We have just finished our first year with Cohort 1. We have over 500 pharmacies participating in Cohort 1 and our inaugural year of Flip the Pharmacy. Somethings we got right from the beginning, other things we learned and changed. Then, we got hit with the unexpected—COVID-19, which changed all our worlds. Although we had to make a pivot with Flip the Pharmacy, it turned out that the learnings we gained from our COVID-19 best practices helped us improve our Flip the Pharmacy materials, processes, and offerings. In fact one of our best attended and most engaged webinars is our Flip the Pharmacy Best Practices Webinar where participating pharmacies get a chance to share how they are implementing their change packages and practice innovations. Also, we have discussed in the past the tremendous growth in e-care plan submissions from our Flip the Pharmacy practice sites—truly remarkable. Now we are adding Cohort 2 pharmacies which brings our number of total pharmacies transforming their practices to over 900. For the first time in my career I am seeing a large aggregate of community-based pharmacies providing patient care services that are having an impact on patient outcomes and total cost of care. Payers are engaging with networks across the country—really for two main reasons—we positively impact patient care/outcomes and we have the numbers of pharmacies that provide coverage for a payer’s beneficiaries—thus the value of a clinically integrated network.
I make those two distinctions between outcomes and numbers because we are still experiencing disruption in health care and in particular pharmacy. New players keep entering the market including technology vendors who are developing solutions to get the drug faster, more efficiently, and more effectively to the patient. What I don’t hear very often though is who is managing and monitoring the patients drug therapy. Estimates from 2016 indicated that we (United States) spent $528.4 billion drug related morbidity and mortality.
Our country now spends much more money on correcting the problems related to inappropriate drug therapy than on the drug therapy itself. This is why CPESN USA and Flip the Pharmacy are essential to our future success.
To me, the new innovations will be centered around the medication management of patients—not just fast and accurate dispensing. Actively engaging in Flip the Pharmacy and transforming your practice to ensure patients are achieving optimal outcomes with their medications will be our solution to the problems and costs associated with potentially inappropriate medications.
Community pharmacists are the solution and now we have the adequacy (coverage) needed for plans and the quality interventions needed desperately by our health care system. The power is shifting to our favor!!
Randy McDonough, PharmD, MS, BCGP, BCPS, FAPhA
Director of Practice Transformation, Flip the Pharmacy