Pharmacists as Providers
Pharmacists as Providers: Status Update
The Tennessee Pharmacists Association, through its membership in the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations (NASPA), has partnered with other pharmacy organizations to support the forming of the Patient Access to Pharmacists Care Coalition (PAPCC), whose goal is to develop recommended federal policy regarding pharmacists’ provider status. This new coalition will be working to advance the pharmacist provider status initiative at the federal level, by developing and promoting a policy proposal designed to increase patient access to pharmacists’ patient care services. Although it is anticipated that this group will continue to grow in number, the current members are as follows:
- American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP)
- American Pharmacists Association (APhA)
- American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP)
- American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)
- AmeriSource Bergen
- Bi-Lo Pharmacy
- Cardinal Health
- CVS Caremark
- Food Marketing Institute (FMI)
- Fred’s Pharmacy
- Fruth Pharmacy
- International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists (IACP)
- National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations (NASPA)
- National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS)
- National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA)
- Rite Aid
- Safeway Inc.
- SuperValu Pharmacies
- Thrifty White Pharmacy
TPA will continue to work with NASPA on this initiative and will keep members informed of PAPCC’s progress. Although the policy that is developed will impact federal law, activity at the state level is just as important. It is critical that you stay active in our association to stay informed and involved in issues that affect patients and pharmacists in our state. Below are a few of the provider status initiatives currently underway at the state level.
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation Grant:
This program is a patient-centered, pharmacist-provided diabetes care program delivered by credentialed, trained pharmacists located in multiple practice settings across the state of Tennessee, through the Tennessee Pharmacists Research and Education Foundation (TPREF). Although information will be collected as part of this program, it is considered a demonstration project. Its purpose is to evaluate the effectiveness of this pharmacy-based collaborative approach to diabetes care. Recruitment of patients for participation in this program is conducted at the point of care by the pharmacist, in consultation with each patient’s primary care physician. Referrals from other health care providers are encouraged. The responsibility of the credentialed, trained pharmacist is to take a more active role in each participating patient’s diabetes care and management and to help these patients with the diabetes-related goals of therapy which have been agreed upon by the patient, his or her primary care physician, and the pharmacist. The pharmacist will utilize a novel, web-based documentation system to achieve the goals and objectives of this program.
Participating patients receive pharmacist-provided care and services, including:
- Medication Therapy Management Services
- Diabetes Self-Management Education Services
- Glycemic Events Structured Testing Services
- Survey Collection/Evaluation
The enrollment phase of this program is complete. Over 100 patients have enrolled and are currently receiving pharmacist-provided care through this program. These enrolled patients will receive 12 months of care and services, after which time TPREF will present a final report with results to the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation. TPA and TPREF are extremely grateful to BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee for their ongoing efforts and investment of resources, to improve patient access and quality of care by utilizing pharmacists as providers.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Tennessee Department of Health Enhanced Grant:
The Tennessee Pharmacists Association, through the Tennessee Pharmacists Research and Education Foundation (TPREF), is very excited to announce that TPA has been awarded a grant from the Tennessee Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as partners on a CDC Enhanced Grant to engage pharmacists as non-physician practitioners in diabetes and hypertension prevention and treatment. Through this grant program, TPA staff will work with the Tennessee Department of Health and the CDC to develop and implement the physical and technical infrastructures needed to facilitate the delivery of diabetes and hypertension care by pharmacists, through a variety of practices and to diverse patient populations.
The Tennessee Department of Health and the CDC selected pharmacists as providers because they recognize the significant value of including pharmacists as providers within the health care system, which has been well-validated through organized research and practical application projects. They selected TPA as a grant recipient due to the overwhelming past and present success of several TPREF pharmacist-provided patient care programs in partnership with BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation and Roche Diagnostics. TPA will work with partner organizations, including the Tennessee Hospital Association and the Tennessee Primary Care Association, to ensure that this grant program meets its goals and objectives. The grant will provide 5 years of funding to support program activities.
TPA greatly appreciates this significant investment by the Tennessee Department of Health and the CDC to support and increase patient access to pharmacist-provided patient care.
Information about the Grant: Each state receives a base grant from the CDC for Diabetes Prevention activities and services. For base grant information on the CDC website, click here [[http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/about/statepubhealthactions-prevcd.htm]]. Additionally, states had the opportunity to apply for one of a limited number of Enhanced Grants to support activities focused in four primary domains, explained here. Tennessee was awarded one of these Enhanced Grants.