Pharmacy, Primary Care Combo Favored Among Patients

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The researchers found that the optimal model included the pharmacy offering appointments to see health care providers in the pharmacy.
The researchers found that the optimal model included the pharmacy offering appointments to see health care providers in the pharmacy.

HealthDay News — Patients express preference for a pharmacy-driven model of primary care vs a pharmacy offering minimal primary care services, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics.

Michael Feehan, PhD, from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, and colleagues administered an online survey to 9202 adult patients, which included a discrete choice experiment to examine which scenario would be most likely to induce them to switch from their current pharmacy, leading to development of an optimal patient primary care service model. A subsequent online survey was administered to 50 payer-reimbursement decision-makers to examine the likelihood of this model being reimbursed.

The researchers found that the optimal model included the pharmacy offering appointments to see health care providers in the pharmacy, having access to full medical records, providing point-of-care diagnostic testing, offering health preventive screening, providing limited physical examinations, and drug prescribing. The demand for this optimal model, with pharmacist as provider, was 2-fold higher than for a base pharmacy offering minimal primary care services (25.5 vs 12.6%); demand was highest for Hispanic and African-American patients (30.6 and 30.7%, respectively). Sixty-six percent of payer reimbursement decision-makers indicated that their organization would be likely to reimburse this model.

"Development of a primary care pharmacy alternative, electronically linked to the current health system, should be considered as a healthcare delivery model moving forward," the authors wrote.

Reference

Feehan M, Walsh M, Godin J, et al. Patient Preferences for Healthcare delivery through community pharmacy settings in the USA: a discrete choice study [published online June 18, 2017]. WOL. doi:10.1111/jcpt.12574

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