Retail pharmacies key to value-based care, CVS Health exec contends

Partnering with community retail pharmacies can help healthcare systems succeed in delivering value-based care, a senior executive for CVS Health argues in the Harvard Business Review.

William H. Shrank, M.D., cites what he calls several "realities in population health management" to build his case:

  • Patients with chronic conditions see their pharmacists much more often than their doctors and have more opportunities to influence patient behavior.
  • Pharmacies have several ways to help patients adhere to their medication regimes.
  • Pharmacies have massive amounts of data that healthcare systems can access through partnerships to improve population health.
  • Retail health clinics take pressure off of emergency departments and provide communities with convenient access to simple, low-cost services.

Retail pharmacists also can improve preventive care by intervening before patients need hospitalization, FierceHealthcare previously reported. Some pharmacies also have their own partnerships with health coaches to help patients manage chronic conditions.

California recently expanded pharmacists' authority to include directly providing birth control, common travel and smoking-cessation medications, and routine lab tests to patients.

In Chicago, Mercy Hospital & Medical Center cut its readmission rates by including pharmacists in a discharge clinic that meets with patients after they leave the hospital to manage medications as part of an aggressive follow-up program.

For more information:
- here's the HBR article