Are Your Long Term Care Facilities Getting the Results the Consultant Pharmacist Should Deliver?
- Poor consulting results in higher costs, regulatory non-compliance, poor ratings and lost revenue
- Patient Centered Medication Regimen Reviews vs. daily quotas and limited impact
- Higher utilization of unnecessary meds*
- Less control of Med Carts and controlled substances*
- Limited personal interaction with facility team and patients – Not integrated into medical team
- CMS Recommends Long Term Care facilities hire independent consultant pharmacists due to “service” and “conflict of interest ‘issues'”
*CMS 2011 and 2012 reporting
In recent years, there has been a shift in the long-term care pharmacy industry. Now that facilities are responsible for a greater percentage of medication cost, large-scale pharmacy distributors have been able to provide medications at a lower cost, and usually offer “discounted” consulting services, which is made up for in the dispensing fees they receive.
Unleash the Impact of Your Consultant Pharmacist by Integrating Them Into Your Long Term Care Resident Focused Team
In an editorial on the American Medical Directors Association web site, titled “Biomedical Ethics & Pharmacy Issues in Long-Term Care Facilities”, Jonathan Evans, MD, CMD, provides support for independent consultants: Some of the issues that he describes include:
- Many consulting pharmacists are now employees of corporate pharmacy providers whose profits are derived from the sale of medications in general, and whose profit margins, in some cases, are favored by the sale of certain drugs in particular.
- At least one national pharmacy provider faxed virtually identical prescriptions to physicians across the country – for their “convenience” and requiring only their signature – in order to begin their patients on lipid lowering therapy with a particular brand of statin drug.
- In order to maintain their legitimate role as patient advocates, facility administrators and staff should strongly consider hiring their own independent consultant pharmacists to perform the auditing and oversight function required by federal regulations.
- It is best for the patient, and therefore, best for long-term care in general, if consultant pharmacists remain truly independent from pharmacy providers, in order to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest.
- Complicating the role of consultant pharmacist by coupling the auditing and oversight role with marketing and formulary management is likely to alienate physicians, who may come to view consultant pharmacists with distrust. The result will be to diminish the positive impact of consultant pharmacists on the quality of care.
America’s Senior Care Pharmacists™