New APhA resources help you move from med sync to services

It’s already the third week of #APhM2018. Thousands of you have been using the downloadable resources on in your practice settings and using social media to share our campaign. As our theme for October states, pharmacists are “Easy to Reach and Ready to Help.” Let’s keep it up!

We all know that pharmacists not only safely provide medicine but also offer lots of different services as part of our commitment to helping patients live healthier lives.

Last week, I had the honor of representing the profession at the White House to witness the signing of legislation allowing pharmacists to help patients find the lowest costs for their prescriptions. When they have questions, will you be ready?

You can be!

Pharmacists across the spectrum are offering services like med sync, where patients can pick up all their chronic medications at the same time instead of making multiple trips throughout the month. Med sync improves adherence and is a win for patients and pharmacies. Building on med sync to offer the Appointment Based Model (ABM) can improve patient relationships, adherence, and outcomes even further.

The ABM integrates a proactive call to check in with the patient before the medications are due and makes the patient’s regular trip to the pharmacy even more valuable with the addition of guidance on medication use and health care concerns when needed. If you need more convincing about why to go beyond med sync and implement the ABM, check out APhA’s new Benefits of Medication Synchronization and the Appointment Based Model, which details the research on how the ABM can improve your practice.

But why stop there? We can go even further to leverage the efficiency and workflow of the ABM by weaving in patient care services—especially those services that compensate pharmacists under sustainable business models. If you’re already offering the ABM and are ready to take the next step for your patients and your pharmacy, APhA’s new Leveraging the Appointment Based Model to Expand Patient Care Services: Practice Guidance for Pharmacists will help you understand how more robust patient care services can be easily integrated into the pre-appointment call and the patient’s pick-up appointment.

For example, the pharmacy team can ask if patients are up to date with their immunizations during the pre-appointment call and offer for the pharmacist to provide any vaccines they’re missing during the visit. Pharmacists can also triage patients for referrals and use the appointment or a follow-up appointment to provide more robust medication management or chronic disease management services.

We also provide the ABM pharmacy locator to help patients find those pharmacists who provide the ABM. Make sure you’re on the pharmacy locator. If you would like your pharmacy listed, check it out!

I recently represented APhA and pharmacists at a Task Force meeting held by the Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA). The meeting aimed to identify how payers and pharmacies can work together to build sustainable payment models that will help pharmacies offer more services by leveraging ABM patient interactions. Pharmacies, health plans, and technology vendors discussed their shared goals to improve quality metrics that are included in value-based payment models. There was even alignment between the groups on which specific quality metrics pharmacists could receive value-based payment for improving.

Value-based models, including pay-for-performance, are a great platform to think about moving from med sync to services. While the “what” is a given, the “how” is the bigger question. APhA will continue to work with PQA, our other pharmacy partners, and health plans to explore contractual opportunities to make providing more patient care services accessible and sustainable within the ABM.

Patients need to know that their pharmacists can help them stay healthy with the right medications, and at the best price. Our American Pharmacists Month campaign is geared toward public education, and we’ve reached 190,000 patients and counting with our message. Once patients know what’s possible, they can be their own advocates in asking their insurers and employers to fully utilize pharmacies as sites of vital patient care services.

Continue to use to get materials that raise awareness about the range of services we can offer patients and make sure they know you are “Easy to Reach and Ready to Help.”