As providers aim to compete in a new business context, they seek partners whose data and services can increase care coordination and effectively manage disease. Partnerships with pharmacies are one viable approach.
In a Harvard Business Review article, William H. Shrank, MD, senior vice president, chief scientific officer and CMO of Health Systems Alliances for CVS Health, wrote “retail pharmacies play a critical role in that effort — a view confirmed by our experience in over 60 health system partnerships across the United States.”
According to Dr. Shrank, those relationships build on four principles of population health management.
1. Health happens outside of the physician’s office. The vast majority of healthcare costs involve managing patients with chronic conditions, including diabetes, heart disease and asthma. Those patients must manage their health between visits to their physician’s office through diet and exercise, as well as medication adherence.
Pharmacists are trained on medications and they also have direct access to real-time data on patients’ medication use. Through partnerships with retail pharmacies, health systems have the opportunity to better promote medication adherence, thereby contributing to better health in between physician visits, according to Dr. Shrank.