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Hospital readmission reduction program: A golden opportunity for pharmacists
By Kinjal Patel
Pharmacists across the United States have argued for expanding their role beyond dispensing. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which has put the current healthcare system in the midst of dramatic changes, provides opportunities long awaited by pharmacists. A section of the law allows CMS to implement Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, which reinforces the importance of medication reconciliation and counseling in reducing unnecessary hospital readmissions. If taken advantage of, this opportunity will allow pharmacists to improve patient care while saving millions of dollars for their employer hospitals and our healthcare system.
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Industry Pulse: Will medication reconciliation improve hospital readmission rates?
Last week's survey: Does your pharmacy feature a medication therapy management program?
Pharmacy leaders discuss national action plan to increase patient access to pharmacists' clinical services
Pharmacy organization leaders from across the country recently worked toward a unified, national action plan for integrating pharmacists into current and evolving healthcare delivery models. Increasing patient access to pharmacists' patient care services through value recognition allows the profession to better contribute to optimal patient health while saving healthcare dollars.
PTCB extends March recertification deadline until April 30
PTCB announced that Certified Pharmacy Technicians (CPhTs) due to recertify before March 31 will automatically receive an additional 30 days to submit their applications. Affected candidates must complete their recertifications online at ptcb.org by April 30.
PTCB has asked employers to consider their employees with a March 31 deadline as remaining "active" for an additional 30 days. No fees will be charged to employers in association with the deadline extension. Please note that recertificants in this group will be expected to recertify in the subsequent cycle by March 31, 2015, and not by April 30, 2015.
The deadline extension is part of PTCB's rollout of a new database management system. While many CPhTs with March 2013 deadlines have successfully filed their recertification applications, some users have encountered heavy site traffic and experienced slow responses inside the log-in portal, and need more time to complete the application process. We are working continually to implement technical upgrades to streamline the system.
OutcomesMTM network providers applauded for 2012 achievements
OutcomesMTM, the nation's leading Medication Therapy Management delivery system, has recognized its top chain and independent pharmacies for 2012. Walgreens and Kerr Drug were named Top Large Pharmacy Chain and Top Regional Pharmacy Chain, respectively, while 25 chain and independent pharmacies were selected in regions across the U.S.
AzPA members recognized by Midwestern University College of Pharmacy Glendale as 2012-2013 Preceptors of the Year
Preceptor of the Year — Grace Akoh-Arrey, Fry's Pharmacy
Rookie Preceptor of the Year — Michael Scott Hardy, Mayo Clinic
Congratulations Grace and Scott.
EARLY REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS MARCH 22, 2013. REGISTER TODAY!
Pharmacist and Patient-Centered Diabetes Care Certificate Training Program
Date: April 5
The Pharmacist and Patient-Centered Diabetes Care Certificate Training Program is an innovative and intensive certificate program that focuses on the pharmacist's role in the area of diabetes management. The program, which emphasizes a healthcare team approach, seeks to foster the implementation of pharmaceutical care interventions that will promote disease self-management.
Not an AzPA member? Join today
Not an AzPA member? Join the only statewide association representing all pharmacy professionals in all pharmacy practice settings. With over 1,500 members, we are a leading association of pharmacists spreading the news and events of our industry.
Visible mold forces recall of New Jersey pharmacy injection drugs
A New Jersey compounding pharmacy has temporarily shuttered operations after Connecticut hospital officials reported finding visible mold in bags of a vital injection drug. Med Prep Consulting Inc., of Tinton Falls, agreed to stop making and shipping medications after recalling all lots of its magnesium sulfate intravenous solution, the New Jersey State Board of Pharmacy announced. The move followed a voluntary consent order that will remain in effect until at least March 22, officials said.
Texas college graduate develops pharmacy solution
A new kiosk may be coming to a pharmacy near you to help you with your medications. And it was developed by an Austin College graduate. Shan Nanji went to Austin College in Texas, and now is teaching pharmacology with the Pass Program. That's where he says he learned a lot of the skills he needed to develop his company.
Actively engaged patients have lower healthcare costs, better outcomes
Pharmacy Practice News
Patients with the knowledge, skills and confidence to be actively engaged in their healthcare are likely to incur lower healthcare costs than patients without those characteristics, according to a February study in Health Affairs. An accompanying literature review by two of the same authors found a growing body of evidence that more actively engaged patients also have better health outcomes and healthcare experiences.
Pharmacists are key players on the diabetes team
While diabetes patients need a doctor's care, they can also benefit from a team approach. Pharmacists, with their accessibility and medication expertise, can play a vital role. With diabetes cases and costs on the rise, there is a need to deliver more intensive diabetes management and support through existing healthcare resources. A recent investigation found that pharmacists make a positive contribution to outcomes of patients who have Type 2 diabetes.
