Highlighting Managed Care Pharmacy Heroes
After last week’s first-ever AMCP Member Town Hall on COVID-19, I want to express how I am awed and inspired by the work managed care pharmacy professionals are doing. Not only do you remain dedicated to helping patients get the medications they need at a cost they can afford, you also are working a “second shift,” navigating the myriad health care and business challenges that COVID-19 presents.
For example, Christina Barrington, vice president of pharmacy programs for Priority Health, shared during last week’s town hall that since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations have had to change multiple practices and adjust the ways they administer benefits in order to accommodate members while meeting ever-changing demands and mandates set forth from states and the federal government.
Allie Jo Shipman, director of state policy at the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations, echoes the idea that health care’s policy landscape is changing faster than previously imaginable. “This is new and unchartered territory, and our goal is to answer questions about state and federal policy and share resources and best practices,” Shipman said.
It is not just policy, but critical data about potential COVID-19 treatments and vaccines is also quickly changing and being updated, said Colleen Haines, vice president and chief clinical officer for IngenioRx, the pharmacy benefit manager for Anthem. “We decided we needed to step back and figure out how to measure success with a focus on the member. Now, we are emphasizing leadership, agility, and community.”
Susan Downard, director of clinical pharmacy and utilization management for Tufts Health Plan, said her organization is working hard to meet provider needs to enable them to meet member needs. “We have homeless members, members with COVID-19, those who are recovering, and those that are still in isolation,” Downard said. “We are working with providers and provider groups, trying to determine how they can better care for members who can’t come to them for services.”
Supporting Our Members
This is a small sample of how our managed care pharmacy professionals are thinking innovatively and creatively to come out on the other side of this global pandemic. Fortunately, we see evidence of this type of thinking every day. That sense of responsibility and purpose is what makes you heroes. Please know that during these challenging times, AMCP is here to support you in any way we can.
If you haven’t already, please watch the entire AMCP Member Town Hall: COVID-19. Thank you to the panelists for sharing their insights and unique points of view. Another important resource comes from AMCP eLearning Days, which took place April 20–24. I appreciate that our presenters delivered their valuable and insightful content on what is happening in managed care pharmacy while we remained safely in our homes. Even though we are apart, we are in this together. Keep an eye out for session recordings to be posted on AMCP Learn later this month.
Finally, to address the unique challenges faced by managed care pharmacy professionals at this time, we’ve created the COVID-19 resource center on AMCP.org. Please stop by and let us know what you think.
Thank you for your dedication to health care.