With funding for clinical interventions cancelled from 1 July, pharmacies are still encouraged to undertake them where there is a clinical need
Funding for the clinical interventions program has ceased from 1 July 2020 under the newly signed Seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement.
Clinical intervention payments have been absorbed into other expenditure on professional programs, such as additional funding for Dose Administration Aids (DAAs), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programs and rural pharmacy support, a Guild spokesperson confirmed to AJP.
Meanwhile the Pharmacy Programs Administrator (PPA) has highlighted that claiming for the April-June 2020 quarter will proceed as normal.
“However, all claims must be lodged within the two-week claiming period of 1 July to 14 July 2020 and there will be no ability to lodge any exceptional circumstance requests beyond 31 July 2020,” says PPA.
The clinical interventions program was introduced in 2011 as one of the six components of the 5CPA Pharmacy Practice Incentives Program to encourage pharmacies and pharmacists to document clinical intervention services which were already being routinely delivered, to provide data to the Department of Health. The program was continued into the 6CPA.
PPA thanked pharmacists for their involvement in the program over the last nine years, encouraging them to continue undertaking clinical interventions despite the discontinuation of funding.
“The Department recognises that, even though funding has ceased for documenting services, pharmacies should have processes in place to continue to undertake these important interventions where there is a clinical need,” it said.
“However, the documentation is left to the discretion of the pharmacies and data will no longer need to be provided to the administrator.”
A spokesperson for the Guild told AJP: “The clinical intervention payment was introduced in the 5CPA as an ‘incentive’ payment to record the routine clinical interventions undertaken by pharmacists as part of the dispensing process, in order to provide an extensive database for a previously unrecognised service.
Pharmacists will continue to exercise their professional and clinical judgement in managing the medication and related health needs of their patients – just as they did before the advent of the clinical intervention incentive payments.
PSA national president Chris Freeman said it was “unfortunate” to see clinical interventions no longer funded in the 7CPA.
“In the original research funded through the PROMISe research trials that led to funding commencing in the 5CPA, clinical interventions were show to save in the order of $280 in healthcare costs [per intervention],” he told AJP.
“Unfortunately, the implementation of the clinical interventions program did not match the recommendations from the trials, there was a lack of data collected about the types of interventions, and there was not sufficient support in place to assist the delivery of clinical interventions.
“This has meant that clinical interventions have ended up being collateral damage when it comes to ongoing funding.”