NACDS president and CEO Steven Anderson, published an opinion piece on Medium that highlights an article in the January-February Harvard Business Review, titled “Managing the Most Expensive Patients: A New Primary-Care Model Can Lower Costs and Improve Outcomes.” The article describes findings of Kaiser Permanente, which NACDS is showcasing to advance the role of pharmacies and pharmacists in patient care and to urge policies that allow for improved use of pharmacy technicians.
The article published in Harvard Business Review states:
“Added recently to the model, pharmacists can access laboratory data and, using protocols created by the physicians, make many of the medication changes needed, saving doctors even more time.
“The new model enables each physician to economically provide continual care for about 1,800 patients — 30% of whom have one or more chronic diseases — that’s of much higher quality than conventional primary care. The doctor knows exactly what the medical assistant is doing, the specific drugs the pharmacist is titrating (fine-tuning the dosage of), and the preventive services the IT voice and text systems will encourage.”
Commenting on Medium, NACDS’ Anderson notes:
“If anything, pharmacists’ extensive education empowers them to do even more than is contemplated in this article. NACDS has submitted formal comments to federal agencies that substantiate the even greater role that pharmacies and pharmacists can fulfill in coordinating and managing care for patients and in delivering preventive care. NACDS is waging vigorous campaigns to break down the needless barriers that stand in the way of pharmacy patient care.”
Specifically, Anderson’s opinion piece calls for federal and state policy changes to allow pharmacists to practice at the height of their education; for the ability to optimize care models by hiring more pharmacy technicians and allowing them to perform a broader array of appropriate functions; and for fair reimbursement for pharmacies to prevent pharmacy closures that diminish patients’ access to care.
Regarding technicians, Anderson urges:
“It should be lost on nobody that the Harvard Business Review article also emphasizes the role of physician assistants, whose functions free up physicians to engage in more clinical patient care. This supports our case that pharmacy technicians need to be empowered through policy changes to help free up pharmacists’ time. For no good reason, barriers to the use of technicians in the pharmacy setting are far more oppressive than barriers to the use of technicians in other professional settings.”
More information about NACDS’ pro-patient and pro-pharmacy policy recommendations – including extensive comments to all branches and levels of government – is available at NACDS’ Access Agenda microsite.