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PBMI releases first report on pharmacy trends in ACOs

BY David Salazar

PLANO, Texas — The Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute released this week its first report on the state of pharmacy trends in accountable care organizations (ACOs).  The report includes information about the use of pharmacists in ACOs, the state of care management and patient engagement and clinical integration and reporting. 
 
ACOs represent a critical and growing part of the solution to help improve value, quality, and care in our nation's health care and pharmacy plays an important role in achieving those goals," says Jane Lutz, Executive Director of PBMI. "Our new ACO report looks specifically at valuable information regarding contract and financial incentive structures, current practices in pharmacy management, and plans for the future."
 
The report looks at 101 ACOs across more than 30 states, which combined cover 6.5 million patients. Among the standout findings is the fact that many ACOs are underutilizing pharmacists. Some 43% of the ACOs surveyed do not employ a clinical pharmacist. Forty percent of ACOs employ a clinicial pharmacist and another 17% contract one out. Clinical pharmacists working for and with ACOs typically oversee medication therapy management and patient education, as well as transitioning care from the hospital to the community. 
 
“Pharmacists are underutilized as trusted advisors to both patients and physicians/other providers,” the report said. “Their patient-facing role can be very powerful in education and motivation, providing a potential solution to the lack of patient engagement and commitment to self-care.”
 
Given the importance ACOs said they place on population health and the fact that 98% of respondents think that focus will increase in the coming years, the role of the pharmacist could be front and center. 
 
Beyond the pharmacy, ACOs reported difficulty in streamlining and integrating systems, as less than a third of respondents use electronic health records, 59% use multiple systems and 23% still use paper charts. 
 
But despite underuse of pharmacists and difficulty with support tools, the report said that a majority (56%) of ACOs say they will decrease the cost of prescription drugs and 69% believe they will play role in increasing prescription drug therapy quality. 
 
“Looking to the future, there is a restrained optimism about the impact of ACOs on cost and quality and a need to demonstrate the value of ACOs via quality health economic outcomes research,” the report said. “Providers value financial assistance programs for patients who cannot afford care on their own and patient education programs which can help patients build a foundation for good health habits and increased adherence to treatment regimens.”

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URAC accredits Amber Pharmacy, Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions

BY DSN STAFF

OMAHA, Neb. — Following its accreditation of Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy, URAC announced this week that it had granted three-year  full specialty pharmacy accreditation to Hy-Vee subsidiaries Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions and Amber Pharmacy. 
 
“URAC Specialty Pharmacy Accreditation is a significant accomplishment and we are proud to meet URAC’s standards of excellence,” said Aaron Wiese, President of Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions. “URAC Specialty Pharmacy Accreditation demonstrates our dedication to providing the highest quality of care.”
 
Wiese, who is also president of Amber Pharmacy, commented on its accreditation as well. 
 
“Our business was built around core values — integrity, respect, compassion and caring,” Wiese said. “Amber Pharmacy takes great pride in going above and beyond to provide high quality care for our patients. URAC Specialty Pharmacy Accreditation is a transparent and rigorous process that provides assurance to our customers that our clinical care and programs are best-in-class.”

 

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