ID Verification: Dispensing controlled substances to the right patients
Get the right medication to the right patient. It sounds simple enough, but the controls in place in pharmacies today do not always ensure that happens. The current drug crisis has created greater demand for prescription opioids as well as related over-the-counter drugs such as those containing pseudoephedrine. This, in turn, has created a need to more closely control the dispensing of these prescriptions and controlled substances to help curb this epidemic – making sure the right patients get access to these drugs and the wrong individuals do not. Identification (ID) verification demands have increased for Pharmacies and confirming a birth date, address or phone number is no longer enough.
But, are we expecting too much of pharmacists by asking them to be identity verification experts?
Remember when alcohol was at the forefront of fake IDs? Underage drinking is still an issue—and a serious one at that—but global demand for fake IDs has gone on to involve medical identity theft, financial fraud, terrorism, cybercrime, entitlement schemes, employment misrepresentation, and beyond.
Online retailers in countries like China and India create high quality counterfeit driver’s licenses that leave even professionals in law enforcement duped. According to the Driver’s License Guide Company, there is no universal standard for what security features are used on IDs and where they are located on the ID. In fact, the organization even offers an entire identification manual that details every ID’s relevant security features. Clearly, clinical care and pharmacy providers do not have the expertise, bandwidth or workflow in place to support such in-depth examination of patient identification cards. So what’s a pharmacist to do?
Misidentification challenges and technology solutions
Faced with the growing trends of medical identity theft and advanced counterfeiting technology, in the form of government documentation and ID cards, the healthcare industry- retail pharmacy included – needs to turn to technology to combat these challenges. While there are many options, from voice recognition software to 3-D face scanning systems, one of the simplest ways is to employ technology to answer the question: Is this ID real or fake? If it is real, then the pharmacy is able to track with increased confidence who has picked up a prescription or controlled substance. If it is fake, the pharmacy knows not to dispense to that person without further proof of identity.
Why would pharmacies benefit from integrating technology capable of authenticating government-issued IDs in real-time? The answer is to save time and improve quality of security. Pharmacists have a tremendous responsibility to make sure the right prescriptions are filled and that their patients understand how to take them, what potential side effects exist, and more. To ask those pharmacists to also memorize identification verification factors on hundreds of different document types (remember, each state has its own driver’s license standards alone and then there are passports, state IDs and other forms of government ID documents) would not only waste time but also distract the pharmacists from other critical tasks. Technology, on the other hand, can easily store hundreds of standards and quickly compare IDs to those standards to determine if the ID is real. It’s even possible, using advanced matching algorithms, for the technology to compare a picture of the individual with the image on the submitted ID to determine if there is a match. Further, technology can scan the patient identification data on the ID to pre-populate forms, creating a smoother, faster experience for both the pharmacist and patient.
We need efficient data management solutions to generate confidence in care, better outcomes, and overall improved population health. It’s time to see what else can be done to minimize a considerable loss of health care dollars due to fraudulent, false, and incomplete patient identification data. Identity verification through technology solutions such as this deliver not only higher accuracy than manual efforts, but efficiency and flexibility to deliver care with confidence.
I think it is a very important tool to give the right medication to the right patient.
QS/1 selected as early adopter in new CMS script standard
QS/1 is participating in the Surescripts Early Adopter program for the new National Council for Prescription Drug Program’s SCRIPT standard version 2017071, the company announced Monday. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are expected to implement the standard in early 2020.
“QS/1 has been at the forefront of every initiative in the electronic transmission of medical data,” Smith Technologies president and chief technology officer for JM Smith Corporation Kevin Welch said, in a press statement. “As CMS moves forward with SCRIPT standard version 2017071, QS/1 will work with our partners at Surescripts to ensure we are giving community pharmacy the tools they need to transmit e-prescriptions in the new format before the January 2020 deadline.”
The NCPDP SCRIPT standard is used to securely exchange information between prescribers, dispensers, and Medicare prescription drug plans. Surescripts transmits 4.8 million e-prescriptions every day.
The new SCRIPT standard version 2017071 will include new features and transaction options that are intended to reduce confusion and replace manual processes. These updates will improve patient safety and prescription accuracy while making workflows between healthcare providers and pharmacies more efficient, according to the companies.
“Surescripts plays a key role convening the industry and leading all participants in the Surescripts Network Alliance through periods of change. By working together across markets, we can generate enormous value – not just for each other, but for society,” Surescripts chief product officer Mike Pritts said, in a statement. “Given QS/1’s experience in implementing previous versions of the NCPDP SCRIPT standard, Surescripts is confident QS/1 will again guide community pharmacies as the January 2020 deadline approaches.”
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CVS Health kicks off free wellness screenings in 11 markets
CVS Health is launching its annual Project Health campaign at select CVS Pharmacy locations in 11 communities across the country on Sept. 6, with free health-and-wellness screenings, the company announced Tuesday.
A total of 528 Project Health events will take place locally over the next four months in multicultural communities with a large number of uninsured or underinsured Americans.
Project Health offers free comprehensive health assessment screenings, including blood pressure; Body Mass Index, or BMI; glucose; and total cholesterol screenings, which can help detect risk for such chronic conditions as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.
Project Health has provided more than $122 million in free healthcare services to more than 930,000 people across the country since 2006, according to CVS Health.
“Project Health is part of CVS Health’s commitment to improving access to quality care by identifying health concerns and risk factors for participants who may not have otherwise sought preventative care,” CVS Health chief medical officer Troyen Brennan said. “Chronic conditions, which can often be life-threatening, can be treated very effectively when identified early at screenings such as Project Health, and can help to improve a patient’s health and well-being.”
One in two Americans has at least one chronic illness with 85% of our healthcare dollars spent each year caring for patients with these diseases, according to CVS Health.
In a national survey by Morning Consult on behalf of CVS Health, 60% of respondents cited costs as a barrier to being as healthy as they would like to be. “Preventative screenings also help to reduce costs for both the patient and the overall healthcare delivery system,” Brennan said.
Project Health events, which will be held on Thursday through Sunday in rotating stores across Atlanta, Boston/Rhode Island, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.. from Sept. 6 through Dec. 16, do not require an appointment.
Following screenings, patients have access to on-site consultations with bilingual nurse practitioners or physician assistants who will analyze results and refer patients who require additional medical care and follow-up to no-cost or low-cost medical facilities nearby or to their primary care physician.
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