Managed Healthcare Executive piece. “Anything less is discriminatory against individuals with mental illness.”
The ACA has helped steer millions of patients to Community Mental Health Centers and enabled them to take advantage of integrated behavioral health care service, Figueroa pointed out. Having a pharmacy inside the health center spurs collaboration between pharmacists and health providers, leading to more effective treatment for patients, he explained.
“This model is radically successful in facilitating access and adherence to medication and mitigating avoidable adverse events.,” Figueroa wrote.
Genoa certainly knows the benefits of having a pharmacy on site for mental health care. In August, the company reported that a a peer-reviewed study found a 96% medication adherence rate for patients at Genoa pharmacies, compared with 82% for community pharmacy patients.
Tukwila, Wash.-based Genoa provides behavioral health pharmacy and telepsychiatry services through its approximately 350 pharmacies inside community mental health centers in 44 states and the District of Columbia. The company serves over 550,000 people and fills more than 10 million prescriptions annually.