PHARMACY

CVS Health announces new clinical affiliations in Kansas, Louisiana

BY Antoinette Alexander

 

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health has entered into new clinical affiliations with LSU Healthcare Network in New Orleans and Shawnee Mission Health in Kansas.

Through these clinical affiliations the patients served by these health systems will continue to have access to clinical support, medication counseling, chronic disease monitoring and wellness programs at CVS/pharmacy stores and MinuteClinic. In addition, CVS Health will provide prescription and visit information to the participating medical centers through the integration of secured electronic medical record systems.

"We look forward to working with these leading regional health systems to develop collaborative programs that improve patient outcomes, lower costs and help people on their path to better health," said Troyen Brennan, chief medical officer, CVS Health. "Through these clinical affiliations, we will also be integrating our electronic medical records and information systems to enable us to support patients with medication counseling and chronic disease monitoring."

The healthcare providers at the participating health systems will receive data on interventions conducted by CVS pharmacists to improve medication adherence for their patients. The affiliation also encourages collaboration between the healthcare providers and MinuteClinic providers to improve coordination of care for patients seen at MinuteClinic locations. Physicians affiliated with the participating health systems will collaborate with MinuteClinic nurse practitioners to work closely on joint clinical programs and care coordination activities. If more comprehensive care is needed, patients can follow up with their primary care provider and have access to the services at the medical center as appropriate. For those patients who do not have regular access to health care, MinuteClinic provides information to help patients in finding a primary care physician and a greater opportunity for continuity of healthcare services.

"Finding cost-effective ways to increase access to care continues to be important, especially in this era of healthcare reform, and we are pleased to work together with these healthcare providers to help coordinate comprehensive care for their patients," Brennan said. "Many patients rely on their local pharmacist for information and support regarding their prescription medications and these affiliations enable CVS pharmacists to help improve affiliated health care providers' patient health outcomes through better medication adherence. MinuteClinic also plays an important role by providing patients with timely, affordable and high-quality walk-in health care."

MinuteClinic, CVS/pharmacy and the participating health systems will begin to work toward integrating EMR systems to streamline communication. This integration will include the electronic sharing of messages and alerts from CVS/pharmacy to the health systems' physicians regarding potential medication non-adherence issues. In addition, MinuteClinic will electronically share medical histories and visit summaries with the patient's primary care physician when they are part of a health system affiliate and with the patient's consent. MinuteClinic will continue its standard practice of sending patient visit summaries to primary care providers who are not affiliated with one of these participating health systems via fax or mail, with patient consent.

These new clinical affiliations bring the total number of health system and healthcare provider affiliations for CVS Health and MinuteClinic to 50 major health systems and healthcare providers across the country.
 

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Rx trends 2015: Shifting health care’s front line

BY Jim Frederick

NEW YORK — Call it the point-of-care revolution: The accelerating shift of patients from overcrowded doctors’ offices to accessible, clinically engaged pharmacists and retail clinicians for front-line health-and-wellness services.
 
Fueling the revolution is a shrinking pool of primary care physicians and the increasing willingness of patients, payers and providers to seek alternate sites of care to curb the health cost spiral. Pharmacy providers are responding aggressively with diagnostic and disease management services, wellness and medication therapy management programs, adherence efforts and other initiatives as they campaign for full provider status.
 
“In 2015, states will lead the way in
allowing nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and pharmacists to
do more,” PricewaterhouseCoopers predicted in a report. “Scopes of practice for these ‘extenders’ will expand as the U.S. healthcare system absorbs millions of newly insured consumers under the [Affordable Care Act] and … a cresting wave of aging baby boomers.
 
“These clinicians could offset shortages
of physicians, allowing all caregivers to practice at the tops of their training,” PwC reported. “By the end of 2014, more than half of states were weighing expansion of clinical duties for nurses, … pharmacists and others.”
 
A recent PwC survey indicated that “consumers are ready for this shift,” with half of respondents reporting they “would be comfortable going to a pharmacist instead of a doctor for some services.”
 
Health plans focused on costs and patient access embrace the shift. “Purchasers are very frustrated that the cost of care keeps going up,” said Bernard Tyson, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente. “Now, the American people are paying more and more for their care, and … they’re asking about alternatives. They’re asking … ‘What’s the easiest way I can get the care I need, … and what’s the right intervention?’ And those are different questions that we are not used to in the healthcare industry.”
 

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Miraculins to place diabetes screening kiosks in Lovell Drugs’ Canada locations

BY Michael Johnsen

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Miraculins on Tuesday announced that it will be commencing a pilot program with Lovell Drugs and Pear Healthcare Solutions that will see the placement of the first stand-alone Scout DS diabetes screening kiosks in Lovell’s retail pharmacy locations in Ontario beginning in February 2015. 
 
This proof-of-concept pilot is being conducted to demonstrate that a stand-alone Scout DS diabetes screening kiosk set up inside a pharmacy location has the ability to not only deliver a rapid, non-invasive diabetes screening clinic, but can be additionally purposed to generate a meaningful financial return on investment for the pharmacy. The company believes that the model it is developing will have application for retail pharmacy and pharmacy/grocery operations in North America and for similar retail settings in Europe and other countries, as well.
 
The screening kiosk will be managed by a qualified Scout DS Test Operator, although a brief post-screening consultation with a pharmacist will be offered to every customer who has an elevated score. The kiosks will have the ability to screen 8-to-10 customers per hour and will be in operation during the highest store traffic periods. Participants will receive free screenings during the pilot in exchange for completing a short consumer health questionnaire (delivered by touch screen tablet in the time it takes to perform the Scout DS screening — about 90 seconds). In addition to their screening results, participants also will receive educational materials on diabetes and be given a recommendation to see their doctor for a follow-up consultation and confirmatory testing, if their score is elevated. 
 
Specific ROI end points are being established for the pilot and will be measured against the screening participants in Ontario, including the identification and tracking of: 
 
  • Undiagnosed prediabetic patients who are subsequently diagnosed by their doctors and can be converted into long-term customers of the pharmacy for preventative consultations and care, which can include medication prescriptions and other healthcare related products, as well (including enhanced grocery buys in pharmacy/grocery settings);
  • Undiagnosed type 2 diabetic patients who are subsequently diagnosed by their doctors and can be converted into long-term customers for the pharmacy. Independent research has shown that diabetes patients spend an average of $6,000 per year on costs for treating their disease and that upwards of $3,000 of this may be spent at the pharmacy (not including enhanced grocery buys in pharmacy/grocery settings);
  • Customers that may be determined to be eligible for government reimbursable services offered by the host pharmacy, such as a medications review — if they are on more than three medications or confirmed to be diabetic — and smoking cessation programs;
  • Customers that fill their prescriptions at various pharmacies, who can be converted into single-store customers and consolidate their prescriptions there; and
  • New customers who participate in the Scout DS clinic as a result of direct referrals from family and friends previously screened, or through print or radio advertising, who can be converted into ongoing, loyal customers at the host location. 
The Scout DS is Health Canada cleared, has been CE-Marked for the EU (compliant with European Union legislation), and the company is working with the FDA to establish a market pathway for the device in the United States.
 

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