ARLINGTON, Va .— Community pharmacists are improving patients’ access to preventive services and chronic care management across America according to a July Journal of the American Medical Association Network Open (JAMA Network Open) article, “Evaluation of Frequency of Encounters With Primary Care Physicians vs. Visits to Community Pharmacies Among Medicare Beneficiaries.”
The article demonstrates the important role of pharmacies and pharmacists in the prevention and management of chronic disease based on the number of visits to these healthcare professionals – particularly in small or isolated communities.
“The frequency of visits estimated by our analysis suggests that community pharmacists have frequent opportunities to deliver patient-centered services in community-based locations. As value-based health care increasingly places emphasis on preventive care and chronic disease management, the community pharmacist is a highly accessible clinician who can provide many of these services,” the authors noted.
An evolution of the NACDS Literature Program and NACDS Value-Based Vaccination Initiatives, the JAMA Network Open article further illustrates the value of pharmacy in improving clinical outcomes in various chronic diseases, and builds on the core policy recommendations necessary to help scale and sustain pharmacist-delivered preventable services and chronic care management. NACDS is commending colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy for extending the reach of prior collaborations between NACDS and the University to advance the value of community pharmacy care.
Of critical importance, the authors noted “the need to recognize pharmacists as providers of billable services, integrate pharmacists in emerging delivery and payment models, and enhance collaborative relationships between pharmacists and other members of the health care team.”
“Pharmacists are not only highly educated and widely trusted health professionals, but they are also well placed to provide patient-centered services in underserved and rural areas across the country,” said NACDS President and CEO Steven Anderson. “Pharmacies exist within five miles of 90 percent of all Americans, and the accessibility of these health destinations is not only critical to improving chronic health outcomes and serving patients who otherwise would not be reached, but is also essential to the health of the nation as we continue to address the COVID-19 pandemic. The information and evidence presented by these healthcare experts reinforces the importance of community pharmacy’s collaborative relationship with physicians and other healthcare professionals to help keep patients healthy.”