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NACDS aims to boost pharmacy immunizations

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Issues RFP for valued-based health care collaboration projects

ARLINGTON, Va. — A request-for-proposals (RFP) by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores will offer up to two awards of $300,000 each for demonstration projects that increase pharmacy-based immunizations by spurring collaboration across health care providers.

Flu shot_Walgreens pharmacistNACDS said late Thursday that according to the project goals described in the RFP, applicants will develop and implement a value-based payment model that is scalable and replicable and improves immunization rates for a targeted population, recorded within the appropriate state-based registry.

The models also will feature innovative methods for sharing immunization information among the participating health plans or systems, accountable care organizations (ACOs), community pharmacies and patients. The awardees, too, will collaborate with public health agencies to improve pandemic vaccine preparedness.

“Health authorities have credited pharmacies for improving the accessibility of immunizations, in times of public health emergencies and in meeting ongoing health needs,” NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson said in a statement. “This RFP is designed to drive population health by leveraging and magnifying the success of accessible, pharmacy-based immunizations in collaboration with other health care professionals for the good of patients nationwide.”

The demonstration projects are intended to help meet the objectives behind an $800,000 grant to NACDS from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Specifically, the two-year CDC grant aims to examine innovative health care collaborations that demonstrate increased rates of pharmacy-based immunizations, including influenza, pneumococcal, pertussis and herpes zoster.

The grant also focuses on improving pandemic planning among pharmacies and state health departments, besides improving access to HPV vaccine resources and education for pharmacists.

Applicants for the RFP must indicate via email by March 4, 2016, their intent to apply, and responses to the RFP are due April 1, 2016. NACDS said it expects that notification of awardees will occur on April 29, 2016. The project end date is Aug. 31, 2017.

NACDS is making available for potential applicants an optional conference call on February 23, 2016, at 4 p.m. EST, during which questions will be answered to aid in the development of proposals.

State-by-state expansion of pharmacists’ vaccination authority has become a pivotal public-private health trend over the past decade, NACDS noted. In October 2009, Maine became the 50th state to enact legislation enabling pharmacists to administer the flu vaccine. Last May, Georgia became the 50th state in which legislation was enacted to allow pharmacists to administer three adult vaccines, adding pharmacists’ vaccination authority for pneumococcal and herpes zoster to their existing vaccination authority for flu.


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