PHARMACY

McKesson EnterpriseRx system enables mobile communication

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Pharmacies using McKesson EnterpriseRx pharmacy-management system can send patients information about health clinics, drug recalls, coupons and real-time surveys through their mobile phones using an integrated mobile communication system.

Mscripts said Wednesday that its pre-built integration with EnterpriseRx would allow pharmacists to implement quickly and cost-effectively, communicating with patients through two-way, interactive SMS text messaging and mobile applications on iPhone, Android and Windows Phone devices.

Other features of the app allow patients to refill prescriptions, receive pickup and dosage reminders and get a complete view of their health information, as well as store maps and locators, a way to track refill requests placed via mobile and refill reminders.

 

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Shoppers Drug Mart, Great-West Life launch new health support programs for Great-West Life clients

BY Antoinette Alexander

TORONTO — With the prevalence of chronic disease conditions on the rise, Great-West Life, a provider of drug plan management solutions, and Canadian pharmacy retailer Shoppers Drug Mart have entered into an agreement to introduce two new health support programs for Great-West Life clients.

Through the new agreement, participating Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacists will offer a diabetes support program for eligible Great-West Life plan members who are living with diabetes, as well as a comprehensive medication counseling program for eligible Great-West Life plan members who are taking one of the specific maintenance medications.

The diabetes support program was developed to provide Great-West Life plan members, who are living with diabetes, the opportunity to connect with a participating Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacist trained in diabetes management. In addition, plan members will have access to more than 450 Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacists who are certified diabetes educators. The diabetes support program will include A1C testing, medication therapy recommendations and lifestyle management counseling.

The medication counseling program encourages plan member medication cost awareness and medication adherence for better health outcomes, while reducing drug plan costs to the plan sponsor. Both health support programs are multi-year and are intended to be of a long-term nature. The programs build upon the pharmaceutical knowledge and counseling expertise of Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacists to provide extended support to Great-West Life plan members on a voluntary basis, at no cost to plan members or their benefits plans, Shoppers Drug Mart stated.

"This agreement demonstrates and accelerates the expanded role that pharmacists perform in helping patients better manage their health and utilizes pharmacists’ knowledge and trusted patient relationships," stated Dorian Lo, EVP of pharmacy and healthcare for Shoppers Drug Mart. "Through this agreement, we are furthering our commitment to help payers improve the health of their plan members, while also effectively managing rising healthcare costs."

Through the new agreement with Shoppers Drug Mart, the diabetes support program will initially be made available to approximately 120,000 Great-West Life plan members and the medications counseling program will be made available to approximately 15,000 Great-West Life plan members.

 

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Calif. bills would give provider status to pharmacists, nurse practitioners

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Three bills introduced in California’s state legislature earlier this month would recognize pharmacists as healthcare providers.

The bills, introduced by state Senate Health Committee chairman Ed Hernandez, would allow pharmacists, nurse practitioners and optometrists to practice the full extent of their education and training.

"This legislation is tied to the national push for provider status," California Pharmacists Association CEO Jon Roth said. "In fact, one section of the bill states that it would declare pharmacists as healthcare providers in the state of California. This is important because we want to ensure that pharmacists have the ability to join medical homes, accountable care organizations and other systems of care where provider status may be important."

According to a fact sheet from Hernandez’s office, the bills are designed to expand access to healthcare among the at least 4.7 million state residents who will be covered following the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The fact sheet cited a report by the California Health Care Foundation indicating that the number of primary-care physicians in the state is at the bottom range of or below its need, and there is also a poor distribution of physicians. In 2008, there were 69,460 physicians in the state, 35% of whom practiced primary care, equal to 63 primary-care physicians per 100,000 people. But according to the Council on Graduate Medical Education, between 60 and 80 primary-care physicians per 100,000 people are needed, but only 16 of the state’s 58 counties meet this criterion.

 

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