PHARMACY

Thrifty White Pharmacy is improving patient outcomes through new diabetes pilot

BY Michael Johnsen

PLYMOUTH, Minn. — Thrifty White Pharmacy is making a significant difference in patient lives through its new diabetes care program, which places recipients into a medsync program replete with comprehensive medication therapy management sessions, patient disease management goal setting and follow through. Thrifty White also offers a compliance packaging service, HealthyPack Rx, that helps organize and manage a patient's medication.

"The diabetes program allows us to connect with that diabetes patient on a deeper level," Ben Shanahan, regional sales manager, Thrifty White Pharmacy, told Drug Store News. "Ultimately the goal is to improve the total health outcome of that patient," he said. "Where our sweet spot is, [it's] improving and/or increasing the adherence to medications, ensuring they're on the right medication and layering what's important to [the patient] from a goal standpoint, so working with them and their care team to align on the two or three goals they've identified that will really engage them to improve their care of diabetes."

Ben Shanahan Thrifty White recently introduced the dedicated diabetes pilot across 20 markets with plans to roll out the program to all stores  in October. As part of that meeting, Thrifty White will be doing a deep dive into the diabetes disease state in an effort to cch and manage patients with diabetes. "The overall feedback has been positive," Shanahan said. The program has successfully intervened in the diabetes care of these patients, many of whom were navigating their care on their own.

The Thrifty White Pharmacy diabetes care program follows diabetes management guidelines set forth by Minnesota Community Measurements, which is comparable to CMS' STAR ratings, Shanahan said.

Suggesting the incorporation of such recommendations as a statin therapy into the diabetes care program and other measures have made a difference, Shanahan added. "It wasn't the primary end-point, but we did see a reduction in A1C [of participants], similar to what you would see when you get somebody under control on their medications," he added.

With the early successes of the program, Thrifty White has attracted the attention of local employers. "The [outreach] focus early on had been just with our provider partners," Shanahan said. "As we start to see some of that [positive outcome] uptake within our communities, we have had employers engage with us to talk about how pharmacy can play a role in a role in [helping to] manage the healthcare cost."

This program success, and others like it, also is beginning to attract the attention of commercial payers, added Jeremy Faulks, director specialty pharmacy, Thrifty White Pharmacy. "The commercial markets are starting to understand the value of pharmacy a little better, [and now] commerical plan designs are starting to pay for more MTM-type services," he said. "We're positioning our pharmacists, leveraging their critical skills, to practice at the top of their license [and] attack that area as it continues to open up and the industry moves in that direction."

 
 

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Amber Pharmacy president recipient of NASP 2017 Distinguished Service Award

BY Michael Johnsen

OMAHA, Neb. – Mike Agostino, president of Amber Pharmacy and Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions, has been awarded the 2017 Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy.

“Nobody works as tirelessly as Mike when it comes to doing what’s right for our patients,” stated Micaila Ruiz, chief pharmacy officer Amber Pharmacy. “He has the ability to instill his mission of patient-centered care with everyone he meets, whether it’s a member of Congress in Washington, D.C., or a member of our staff.”

“I am honored and humbled to be recognized with this award,” Agostino said. “I find it very gratifying to be a member of an organization like NASP that does everything it can to further the specialty pharmacy industry and make a difference in the lives of patients and caregivers.”

The Distinguished Service Award is given annually to an individual who has made a sustained contribution to leadership within NASP and the specialty pharmacy industry. Agostino was selected for this award by NASP members due to his efforts to keep specialty pharmacy patient focused. This includes his lobbying efforts in Washington, on behalf of the specialty pharmacy industry and his efforts at Amber Pharmacy.

Agostino is also heavily involved in the NASP organization. As the newly-appointed president, he remains focused on growing the organization and sharing its value proposition with others in the industry. He does this by encouraging NASP membership, promoting the NASP Annual Meeting and Educational Conference, and advocating for NASP in Washington, D.C.

When he began at Amber Pharmacy in 2008, Agostino saw the need for more patient-centric specialty pharmacy services. His vision to insert a non-clinical approach to patient care led to Amber Pharmacy’s cultural foundation of putting patients first. This core belief empowers Amber Pharmacy employees to do whatever is needed to support and care for patients.

