Patient ID verification offers untapped potential in the battle against addiction
I recently read an interesting Washington Post article about efforts to prevent people from abusing pain-killers prescribed for their pets. In response to this disturbing trend, states like Colorado and Maine have passed laws allowing or requiring veterinarians to check the prescription histories of pet owners.
This exemplifies how information can be an effective weapon in the ongoing battle against opioid addiction. Understandably, in seeking solutions, there’s an emphasis on the “what,” but we also need to look to the “who,” and this is where data and technology can have a meaningful impact.
At the pharmacist level, there’s a lot of effort dedicated to provider verification, as there should be. But it’s a different story at the patient level. And while millions of people truly need opioids to function, we must strike a balance between preventing addiction and fraud while allowing access and maintaining the integrity of the prescription process.
One area worth examining in this complex issue is how to determine if patients are who they say they are. Patient identification regulations and requirements vary by state. For example, Massachusetts requires a “valid government-issued identification” to pick up a prescription, but Illinois, while mandating a “valid photographic identification,” has no requirement that it be government-issued.
Technology provides the ability to verify a patient’s identity and, if needed, provide insight into their prescription history. However, retailers, know that adding another step means adding more time to each customer transaction, which can impact margins and interrupt workflow. Additionally, community pharmacists have grown their patient base through relationship-building and feel they know their patients.
Clearly, there’s a role and need for identity management platforms such as surveys that can be employed only when needed to minimize risk without disrupting workflow or the patient-pharmacist relationship.
Some identity verification solutions rely only on a patient’s financial information to pose a series of questions, but a deeper dive into an individual’s identity enhances security and helps prevent fraud. Tools like LexisNexis InstantID revolve around comprehensive profiles for more than 270 million Americans, including those who do not have a well-documented financial history. Employing such tools, when needed, provides a deeper, wider and broader perspective, relying on information that would be difficult for anyone but the patient/customer to know.
An identity management platform also can identify the scope and nature of activities related to the abuse and distribution of opioids. It can help spot patterns or connections, such as whom the patient knows, with whom he works or does business. Moreover, employing such a platform helps identify patients throughout the continuum of care, and, it helps to better ensure that the correct patient is receiving the correction medication he/she truly needs, prescribed by a properly licensed physician.
Health Mart to host fifth year of revenue-boosting meetings for independents
IRVING, Texas – Offering independent pharmacies practical advice for taking care of patients and growing their businesses, Health Mart on Tuesday kicked off its fifth Town Hall Continuing Education series titled “Revenue Remedies: Inject Profits into Your Business with Expanded Partnerships and Clinical Services.” Health Mart, with more than 4,800 locally owned community pharmacies across all 50 states, will host more than 80 events across the country through early 2018.
“Peer-to-peer networking and peer led education have proven to be a powerful catalyst in helping our independent pharmacies evolve how they deliver care and drive greater efficiency and profit into their business,” stated Steve Courtman, president, Health Mart. “Revenue Remedies is the next step in providing the tools and resources they need to transform their business through revenue generating clinical services and expanding provider partnerships.”
Each Revenue Remedies workshop features one of 18 successful Health Mart owners who will help attendees identify opportunities and overcome barriers to drive revenue and explore new ways to enhance provider partnerships. In the interactive peer-to-peer sessions, attendees will construct a plan to expand their immunization program, apply practical steps to ensure medication therapy management is profitable, and exchange insights and collaborate with peers on revenue-generating ideas.
All independent pharmacy owners, pharmacists and techs are invited.
Over the past five years, Health Mart has hosted more than 370 peer-to-peer Town Hall meetings to help members understand and improve the clinical, operational, and financial drivers that impact their business. The new Revenue Remedies events will help pharmacies overcome barriers and maximize clinical services to drive revenue while improving patient outcomes.
With more than 4,000 Health Marts immunizing, the physician-signed Collaborative Practice Agreement program is an example of how Health Mart is helping pharmacies successfully expand clinical services. Building on the success of the immunization CPAs, Health Mart worked with its third-party provider to expand the program to include customizable CPA templates which enable additional service delivery in the pharmacy and/or in local provider offices, as well as facilitating payment terms for collaborative drug therapy management services.
Pharmacist CPA services templates are now available for all 50 states through myHealthMart, which pharmacies can customize and work with local providers to sign.
Merck gets FDA approval for new Keytruda indication
SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new indication for Keytruda (pembrolizumab), the drug’s manufacturer Merck announced recently. The drug is now approved as a third-line treatment for patients with recurrent locally advanced or metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma whose tumors test positive for a certain protein identified by an FDA-approved test.
The new indication was approved under the FDA program of accelerated approval based on tumor response rate and durability, with continued approval contingent on verification and description of benefit in future confirmatory trials, Merck said. Keytruda is an anti-programmed death receptor-1, or PD-1 therapy, which helps the immune system detect and fight tumor cells.
“Keytruda is now the first PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor approved in the United States for previously treated advanced gastric or GEJ cancer, helping to address a recognized treatment gap,” Merck Research Laboratories president Dr. Roger Perlmutter said. “This approval marks another milestone — the 10th new indication for Keytruda in just three years — which further demonstrates both our commitment to patients and the progress we have made in the fight against many cancers.”