Texas Pharmacy Association Launches Medication Adherence Project

Saturday, Feb 11, 2017

The Texas Pharmacy Association (TPA) has been awarded a grant from the Community Pharmacy Foundation (CPF) and Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to develop and implement new community-based healthcare provider digital linkages with pharmacists that include support resources and a strong business infrastructure.  Utilizing a cloud-based system, physicians will be able to refer patients with uncontrolled hypertension to a community-based pharmacist network who will deliver services designed to improve outcomes and decrease overall medical costs.  Pharmacists will utilize the same referral system to communicate with patients, submit claims and receive payment.  The principle investigator for this grant is Rachel Sharpton, Pharm.D, BCACP, with the University of Texas at Tyler College of Pharmacy with support from TPA Director of Pharmacy Practice, Kim Roberson, BPharm.  

Clinics and hospitals will use a bi-directional referral system to notify the pharmacist network of patients that physicians have identified for adherence focused services.  Pharmacists will provide an initial medication reconciliation with follow-up monitoring over 2 months.  Thanks to additional support from Microlife USA, each patient who needs one will also receive a home blood pressure monitoring kit at no additional charge.  

Patient referrals begin in February 2017 and will include up to 180 total patients from three communities of Wichita Falls, Tyler and Jasper, Texas.  It is expected that referrals will conclude by June 2017 and results will be available by October 2017.  This first phase integrates a network of 13 community pharmacists from 8 different pharmacy employers into clinics, hospitals and provider offices.  Long term, the project will establish a virtual network in various cities throughout the state.  Pharmacist fees are uniquely structured for this project and focus on pharmacists helping patients receive intended outcomes.  In addition to a base payment, pharmacists will also receive a bonus payment for each patient that reaches and maintains treatment goal.

The project deploys a secure, cloud-based interoperable workflow technology platform to link patients, physicians, pharmacists, hospitals, clinics and other healthcare providers. This technology brings world-class security protocols, patient engagement apps, pharmacy system and EMR integration into one innovative appointment-based platform. It will support a premier network of community pharmacists to deliver high quality patient-care services in local communities. This referral network will position community pharmacists, regardless of employer, as members of the local community healthcare team.  In some regions, access to care may increase as pharmacists develop practice sites separate and apart from brick-and-mortar pharmacies.

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