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Health Care Reform and PPMI: Is There a Connection?

Apr 09, 2010

Lynnae M. Mahaney, M.B.A., FASHP

AN EPOCH BATTLE surrounding the final passage of health care reform has finally come to an end. Regardless of your political or philosophical leanings, reform is now law and it will affect each and every one of us.

For pharmacists, there are many opportunities contained within this 2,700-page bill, the most sweeping health legislation since the passage of Medicare in 1965. It authorizes the creation of a medication therapy management (MTM) grant program as well as a medical home demonstration program that includes pharmacist-delivered MTM.

It will reduce hospital readmissions and provides medication reconciliation services. It offers grants to create community health teams that will include pharmacists. It establishes a National Healthcare Workforce Commission with pharmacist representation and allows for Food and Drug Administration approval of biosimilars.

There are many other elements in this huge piece of legislation that ASHP’s government affairs team will be analyzing and reporting on in the weeks and months to come. Stay tuned!

At this pivotal time in history, pharmacy needs a real vision for practice. This issue’s cover story focuses on the efforts by ASHP and the ASHP Foundation to lead the charge for the new Pharmacy Practice Model Initiative. Read on page 8 why we are embarking on this national debate about the best practice models for the future. We need your thoughts about pharmacy’s way forward and encourage you to get involved!

As you’ll see on page 12, innovative practice models exist all over the country. At New York University Langone Medical Center, pharmacists are now integrally involved in medical rounding in virtually every area of the hospital. They have  successfully shown administrators how pharmacists’ involvement in medication-use management can reduce errors and improve the bottom line.

Pharmacists also are increasingly involved in advanced clinical activities, such as the team at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia that oversees anticoagulation therapy for surgery patients. Take a look on page 17 to see how these pharmacists work with an interdisciplinary team to reduce incidents of deep vein thrombosis.

This issue of ASHP InterSections is full of stories about pharmacists who are completely dedicated to our profession and to their patients. We hope you enjoy it! Drop me a line at prez@ashp.org or contact me on the new ASHP Blog and let me know what you think!

Lynnae M. Mahaney, M.B.A., FASHP

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