Finally the world is coming up to speed and is finally realizing what we’ve known for a long time ….the simple fact that Pharmacists are Healthcare Providers. The shift in healthcare is moving at warp speed and pharmacy and pharmacists are right there in the thick of it.
It is so exciting I cant believe it’s actually happening. Finally being recognized as a healthcare providers, providing care and services to our patients instead of filling and billing, is extraordinary for those ready to take the bull by the horns and capitalize on these new opportunities.
In California SB493 the Pharmacist Provider Legislation was signed into law by governor Jerry Brown in October 2013. The rest of the country is following suit with the reintroduction of new Federal Pharmacist legislation introduced into the House of Representatives on January 28, 2015. The bill, introduced by Reps. Brett Guthrie (R-KY), G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Todd Young (R-IN), and Ron Kind (D-WI), is called the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act – H.R. 592.
What I found even more exciting were the two articles in the latest issue of Journal of The American Pharmacists Association which are:
- Are community-based pharmacists underused in the care of persons living with HIV? A need for structural and policy changes Jennifer Kibicho, Steven D. Pinkerton, Jill Owczarzak, Lucy Mkandawire-Valhmu, and Peninnah M. Kako
- Consumer interest in community pharmacy HIV screening services Kristin M. Darin, Kimberly K. Scarsi, Donald G. Klepser, Stephanie A. Klepser, Andrew Reeves, Maria Young, and Michael E. Klepser
(You can download the PDF’s of each article by clicking on each one above)
These articles bring to light what I discuss in my book “Saving Lives: The Role of The Pharmacist In HIV” and also what I have been speaking about when I talk about The HIV Treatment Cascade and the Role of The Pharmacist”. The HIV Cascade (also referred to The HIV Care Continuum) are the sequential steps or stages of HIV medical care that people living with HIV go through from initial diagnosis to achieving viral suppression.
According to the latest CDC data as is depicted in this graphic, of the 1.2 million people living with HIV in the United States in 2011:
- 86% were diagnosed HIV+. This means that 14% (approximately 1 in 7 people living with HIV) were unaware of their status
- 40% were engaged in medical care
- 37% were prescribed antiretroviral therapy
- 30% were virally suppressed
I find these statistics to be shocking. We have to do a better job of getting all people tested, into care, on treatment and virally suppressed. This poses unique opportunities for HIV pharmacists. Remember its not about filling and billing….It really doesn’t matter if your pharmacy refills your patients medications automatically every month and delivers it to your patients door like clockwork. You have absolutely no idea if your patient is taking their medication and what else is going on…..you’re providing NO CARE. It’s all about the HIV Pharmacist being a healthcare provider and actually providing care that improves the quality of life of the patient while also participating in treatment as prevention and outreach and testing in your local communities.
So what does this all mean for you? You are in a position to continue to grow your pharmacy by either introducing or expanding your HIV services and making sure that you and your staff are well versed and up to speed to be outstanding care providers to your HIV patients.
We have discussed how important a well-trained staff is in caring for people with HIV in prior articles such as “The #1 Key To Success In Your HIV Pharmacy Business” and “Deadly Mistakes To Avoid In Your Pharmacy-Mistake #2 Pharmacists and Staff Not Trained”
Valentines Day is approaching so we wanted you to have an opportunity to show the LOVE to yourself your staff and your HIV patients by offering a Valentines Day Special on The MichRx HIV Pharmacy Online Certification Program.
Click the image of the Flyer to Download it or you can sign your pharmacy up by clicking http://bit.ly/ValentineTrainingSpecial.
If you are signing up a single person for the training you can do it by clicking http://bit.ly/ValentineTrainingSingle