Technology Linking Community Pharmacists to Medical Homes Could Be a Game-Changer
RALEIGH, N.C. -- February 6, 2017 -- Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC) is facilitating a collaboration of health information technology (HIT) and pharmacy management vendors that aims to enhance the role community-based pharmacists play in providing integrated clinical services to patients. The effort will use existing standards adopted by medical providers in electronic medical records to develop an electronic pharmacy “care plan” – a shared document detailing a patient’s comprehensive medication use, health challenges and social care needs. The pilot will deploy across North Carolina pharmacies that are participating in the Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network® (CPESN®), a project supported by CCNC and the National Community Pharmacists Association.
The Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), encourages improved care coordination between pharmacists and other health care providers through various initiatives, grants, policies and regulations. For this effort, CCNC is a community based partner supporting ONC’s High Impact Pilot Award Recipient Lantana Consulting Group in implementing use of the electronic care plan among community pharmacists.
The CPESN® network will provide targeted services to an eligible population of greater than 3 million Medicaid, Medicare, and dually-eligible recipients. The project combines the efforts of five pharmacy management systems: Computer-Rx, PioneerRx, QS/1, RX30, VIP Pharmacy Systems and Creative Pharmacist as a clinical pharmacy intervention platform. This will allow pharmacy staff to document records in their own native system to simplify and streamline their workload while also documenting their role in population health management.
Pharmacists will use the systems to share care plans electronically and improve care coordination. CCNC will receive the care plans and use electronic health record-ready, standardized data to assess quality of care and manage payment for enhanced services offerings. The move to an interoperable care plan linking pharmacists with other clinicians will reduce redundant data entry, make care plans more consistent in structure, and allow clinical information emanating from community pharmacies to be more easily exchanged with other members of the care team.
The payment for enhanced services offerings are part of a 3-year cooperative agreement funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to test new reimbursement models for community pharmacies serving Medicaid, Medicare, dually eligible, and NC Health Choice beneficiaries.
The project requires that participants assess project impact in three areas: practice efficiency, clinical quality, and interoperability.
Troy Trygstad, VP of Pharmacy Programs for CCNC, reports that “We are thrilled to help accelerate community-based pharmacy care coordination efforts by integrating their activities with the rest of the care team. As an organization focused on providing wrap-around support for primary care, we see high demand for efficient and effective exchange of care plans and associated information between pharmacies, practices, and other care team members. CPESN® networks will greatly aid in that effort.”
Shelly Spiro, Executive Director, Pharmacy Heath Information Technology (PHIT) Collaborative is pleased to assist CCNC and the pharmacy management system vendors with implementation of the Pharmacist eCare Plan standard project. This project meets the PHIT Collaborative’s mission of advocating and educating key stakeholders regarding the meaningful use of heath IT and the inclusion of pharmacists within a technology-enabled integrated health care system. The members of the PHIT Collaborative including the nine largest national pharmacy professional associations together with many significant related Associate Members support this effort.
Tricia Lee Wilkins, Pharmacy Advisor and Health IT Specialist for ONC, states that “Pharmacists provide crucial services and clinical interventions necessary for optimizing patient health outcomes. For decades, the profession of pharmacy has pioneered use of information technology for medication management systems. It is exciting to see innovative pharmacists use health IT to support not only the documentation of clinical care but the exchange of that information as well.”
The CCNC and the pharmacy management vendors are receiving implementation support from Lantana Consulting Group, the developer of the exchange specification, under a high-impact pilot cooperative agreement from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. “We believe strongly in the power of efficient data standards to inform and improve care. This work inserts pharmacists into the information exchange economy and we are very pleased to support them in this effort,” says Zabrina Gonzaga, RN, manager of clinical analysis and policy at Lantana.
CCNC is the smart choice for physicians, providers and payers looking for ways to reduce costs and financial risks associated with managing high-cost, complex patients. The CCNC enterprise includes 14 community-based care management networks which serve all 100 North Carolina counties and work for more than 1600 contracted medical homes. CCNC is currently testing ways to integrate community pharmacists into the medical homes system and pioneering new methods of transforming medical practices to pay-for-value forms of provider reimbursement. In 2016, CCNC won the inaugural Hearst Health Award for excellence in improving population health.
Lantana Consulting Group is a leader in healthcare interoperability, strategy, and standards-based implementation. Lantana’s mission is to make health information available across the spectrum of care, supporting safe, effective, affordable healthcare that improves well-being, public health, quality of care, and research. (http://www.lantanagroup.com)
Computer-Rx (http://www.winrx.net) provides proven Pharmacy Management Software and Services that promote growth and efficiency in community pharmacy. We combine intuitive software features and the latest technology with a company culture that emphasizes customer service to partner with community pharmacies all over the U.S. to improve patient health.
Developed with the experience of over 35 years of pharmacy software development and support, PioneerRx was built from scratch to provide the pharmacy community with a solution that can grow as the industry changes for the next 35 years. PioneerRx delivers weekly improvements and cutting edge features that are designed to provide speed, simplicity, consistency, and flexibility; however, their goal of development is to help pharmacies make more money. PioneerRx leads the industry in first-to-market functionality in one seamlessly integrated package; they have become one of the most successful and frequently talked about pharmacy systems in the United States.
QS/1 offers industry-leading healthcare software solutions to effectively manage independent, chain, hospital outpatient and long-term care pharmacies and HME businesses. QS/1’s complete software solutions are flexible and scalable, making them a valuable and affordable productivity tool for pharmacies – large or small. QS/1 is a division of the J M Smith Corporation, one of the largest privately-held companies in South Carolina. For additional information about QS/1 and the products and services it provides, visit http://www.qs1.com or call 800.231.7776.
Rx30 is a total Pharmacy Management Software application that truly acts as the hub for all pharmacy management activities, including prescription dispensing, fully automated refills and reminders, workflow management, medication therapy management and STAR ratings management. The Rx30 platform also excels at adherence management, medication synchronization, document management, smart phone/web refills, e-prescribing, POS, outbound customer communication, IVR integration, business reporting, label printing and a myriad of value added processes and interfaces that assist in streamlining pharmacy management activities and driving profit. For more information, please visit http://www.rx30.com.
About VIP Pharmacy Systems:
With over 30 years of serving independent pharmacies, VIP Pharmacy Systems is a leader in pharmacy management software, with a focus on speed, reliability, and quality customer care. The result of these efforts is that VIP provides one of the most comprehensive yet easy-to-use pharmacy management systems available. Email sales(at)vip-pharmacy(dot)com to learn how VIP can help you build a better pharmacy.
About Creative Pharmacist
Co-founded by a community pharmacist and a technology expert in 2008, Creative Pharmacist, developer of the STRAND® clinical platform, is the U.S. market leader in helping pharmacists launch clinical services within their community. They support community pharmacists across the country in engaging patients with chronic disease, such as diabetes, through STRAND®, a wide-reaching intervention, documentation, and education platform. Their mission is to transform the community pharmacy marketplace by inspiring and empowering pharmacists to engage clinical pharmacy practice to improve both the health of their business and the health of their patients. For more information, please visit: http://www.creativepharmacist.com.
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