 

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Q&A: PerceptiMed’s Maione talks engaging patients through Rx tech

BY DSN STAFF

With consumers taking greater control of their own health, pharmacy technology companies are playing a pivotal role in helping community pharmacists better engage patients through improved in-store experience and better communication. Drug Store News spoke to PerceptiMed chief business officer Frank Maione about how PerceptiMed is working to help pharmacies deliver on these goals. 

Drug Store News: The National Association of Chain Drug Stores Total Store Expo was last month — what were some of the pain points that came up in your meetings with potential partners?
FRANK MAIONE: Here are some notes I have from the business session at NACDS Total Store Expo —

“Free the Pharmacist.”

“Our Pharmacists can redefine convenience.”

“Seventy-five percent of patients don’t take their meds properly, [accounting for] $300 billion [in] costs…”

Both of PerceptiMed’s technologies enable workload redeployment in numerous ways. Our ScripClip technology aids the pharmacy will call area, saving time and money. Our IdentRx technology Triple counts all [Schedule 2] meds, creates a real-time balance-on-hand and audit log, and for retailers looking to balance the verification process the IdentRx Remote enables that need with state of the art remote verification.

DSN: As pharmacists work to achieve provider status and continue to play a greater role in healthcare delivery, how is your company enabling community pharmacists to practice at the top of their license?
FM: It is necessary for community pharmacists to utilize technology that can help their businesses run more efficiently and effectively. The PerceptiMed suite of technologies enables greater levels of overall pharmacist engagement with the patient through a variety of applications. PerceptiMed’s technology applications are cost-effective and have already helped our community pharmacy clients to maximize their time and the time of their staff effectively, while reducing errors.

DSN: Medication adherence remains one of the most cost-effective ways to lower total healthcare costs and deliver improved outcomes. How is your company helping community pharmacy solve for this big opportunity to improve health care?
FM: PerceptiMed’s technologies enable the pharmacy to free the pharmacist up and to redeploy labor in numerous ways creating more opportunities for the pharmacist to practice at the top of their license. Remote Verification and workload rebalance through effective use of leading-edge technology is at the core of the PerceptiMed promise. The amount of time spent double-counting Schedule 2 drugs or dealing with name error and mis-files in will-call can be significant, and this is where technology can aid in the long-term process. The reduction in error also results in time and cost savings.

DSN: How is your company helping community pharmacies drive greater efficiency in their business whether in terms of inventory management, optimizing workflow, or keeping ahead of reimbursement challenges, etc.?
FM: Our community pharmacy partners have already experienced efficiencies through our ScripClip application. The technology utilizes a proprietary RF signal that when tagged to prescription bags become directly connected to the patient’s name and age. The duplication of names and mis-filings of prescriptions is no longer a factor and the technology saves significant time without significant training to use the system. Where the ScripClip system is being utilized, the chain of custody applications has enabled a significant reduction of internal shrink to almost zero. This allows for more of the pharmacist’s time to be spent on patient care and also helps to optimize workflow.

DSN: As pharmacy continues to focus more broadly on outcomes and implementing more clinical services, how is your company helping pharmacy retailers better manage the vast amounts of data they need to deal with on a daily basis that comes as a part of that?
FM: Our proprietary Artificial Intelligence in our technology serves the purpose of assisting in the automating and reduction of error in the medication dispensing process. It also has applications for DEA Audit controls and BOH in real time, which helps to solve problems before they occur.

DSN: As healthcare providers look to form unique partnerships to better manage patient populations, deliver improved outcomes and better manage financial risk, how is your company helping to connect the expanded patient care team?
FM: PerceptiMed’s technology is applicable to pharmacies, hospitals, and long-term care facilities. All of our technological applications serve the purpose of pharmacy workload redeployment while saving time and money and reducing error. The technologies are easily integrated into existing systems and allow for automation and efficiency. As patient populations continue to increase, time savings and verification are becoming increasingly important and we have applications throughout the supply chain.

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