PHARMACY

Albertsons first to bill Oregon Medicaid for birth control consult

BY Michael Johnsen

BOISE, Idaho — As part of a collaborative effort to improve access to hormonal contraception for Oregon women, Albertsons announced Wednesday that select pharmacies can now bill Oregon Medicaid plans for a consultation service fee and is the first in the nation to successfully complete the process for a patient.

Following the implementation of Oregon bill HB 2879, which allows anyone 18 years and older to receive birth control prescribed by a pharmacist, Albertsons, in partnership with Oregon State University, worked to develop the processes that now allow Oregon pharmacists to be paid by Medicaid for the consultation service fee when prescribing birth control, eliminating the fee for the Medicaid patient.

"Oregon was the first in the nation to implement a law that gave women access to hormonal contraceptives through their local pharmacy," stated Mark Panzer, SVP pharmacy, health and wellness, Albertsons. "We are excited to be at the forefront with them to broaden patient access to healthcare services, decrease financial barriers and add to ways that community pharmacists can directly and conveniently provide care for customers through the pharmacy."

"We are strategically expanding the service with Oregon insurance providers and pharmacy retailers to extend this billing capability for hormonal contraceptives," added Paige Clark, director of alumni relations and professional development, Oregon State University/OHSU College of Pharmacy. "Eventually, we anticipate all insurance plans will have processes in place to cover the pharmacist consultation service fee so that any woman in Oregon who wants birth control can have access to it, regardless of their financial constraints."

For qualified women, hormonal contraceptives can be obtained in most Safeway or Albertsons pharmacies in Oregon.

 

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PHARMACY

Diplomat subsidiary among top Cincinnati workplaces

BY David Salazar

CINCINNATI — Diplomat subsidiary Diplomat Specialty Infusion Group was among the Cincinnati Enquirer's Top Workplaces 2017. The results come from an employee survey that measured such aspects of workplace culture as alignment, execution and connection.

“Being named a Top Workplace is a remarkable triumph for our dedicated team members, who all play a pivotal role in our continued success,” Diplomat VP and president of Diplomat Specialty Infusion Group Phil Rielly said. “This achievement reflects Diplomat’s commitment to our employees and upholding a culture that values open communication, personal development, and respect while achieving results.”

Diplomat Specialty Infusion Group was launched in 2016 to bring together certain Diplomat subsidiaries, among them Cincinnati-based BioRx, which was named a top workplace in 2014 and 2015.

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Ideal Protein looks to augment pharmacy clinical offerings with weight loss solution

BY David Salazar

SARASOTA, Fla. — As pharmacies look to increase the number of clinical services they offer patients, Ideal Protein is offering pharmacies a potential revenue stream that can have an impact on patient health. The Ideal Protein protocol is a solution offering weight loss and weight maintenance services.

“We provide a standardized, sustainable business model that maximizes staff time and efficiency, provides impactful patient outcomes, and diversifies the pharmacy’s service offerings in the community,” Ideal Protein director of pharmacy services Thomas Barus said. “Ideal Protein helps pharmacists and their teams become valued participants in providing high value care in the healthcare continuum, and helping to reduce overall healthcare expenditures.”

The Ideal Protein protocol is a consultative service program that requires pharmacies to have a consultation room, and that can offer existing pharmacy staff a new role as health coaches following training. Patients visit for weekly one-on-one coaching visits. Ideal Protein is a cash-based model that the company said also can benefit pharmacies through increased foot traffic and front-end sales.

“The industry seems to be hyper-focused on improving adherence to medications for often ‘reversible’ chronic conditions,” Barus said. “We provide pharmacists with a structured method to access patients and offer them better health outcomes. Our protocol targets the root cause of many chronic diseases by focusing not only on weight loss, for which we see predictable, repeatable and measurable outcomes, but on weight maintenance and behavior change.”

The protocol places education at the center, Ideal Protein said, emphasizing teaching its partners about how the protocol works and science behind disease processes, nutrition, fitness and physiology.

“Our simple and effective education and training platform, IdealSmart Academy ensures consistent delivery and competency across all sites, affording patients a consistent experience with the protocol,” Barus said.

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