I played a ton of baseball growing up and I want to use a baseball analogy to help describe where I feel we are at in this process. Tie ballgame, there’s two outs in the 9th, runner on third. You’ve just hit a high chopper to the shortstop who’s waiting for the ball to get to him. What kind of runner are you? Are you going to run your heart out and run through first base, or are you going to pull up easy. It’s pretty hard to route for the guy jogging to first ready to go play extra innings, isn’t it? I read a couple comments following a recent blog on provider status, and one of them encouraged pharmacists to do the bare minimum and watch the healthcare system fail without us. That attitude scares me and if that’s the plan, I want no part of it. Pour your heart and soul into your work and pharmacists will prove themselves as essential and valuable components of the healthcare team. Am I perfect, of course not, but I believe hard work and effort will sway the opinion of patients, healthcare professionals and ultimately legislators. I signed up educate, inform, protect and most important help patients navigate their way through the monumental challenge of using medications appropriately. So rather than pull back, refuse to help and do the minimum required, I’m asking that you work harder, help more, and become an irreplaceable component of the healthcare team. Payment and recognition will follow. I believe it will happen, just a matter of when. – Run through the base!
For more information on pharmacist provider status, you can find it here: http://www.pharmacist.com/provider-status-what-pharmacists-need-know-now
So, I’m teaching class the other day, and I present the opportunities inherent in ACOs and the expansion of practice scope and status ( what we can do and provider status) and one student raised his hand and said/asked- “So- this is our chance to make a difference?”-
And I said- “I’m afraid that I must disagree. It is not our chance to make a difference. It is our LAST chance to make a difference.” Yes- you are right. Run through the bases people- there’s perfect storm brewing right now. CMS issued a RFI (request for information):”The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are seeking input on the following areas related to initiatives surrounding innovative models of payment for specialty care. CMS is interested in testing new models of care that will focus on specific diseases, patient populations, and specialty practitioners in the outpatient setting to incentivize improved care, better health, and lower costs. CMS is seeking input on two potential models: (1) a procedural episode-based payment and (2) a complex and chronic disease management episode-based payment model.”
When I sent an e-mail of inquiry as to whether they were willing to consider pharmacists as providers, the answer was in the affirmative, and several folks across the country contributed to a response currently being vetted by ASHP.
Bottom line is, the opportunity is there. But if we don’t step up to the plate, someone else shall.
And we really won’t have anyone to blame but ourselves.
Well stated! Thanks for the response!
Where’s Bill Masuraski when you need him