KEY LEARNING: Social media, payer incentives take spotlight at Health Mart University

LAS VEGAS — Fresh from the optimistic Health Mart Annual Meeting, attendees packed the ballrooms of the Venetian Casino and Resort to attend the Health Mart University Live education sessions on June 28 at McKesson ideaShare 2013.

Friday’s CE sessions included —

Staying a click ahead: Using digital marketing to connect to your consumers. With a proliferating mobile marketplace and an ever-evolving social media landscape, this continuing education session aimed to help pharmacy owners, operators and managers stay abreast of current trends, understand what’s next in the digital marketing space and give real-world content and technology examples that can be implemented immediately in Health Mart owners’ local markets.

During the session, speaker Elizabeth Estes, EVP chief strategy officer at GA Communication, explained that the “new darlings” of social media include Instagram and Vine, while Yelp and Foursquare are what she called the “oldies.” She also noted that searching for health-related topics is big with 80% of Internet users looking online for health information on diseases, medical treatments and doctors. Furthermore, health-related searches on Google are up 47% compared with last year, she noted.

“She was very good and very helpful … I think she had some really good ideas, and it was definitely worth it,” said attendee MaryDell Kersh of Physician Building Pharmacy in Salem, Ore. “We may not be doing [social media], but we can implement it now.”

Access to lives: How payer incentives present an opportunity for community pharmacy. During this session, speaker Laura Cranston, executive director of the Pharmacy Quality Alliance, briefed attendees on the new Star Rating performance metrics that will be used to measure — and compensate — all health providers under healthcare reform and what it means for pharmacy. Accountable care organizations and accreditation programs will help drive the demand for information on medication-use quality.

“Networks are narrowing in a variety of different ways,” Cranston explained. “In some cases, a network is narrowed based on negotiations between the PBM and the health plan; and … over the next 18 months to 24 months, [we will see some] networks narrowed based on performance. Community pharmacies can help and can align themselves with a health plan that is interested in high performance. In order to do that though, community pharmacies must demonstrate that their core competency is in improving adherence — many of the metrics that are utilized to measure the quality of a health plan are based on adherence,” Cranston said. “And, as the health insurance exchanges come into the marketplace in January 2014, the government also will develop metrics that the insurance exchanges must comply with .”

The continuing education at McKesson ideaShare 2013 is provided by the Collaborative Education Institute. The Collaborative Education Institute is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing education.

Login or Register to post a comment.