Webstercare: remunerate the pharmacist

Gerard Stevens, founder and managing director of Webstercare. Photo: AJP

The designer of RxMedChart calls for accurate medication profiles and appropriate remuneration for pharmacists

Webstercare’s submission to the Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation says it hopes the outcome of the review will provide “every doctor, consumer, pharmacist and healthcare professional … access to an accurate current medication profile at every point of care.”

“Solutions already exist and are within the scope of the Community Pharmacy Agreement funding model,” writes Webstercare founder and managing director Gerard Stevens along with industry advisor Christine Veal.

They point out that financial pressures pose an imminent threat to pharmacy services, which they say “are a direct consequence of price disclosure and the reduction of prescription remuneration.”

Webstercare’s proposals are as follows:

  1. E-medication profile within My Health Record

The government should invest in an electronic medication profile within the existing My Health Record and pay the pharmacist to maintain the record, they argue.

“A reconciled e-medication profile would provide a ‘missing link’ to My Health Record and make it a truly valuable clinical resource for improving clinical safety in all healthcare settings,” explain Stevens and Veal.

  1. Release 6CPA funds for pharmacy service to aged care residents

A fee of $5 per resident per week “could and should be released from existing 6CPA funding; an amount which is less than $50m per year. This money is available but has yet to be allocated,” say the authors.

“Community pharmacists provide medication management services to residential aged care, above and beyond dispensing, 24-hours-a-day at no-charge… Funding should be made available to allow pharmacists to continue supporting these services,” they write.

  1. Transparency in residential aged care pharmacy contracts

“There is a body of evidence which demonstrates that Commonwealth-funded residential aged care homes award pharmacy service contracts on the basis of discounts and/or rebates.

“This is an entrenched practice which in other industries would be subjected to closer scrutiny.

“Webstercare proposes a transparent process of governance is mandated, as part of the standards, for residential aged care tenders and contracts, where the procurement process is made visible,” say Stevens and Veal.

The submission is yet to be publicly published by the Department of Health’s Review team.

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