Pharmacists find homes in medical homes
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
For clinical pharmacist Maureen Lloy Groux, integration into a primary care setting is an old story. But this time around, she is looking for a new ending. "This is my third shot," she said of a pilot program that has placed her into a Sutter Health family medicine practice in Davis, Calif., that functions as a patient-centered medical home.
Pharmacist-led home BP program shows success
Compared with usual care, a pharmacist-led home blood pressure monitoring intervention called Heart360 results in greater blood pressure reductions, superior blood pressure control and higher patient satisfaction, according to research published online March 5 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.
Study: Parents' worries about HPV vaccine on the rise
Although experts recommend girls and young women be vaccinated against the virus that causes most cases of cervical cancer, parents seem to be increasingly worried about the vaccine's safety, a new U.S. study shows. Experts say the findings are both worrying and puzzling, because the vaccine — which guards against the human papillomavirus — has not been linked to any serious side effects.
FDA to lawmakers: Don't expect quick action on painkillers
Lawmakers who are anxious to see new restrictions on addictive painkillers have been warned by the Food and Drug Administration not to expect quick action. Reps. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., and Edward Markey, D-Mass., sent the FDA a letter in January urging the agency to follow the recommendations of an advisory panel that voted in favor of moving hydrocodone from a Schedule III to a Schedule II drug. In a response letter dated March 5 and obtained by The Hill, the FDA told the lawmakers that a number of regulatory hurdles remain before hydrocodone can be reclassified as a drug that requires a written prescription.
Drugs for early-stage Alzheimer's
The New York Times
The Food and Drug Administration has proposed lowering the bar for approving drugs to treat people at the earliest stages of Alzheimer's disease, before they have developed any serious impairment or overt dementia. The goal is commendable — to find ways to prevent or slow the progression of this terrible disease before it can rob people of their mental capacities. But the proposal raises troubling questions as to whether the agency would end up approving drugs that provide little or no clinical benefit yet cause harmful side effects in people who take the medications for extended periods.
CMS tackles patients' use of home medications at hospitals, MTM program fulfillment
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
A federal rule on patients' self-administration of medications "brought into the hospital" also applies to observation care, according to a document the government released Feb. 15 to sponsors of Medicare drug plans. The "draft CY 2014 Call Letter" to potential sponsors of next year's Medicare drug plans acknowledges hospitals' prerogative, for liability reasons, not to allow patients to use their own supplies of medications. But the letter also acknowledges drug plan enrollees' much greater cost for obtaining supplies from a hospital's inpatient pharmacy rather than a network pharmacy.
Web search data can help reveal adverse drug interactions
By mining Internet search data from millions of computer users, researchers can detect adverse events associated with drug interactions before they have been reported by the Food and Drug Administration, according to the results of a study published online March 6 in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. The researchers drew on data on Internet searches throughout 2010 by 6 million computer users who had consented to share their search information with Microsoft. These users performed 82 million searches concerning medications, symptoms or medical conditions during the period in question.
Diabetes drugs evaluated by FDA on pancreatic cancer risk
Diabetes drugs including Merck & Co.'s Januvia, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.'s Byetta and Novo Nordisk A/S's Victoza are being scrutinized by U.S. regulators for a potential link to pancreatic cancer. The Food and Drug Administration is reviewing unpublished findings by a group of academic researchers that suggest precancerous cellular changes may be associated with Type 2 diabetes drugs called incretin mimetics, according to a statement from the agency. The findings suggest the class of medicines may be linked to the risk of developing an inflammation of the pancreas tied to cancer and kidney failure that was previously reported in some of the medicines.
Lymphoseek approved to help locate lymph nodes
The injected imaging drug Lymphoseek has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help surgeons locate the lymph nodes among people with breast cancer or melanoma. The lymph nodes filter lymphatic fluid that flows throughout the body. This fluid may contain cancer cells if it has passed through diseased tissue, the FDA said in a news release. By surgically examining the lymph nodes, doctors may be able to conclude if cancer has spread.
AzPA Pharmacy Flash
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Disclaimer: The AzPA Pharmacy Flash is a weekly roundup of articles of interest to pharmacists and pharmacy professionals. This email may contain an advertisement of AzPA and/or third party products and services. Opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect the views of AzPA or its advertising partners. The AzPA Pharmacy Flash is compiled by MultiBriefs, a division of MultiView, Inc. Factual errors are the responsibility of the listed publication.
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