N.Y. Pharmacists to Work with Nurses on Compliance

Article excerpt

Pharmacists in New York State will be collaborating with nurses on a medication compliance program in which pharmacists will receive pay for cognitive services.

John Navarra, president, and Craig Burridge, executive director, Pharmaceutical Society of the State of New York (PSSNY), described the new program when they spoke at the Northeast Pharmaceutical Conference, held last month, in Albany, N.Y.

Navarra said a contract has been signed between PSSNY and a nurses' organization called CareLine, based in California, in which the two organizations will cooperate in administering a compliance program for high-risk patients.

This is how the program will work: Participating pharmacies will help determine which enrollees in a health plan have special compliance problems that, if left uncorrected, are most likely to lead to expensive emergency care.

These high-risk patients voluntarily participate in the program, which begins with community pharmacists gathering extensive drug therapy and other pertinent health-care information from them. The information is gathered in the course of a special 30to 45-minute interview. Then the information is turned over to CareLine, where nurses trained in behavioral psychology make phone calls to patients to encourage them to use their medications properly, according to schedule.

As a monitoring service, community pharmacists meet with participating patients once a month to conduct 15- to 20-minute follow-up interviews. For their participation in this program, community R.Ph.s receive $70 per patient per month.

To participate, pharmacists will have to enroll in a three-hour training program, the first of which will be offered at PSSNY's annual convention in June. Program payers will be either the patients themselves or payers for group health plans. Navarra said that PSSNY and CareLine are comarketing the program throughout the Northeast region. Strong interest in the program has been shown by a group of unions whose retirees total about 500,000 plus their dependents, he added. …