Many AJP readers believe caps on HMRs should be increased or removed completely, and the program should be given more funding – preferably through the MBS
According to an AJP poll on funding for HMRs/RMMRs, over half of respondents (60% of 317 voters) believe medicines review programs should be given more funding.
The same amount are convinced MedsChecks are not an equivalent service to, or replacement for, HMRs.
Of the total, 58% believe HMRs should be funded through the MBS, while just 5% of respondents believe HMRs already get enough funding.
Nearly one quarter were happy that MedsChecks got more funding in the recent announcements.
Over half (51%) think other measures to prevent rorting are better than caps.
About 42% say HMR/RMMR caps should be increased, while 35% think caps should be removed completely.
Just 8% of respondents think the caps on HMRs/RMMRs are good and should continue as they are.
About half (51%) of respondents are happy with the current direct referral system from consultant pharmacy, while a further 24% believe HMRs should be clearly linked back to community pharmacies.
And 34% agree that eligibility criteria for HMRs should be more targeted based on need – a move that is anticipated to be rolled out early next year as part of the Pharmacy Guild’s $600 million funding allocation for community pharmacy programs.
Nearly a quarter are hopeful there will be an expansion of the HMR program in the future, while a more pessimistic 7% think there won’t be.
PSA agrees that more spending and support needs to go into medication management programs.
“Currently, we have too little investment in programs that deliver better health outcomes for patients associated with their medicines use,” PSA National President Shane Jackson told AJP this week.
“We should have a continuum of medication management programs available to pharmacists to utilise based on the presenting needs of patients. We need to have an evidence-based and informed debate about supporting pharmacists’ roles in various settings within the healthcare system.”
SHPA Chief Executive Kristin Michaels said it was “disappointing” that recent funding announcements left out the HMR program, saying it was a decision that will limit patient access to an under-resourced service.
“HMRs performed by independent pharmacists, including follow-up in the home where patients are most comfortable, are a proven and effective way to expanded medication management services for Australians who need additional assistance,” says Ms Michaels.
“HMRs, including hospital-initiated referral pathways for high-risk patients, have the strongest evidence base of all 6CPA programs—including many which have just been expanded – so it is disappointing to see them overlooked,” she says.