Change can be uncomfortable, and although it is sometimes welcome and taken in stride, it is not uncommon for new ideas, approaches, and designations to have unexpected ripples and generate feedback.
In this issue we include several articles highlighting changes in healthcare and novel ideas that can have a significant impact on providers and their patients.
Recently, the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy provided an answer to the continuous requests for regulatory definitions of specialty pharmacy and specialty medications. This month’s The First Word expands on the new definitions and discusses the impact these new definitions have on community pharmacy, accreditation and licensing needed for specialty pharmacy, and the importance of keeping options for patients and physicians open (see “New Specialty Pharmacy and Specialty Medication Definitions Commendable but Exclusionary”). After reading the article, send us your feedback and tell us what you think about these definitions.
This issue of Inside Patient Care also includes an article that gives prominence to the imperative role of pharmacists in accountable care organizations (ACOs), with specific regard to direct and indirect patient care, and being a good partner in the system (see “The Imperative Role of Pharmacists in Accountable Care” ). “In ACOs, pharmacists can play a larger role to ensure cross-continuum medication adherence, and optimal medication action plans,” states Scott D. Pope, PharmD, Vice President of Strategic Marketing – Pharmacy, Premier, Inc, Charlotte, NC.
Another featured article highlights the perspectives of patients, community pharmacists, and reimbursement decision makers on consumer engagement with the primary care healthcare system, the role of the pharmacy profession in the provision of care services, and payers’ willingness to reimburse pharmacy-directed primary care services (see “Integrating Community Pharmacies into Primary Care Delivery”).
“This qualitative study of patients, pharmacists, and payers highlights opportunities and gaps between current and future provision of primary care through convenience clinics,” explains Mark A. Munger, PharmD, Professor, Department of Pharmacotherapy, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, and colleagues. “Patients and pharmacists both acknowledge the possibility of expanded primary care offerings through these clinics, and potential benefits in terms of improved access and convenience, but are split between those who hold the more traditional dispenser-advisor model, and those who favor a more progressive primary care provider model.”
Other themes explored in this issue include the ever-changing landscape of hepatitis C virus treatment (see “Direct-Acting Antivirals for Patients with Hepatitis C Virus”), sleep hygiene advice that may be useful for promoting regular sleep (see “5 Tips for Better Sleep Habits”), and how to manage a patient receiving dual anticoagulation therapy (see Dual Therapy Debacle).
We hope you enjoy this issue of Inside Patient Care, and look forward to receiving your feedback on the topics we cover throughout the journal.