Some researchers say that pharmaceuticals have grown to consume up to 30 percent of each healthcare dollar. With that in mind, your community pharmacy may need to rethink traditional care models to drive improved outcomes and value – or risk becoming obsolete.
Current care models are largely driven by the site of care. For example, to fill a prescription to start or maintain therapy, your customer needs to walk through your doors. While it makes sense to support face-to-face care between consumers and pharmacy professionals, some analysts believe that site-driven care models may become increasingly more expensive and inefficient. In a word: obsolete.
Current Care Model Shortcomings
One researcher laid out the shortcomings of current care models. Observations suggested that current care models:
- Do not take a population health approach (treating an entire population) to selecting the patients treated. The pharmacy may not have complete control over this aspect — targeting entire populations for care and removing care population inequities (gaps in wealth/income, geography, disease risk, life expectancy, and others), but it sure can be affected by the practice or lack thereof. This can reduce access to potential consumer populations
- Require patients to physically show at the site of care for treatment and therapy (think: not reaching a patient where they are, but where you are)
- Dispense medications using a one-size-fits-all approach
- Do not make full use of available health care information technology
- Work in silos with low or no integration in the complete care continuum
The Advent of New Care Models
New care models make it possible to improve scope, access, and care quality, integrate services with other provider channels, and improve overall care quality and value – plus reduce the risks of becoming obsolete.
These models include:
- Multiple dose adherence packaging to make it easier for patients to take medications (even multiple ones) properly and maintain adherence and compliance
- Precision medicine – a constantly evolving model that uses science and data to improve clinical and information driven outcomes to both patients and providers
- Telehealth, which makes interventions possible through digital mediums wherever the patient is and whenever they need it; this also opens intervention channels to providers to provide anytime/anywhere care
New models can benefit both patients and providers through the following:
- The use of data analytics can identify patients that would benefit the most from specific services and counter health care inequities
- Allow pharmacists to provide “high-touch” care anywhere and at anytime
- Effectively and efficiently dispense medications and reduce (if not eliminate) waste
- Take advantage of available and upcoming information technology (think: smartphones, computers, and tablets – and thus replacing the site-of-care requirement)
- Technology integrations to make connections with other essential and related care providers and systems
Ultimately, the evolution of care to new care models will open revenue streams and care pathways and provide payers with new, more effective, and arguably more cost-efficient pathways to providing care and balancing health care inequities to greater populations.
If your pharmacy can partake in the roll out of new care models, you’ll likely up your chances of avoiding becoming obsolete in the rush to provide higher quality, more accessible care with improved patient and financial outcomes. It could improve your pharmacy’s health over the long term.
To learn about, adopt, and make the most of these new care models, community pharmacies should partner up with companies like PPSC. We’re dedicated to helping you understand new care models and changing legislature, maintain the health of your patients, and improve your pharmacy’s bottom line.
If you’re not a member yet, join us. If you are a member, make sure you’re leveraging your benefits and maximizing your pharmacy’s success.