Harvard Law School: Include pharmacists on diabetes care teams

Report recommends that New Jersey develop Medicaid pilot based on APhA Foundation model

Harvard Law School recently released a report identifying policy changes to improve diabetes care in New Jersey that shows pharmacists on diabetes care teams benefit patients and that advocates for compensation for pharmacists.

Developed by the school’s Center for Health Law & Policy Innovation and supported by the Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) Foundation, the Providing Access to Healthy Solutions (PATHS) report also includes a one-pager calling out the APhA Foundation’s Patient Self-Management Program (PSMP)—the basis for the Asheville Project, Diabetes Ten City Challenge, and Project IMPACT: Diabetes.

“The APhA Foundation is pleased that Harvard Law School’s PATHS report highlights the critical role pharmacists can play on diabetes care teams,” said Benjamin M. Bluml, BSPharm, APhA Foundation Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation. “Through our work with the BMS Foundation, Project IMPACT: Diabetes communities have been able to provide Harvard representatives with an inside look into how care delivery improves, and better health outcomes are achieved, when patients receive pharmacists’ patient care services.”

The New Jersey PATHS report was publicly released on March 27 at the New Jersey Leadership Forum where a Project IMPACT pharmacist and physician participated on a collaborative panel discussing ways to improve diabetes care in New Jersey.

The report came about while the Foundation worked with the BMS Foundation on Project IMPACT: Diabetes. The BMS Foundation involved Harvard Law School, which picked New Jersey as one of the states to focus on.

The report recommends that New Jersey develop a PSMP pilot in Medicaid.

Specifically, the first recommendation is that New Jersey Medicaid and Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs) should conduct stakeholder discussions with representatives from the physician, advanced practice nurse, pharmacist, and federally qualified health center (FQHC) communities. The second recommendation is that FQHCs may be a good place to launch a PSMP pilot because many New Jersey FQHCs are developing patient-centered medical home models, while Medicaid and the MCOs will need to agree on both payment methodology and payment levels.

PSMPs are further detailed on pages 119 to 123 of the full New Jersey PATHS report (www.law.harvard.edu/academics/clinical/lsc/clinics/health.htm). This section discusses pharmacists’ role in diabetes care team through alternative payment methodology, medication adherence, medication therapy management, PSMP, and a case study of the Zufall Health Center site that is part of the Foundation’s Project IMPACT: Diabetes program.

“The New Jersey PATHS report is a monumental achievement for the pharmacy profession as we work to gain federal recognition as health care providers,” Bluml said. “While this information applies directly within the state of New Jersey, the learnings detailed within the report can be broadly applied across the United States.”