Ambulatory Pharmacy – A Strategic Asset, Part 1 of 3

Ambulatory Pharmacy – A Strategic Asset

By Gregory K. Shaeffer MBA RPh FASHP

Does your health system have an ambulatory Pharmacy, if not, why not?

Is the ambulatory pharmacy a strategic asset of the organizations’ pharmacy enterprise and an integral component of the patient care experience across a continuum of care for your patients, employees and employee families?

A comprehensive pharmacy service can provide cost effective quality care across the continuum of care.  What service within the organization can save operational patient care costs, employee benefit costs, increase organizational revenue, have a positive impact on prescription costs and provide clinical services in the treatment of chronic disease?

It is well documented that hospital readmissions are in many cases medication related.  There is certainly a direct economic hospital exposure for specific DRG’s for Medicare patient readmissions.  Providing a discharge medication program has been shown to decrease readmissions for the at-risk populations.  A pharmacy managed disease management program for those specific diseases and patients as well as a discharge medication program offers several clinical opportunities that have a significant cost avoidance and revenue enhancement:

Cost avoidance – decrease hospital 30-day readmission costs for at-risk Medicare      patients DRG’s incurred by the hospital

Revenue enhancement – provide discharge prescription services to those discharge patients so that therapy is available and uninterrupted upon discharge from the hospital.

This introductory blog is the first in a series that will explore the strategic capabilities that the pharmacy enterprise can bring to support your organization’s mission.  Subsequent blogs will explore in greater detail specific activities that demonstrate the pharmacy’s strategic capabilities.

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