Patient Care Services Provided by a Pharmacist
Where We Stand:
AMCP supports compensation for pharmacists providing direct patient care services. Prescription medications have become the primary option for the treatment of the vast majority of chronic conditions, and pharmacists are uniquely qualified by virtue of their specialized training to serve as the medication expert within the patient care team. Services provided by pharmacists are a vital part of comprehensive patient care, especially when delivered in collaboration with other health care providers. It is important to note these services may be provided in addition to or distinct from the direct dispensing of prescription medications. Pharmacists continue to be the most accessible health care professional and are often the first point of contact by a patient. Recognition as providers and reimbursement for these services is appropriate.
AMCP believes that patient care services provided by pharmacists demonstrate value to patients, other providers, and payers. Engaging pharmacists as collaborative members of the patient care team results in improved patient outcomes, higher rates of satisfaction and overall reduction in health care costs. Pharmacists are equipped to provide many direct patient care services including: immunizations, preventative care services, wellness screenings, collaborative care services, medication therapy management (MTM), chronic disease management and other direct patient care services. The Medicare Part D program recognizes Pharmacists for their role in providing medication therapy management (MTM) services and there are several programs that pay Pharmacists for conducting comprehensive and targeted medication reviews, medication reconciliation activities and other direct patient care services.
AMCP defines the pharmacists’ role in collaborative care as:
"… the development, implementation and monitoring of therapeutic plans, which include provider communication and assisting patients to become informed decision makers to improve adherence with their prescribed therapeutic plan."1
AMCP believes that the pharmacist brings value to the patient care team by serving as the medication management professional. Pharmacists’ training and expertise support their role as the leader in collaborative efforts to develop and implement pharmaceutical care plans.
Patient care services provided by pharmacists may include, but are not limited to, the following elements:
- Assessment of therapeutic needs, such as the identification of both treated and untreated medical conditions or drug therapy issues;
- Assessment of patient knowledge of their medical conditions and their treatment plan;
- Assessment of patient safety by evaluating patient medication treatment plans for the risk of adverse drug reactions;
- Recommending and/or providing preventive care services;
- Collaborating with prescribers in the development of a patient specific medication treatment plan, which provides the patient with the safest, most effective, and most convenient options available;
- Development and delivery of patient specific information and education in reference to the patient's medical condition, medication use, life‐style modification, and appropriate use of medical devices;
- Collaboration with the patient care team in the management of chronic disease states with an emphasis on provision and coordination of continuity of care;
- Assurance that patients receive appropriate follow‐up;
- Promotion of patient empowerment for their own care, for example, by providing patient assistance necessary to ensure patients are able to demonstrate proper adherence to their specific drug regimen; and
- Assisting patients to optimally utilize health care resources.
Through the delivery of patient care services, pharmacists, in collaboration with physicians, nurses, other health care providers, care givers and patients, can provide valuable ongoing, comprehensive assessment and management of drug therapy. This role will allow pharmacists to improve quality of care, achieve patient specific clinical outcomes, and reduce overall costs of care.
AMCP Where We Stand series: https://www.amcp.org/policy-advocacy/policy-advocacy-focus-areas/where-we-stand-position-statements
Revised by the AMCP Board of Directors, March 2022
1 See AMCP Policy Digest Statement, "Health Care Team Approach to Optimal Therapeutic Outcomes" https://www.amcp.org/policy-advocacy/policy-advocacy-focus-areas/amcp-policy-digest/collaborative-practice