AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Pharmacy Association announced recently that it had received a grant from the Community Pharmacy Foundation and the Texas Dept. of State Health Services to develop and implement new community-based digital linkages between pharmacists and providers that is set to kick off this month.
Through a cloud-based system, providers will be able to refer hypertension patients to a network of community pharmacists who will deliver services aimed at improving outcomes and decrease overall healthcare costs. Using the same system, pharmacists will communicate with patients, submit claims and receive payment.
Clinics and hospitals also will use the referral system to notify pharmacists in the network of patients that physicians have identified as able to benefit from adherence-focused services. Pharmacists will provide an initial medication reconciliation with follow-up monitoring over two months. Each patient who needs one will be supplied a home blood pressure monitoring kit for no additional charge through additional support from Microlife USA.
The referrals are set to begin this month, with as many as 180 patients from Wichita Falls, Tyler and Jasper, Texas being included. The referrals are expected to conclude by June, with results available in October. The first phase of the project will include 13 community pharmacists from eight different employers and integrate them into clinics, hospitals and provider offices. Pharmacist fees are structured uniquely for this project, with a focus on pharmacists helping patients achieve intended outcomes. Pharmacists will receive a bonus payment for each patient that reaches and maintains a treatment goal in addition to their base payment.
Leading the efforts for the grant is the University of Texas at Tyler College of Pharmacy’s Rachel Sharpton, with assistance from TPA director of pharmacy practice Kim Roberson.