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ARLINGTON, Va. — The head of a trade organization for retail pharmacies critiqued the conclusions of an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal that cast doubt on some of the potential benefits of accountable care organizations.
In the op-ed, published Tuesday, the "father of disruptive innovation," Harvard Business School professor and Innosight Institute founder Clayton Christensen and two colleagues wrote that ACOs would not succeed without major changes in the behavior of doctors and patients and would not save a significant amount of money.
"On the one hand, their recommendations for healthcare ring truer than true - they can and should guide the successful implementation of reform," National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO Steve Anderson wrote in a letter to the WSJ in response to the op-ed. "Yet it does not follow, as they suggest, that these recommendations have not already taken root to some extent in the early stages of ACOs, and among other efforts to advance healthcare delivery."
Christensen and his colleagues urged policymakers to “consider opportunities to shift more care to less-expensive venues” like retail clinics; to “consider regulatory and payment changes that will enable doctors and all medical providers to do everything that their license allows them to do”; to “consider changing anticompetitive regulations and licensure statues that practitioners have used to protect their guilds”; and to “make fuller use of technology.”
"While community pharmacies are best known for helping patient use medicines safely and stay healthy, innovative services of pharmacies and co-located clinics do even more to improve patient health and quality of life," Anderson wrote. "These services include vaccinations, health screenings and education and more."