Why Enhance Prescriber Collaboration?
Physicians and other prescribers are facing growing pressures due to an influx of patients seeking care, increasing administrative requirements, and payment being tied to quality. Coupled with a looming physician shortage, prescribers are being challenged to meet patients' needs. With all the pressures, patients might wait months for an appointment and doctors often can only focus on a patient's chief complaint, leaving most minor and chronic conditions unaddressed.
Opportunity beckons as today's contemporary pharmacists already have the training and skills to address their patients' problems. Pharmacists can increase patient access to care, decrease the overall number of hospitalizations, improve patient outcomes, and reduce total net health care spend.
Collaborative Practice Agreements
Pharmacists are practicing in an interdisciplinary team environment. Opportunities exist for pharmacists to collaborate with other healthcare professionals which can result in improved patient outcomes and reduce overall costs. While pharmacists continue to advocate for provider status nationwide, pharmacists are already providing expanded patient care services through collaborative practice agreements (CPAs). CPAs are voluntary, formal relationships between pharmacists and physicians or other providers that allow for certain patient care functions, including but not limited to modification or initiation of drug therapy, performing, interpreting, or ordering laboratory tests, and conducting physical assessments, as authorized by the practitioner under specified situations and conditions. Expanding enhanced services opens the door for community pharmacists to embed themselves within a provider's practice or provide additional patient care services directly in the pharmacy.
Chronic Care Management (CCM)
Another area where pharmacists can make an impact on patient outcomes and be compensated for the services provided is chronic care management. Chronic Care Management is a monthly management program for Medicare patients with two or more chronic conditions. Community pharmacists can provide just about every CCM activity under a physician's supervision, and can assist prescribers obtain a more complete picture of their patients. Pharmacists are in a prime position to manage patients with complex medication regimens and improve a physician's quality measures.
How Do I Identify a Prescriber?
One method to find a collaborator is to begin with the providers you already know.
Another consideration is to reach out to prescribers who share a common goal.
What are the steps to establishing a collaborative practice agreement?
Toolkit The Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin has prepared this document to assist pharmacists develop CPAs.
Guidance Document The Tennessee Pharmacists Association has detailed the process of establishing CPAs.
Where can I find more information about chronic care management?
Connected Care CMS has developed the following resource page to inform health care professionals about CCM.
Chronic Care Management (CCM): An Overview for Pharmacists The role of pharmacists in CCM can be found in this paper.
Who is Already Doing This?
Translational Tools This publication from the CDC provides strategies and case examples.
Sample Collaborative Agreements
Advisories, Briefs, and Bulletins