CINCINNATI, April 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — AssureCare and Oregon State University College of Pharmacy recently announced the launch of pharmacist-prescribed tobacco cessation services in independent community pharmacies in underserved rural areas of Oregon. AssureCare’s ONC-certified Electronic Health Record (EHR), iPatientCare, offers practice management and revenue cycle management services. Technicians and pharmacists are using the iPatientCare certified, cloud-based EHR to document billable patient encounters. Pharmacies are then receiving reimbursement for the services provided from government and commercial payers and are supported throughout the entire revenue cycle process, from claims submission to denial management, ensuring this innovative practice model in community pharmacy is successfully reimbursed.
“Bringing together Oregon’s Public Health Department and the OSU College of Pharmacy to support pharmacist assessment and prescribing tobacco cessation services benefits Oregonians,” said Paige Clark, RPh, Director of Alumni Relations and Professional Development in the College. Paige continued to explain that Oregon is progressive in the space of leveraging pharmacists as access points for Oregon patients and that this project enables Oregon pharmacists to be paid for the provision of this innovative service.
“The pharmacist’s role has evolved over the past decade to include expanded scope in several states. Despite these wins, community pharmacies have not historically had the infrastructure to support billable models in pharmacy practice, from credentialing and enrollment to vendors supporting electronic billing of medical claims. This is a historic moment in community pharmacy in which a certified EHR and billing software solution are readily accessible for pharmacists in the community, allowing much-needed compensation for time spent caring for patients. Pharmacist-provided health services are the future of community pharmacy, and I am so honored to be a part of this initiative to improve access to patient care,” said Tara Pfund, PharmD at AssureCare.
The Oregon State Board of Pharmacy released a statewide drug therapy management protocol in August 2020, enabling pharmacists to prescribe all FDA-approved tobacco cessation products. State-sponsored training on tobacco cessation product prescribing was made available from Oregon State University College of Pharmacy in November 2020. In AssureCare’s iPatientCare EHR, Pharmacists can document patient assessments using a customized visit template following the Oregon protocol, enabling efficient clinical documentation and consistent referral of all patients to the Oregon Quit Line.
“We are so excited and honored to be part of the initial launch of pharmacists prescribing tobacco cessation medications. Combined with the processing of medical insurance claims, we are transforming the practice of pharmacy,” says Michele Belcher, Pharmacist and Owner, Grants Pass Pharmacy and President-Elect, National Community Pharmacists Associations (NCPA). “We’re happy to help, showing that independent pharmacy can be nimble and move to meet the needs of both the profession and our communities,” she added.
At Pill Box Drugs, Inc., Mandie Herrmann, Pharmacy Technician, stated, “Our entire Pill Box Pharmacy team is excited and ready to help our patients quit smoking. We can now fully and directly engage patients about their lung health. After starting a conversation about quitting tobacco, we can continue to also prescribe, dispense, counsel, and be a support for our patients until they can say they are finally smoke-free. What an opportunity!”
“I commend Oregon State University College of Pharmacy, Pill Box Drugs, Inc., and Grants Pass Pharmacy as innovative pharmacy leaders taking a pioneering role in pharmacy business models. Many services pharmacists provide today are reimbursable, and payors are seeing this,” said Yousuf J. Ahmad, DrPH, MBA, MHSA, FACHE, a healthcare industry veteran and President & CEO of AssureCare. “Pharmacist providers have many success stories of state-level provider status and I expect these successful practice models will become the new normal in pharmacy. By streamlining medical billing documentation and submitting CPT codes to payors for reimbursement, we expect to see payment from medical claims become an established alternative revenue stream in these community pharmacies,” Dr. Ahmad added.
AssureCare is a privately held healthcare technology company that transforms the health management process for payers, providers, and pharmacies by enabling the delivery of higher quality, cost-effective, collaborative care across the complete continuum of care. AssureCare’s iPatientCare platform is a patient-centric, boutique electronic health record software suite that empowers providers to deliver effective and efficient patient care and their clinical platform, MedCompass, supports Medication Therapy Management solutions. AssureCare is considered an industry leader in developing modular, seamless solutions designed to improve patient outcomes and reduce avoidable costs associated with population health management.
AssureCare is a Vora Ventures portfolio company with headquarters in Cincinnati, OH. For more information, please visit https://www.assurecare.com or call 513-618-2150.
About Oregon State University College of Pharmacy
Our mission is to advance societal health through leadership in pharmacy education, research, community engagement, and improved patient care. The faculty and students at the College of Pharmacy are innovators and leaders in transforming health care to create positive patient outcomes through the discovery and translation of research and scholarship. Our CE programming strives to support pharmacist’s service to patients.
About Pill Box Drugs, Inc.
Pill Box Drugs Inc. was founded in 1970. Since then, our focus on serving our patient’s needs has never changed, and it never will. Our pharmacy staff serves our communities with the care and dedication our patients deserve. Whether answering drug-related questions, providing immunizations, and now even prescribing medications, we are here to help!
About Grants Pass Pharmacy
Grants Pass Pharmacy is a family-owned business serving the families of Grants Pass since 1933. We prioritize a patient-centered approach with our innovative patient care services and strong community partnerships.