Opportunities to harness hospital pharmacist expertise

SHPA calls for a seat at the table in CPA negotiations, and praises sections of the King Review Interim Report

The Interim Report of the Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation recognises the proven merit of Home Medicines Reviews (HMRs) and foreshadows a welcome broadening of CPA stakeholder negotiations, but represents a missed opportunity to consider the impact of the CPA on the crucial hospital pharmacy sector, says the SHPA.

Chief Executive Kristin Michaels says the organisation was pleased to see the value of medication review – and those initiated through hospital referral – recognised in yesterday’s report.

“SHPA welcomes the panel’s support of hospital-initiated HMR referral pathways for high-risk patients, which we have advocated for over the last decade, and its confirmation of our view toward an ongoing and appropriate level of accreditation and training for pharmacists to conduct these important reviews.

“Support to lift the cap of 20 HMRs per pharmacist per month and introduce more targeted eligibility criteria are also positive moves,” says Ms Michaels.

“HMRs performed by independent pharmacists, including follow-up in the home where people are most comfortable, have a strong evidence base and SHPA looks forward to working with partners across pharmacy and the broader healthcare practice to make them a reality.”

Ms Michaels says SHPA agrees with the report’s recognition that a broader range of stakeholders should be involved in CPA negotiations.

“To effectively ensure optimal health outcomes across all episodes of care, it is important the review recognises the specialised expertise of hospital pharmacists, their management of PBS resources and their trained capacity to most appropriately initiate and manage the transition of care to the community setting.

“It is therefore disappointing SHPA was not included in this widening of CPA negotiations as hospital pharmacists play a pivotal role in ensuring patients receive the best medicines management advice in the right place, at the right time – this could be upon leaving hospital, on the high street, or at home, depending on their needs.”

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  1. Jarrod McMaugh

    It is extremely important this this does NOT happen – there are 2 reasons.

    The pharmacy sector is in very great danger of being corralled into one funding source – the CPA for everything to do with pharmacy, which is completely inappropriate.

    The CPA was specifically created to fund the infrastructure of the PBS and vicariously the delivery of private prescriptions through the same infrastructure.

    This agreement should never have been about anything other than this, and in my opinion it was a mis-step to have HMR funded through this model.

    ALL services that fall outside of the delivery of PBS medications (HMR, Medschecks, Clinical Interventions, but not Staged Supply or DAAs) should be funded through MBS items, and pharmacists should have provider numbers in order to provide these services. This should be extended to all pharmacists practicing in whichever setting, and include vaccination (which is currently not funded for pharmacists – providing inequity in health provision funding for patients who prefer to access vaccination through a pharmacist).

    In addition, hospitals are supposed to be funded by the states through GST revenue delivered by the federal government, and while the pharmacists working within hospitals are accessing PBS subsidies for patients, other services should absolutely not be funded through the CPA. This would equate to federal funding of hospitals by stealth, and should not be undertaken while hospital funding remains a state government responsibility.

    • Big Pharma


      • Big Pharma

        Absolutely, It is essential that HMR service funding is separated from CPAs as it has nothing to do with community pharmacy. The quicker an MBS item number can be created the better.

        • Jarrod McMaugh

          Mark, I get that you’re frustrated, but to suggest that HMR has nothing to do with community pharmacy is clearly inaccurate.

          We know that a large number of accredited pharmacists work in community pharmacy.

          We know that patients who have an HMR utilise the services of a pharmacy to some degree.

          We know that communication with all health professionals that a person utilises in their health care is important.

          You aren’t helping the discussion by making such comments.

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