Inside This Issue - News
RxAlly program gets backing of nine chains
March 12th, 2012
LEESBURG, Va. – Nine drug chains and thousands of independent pharmacies across the country have signed onto an initiative to give pharmacists a chance to work more closely with patients to improve care and cut costs.
The drug stores, which include Walgreen Co. and the entire Chain Drug Consortium (Bartell Drugs, Discount Drug Mart, Kerr Drug, Kinney Drugs, Lewis Drugs, Navarro Discount Pharmacy, Thrifty White Pharmacy and USA Drug), have invested in RxAlly, a private company that has launched a network of 20,000 pharmacies focused on better care coordination.
Executives at RxAlly and the drug stores involved in the effort explain that the alliance offers a performance network designed to generate measurable improvements in patient health outcomes and health care costs.
To do that, RxAlly pharmacists will perform such tasks as coordinating prescription refills, making sure the drugs a patient takes don’t conflict and talking to a patient about the importance of taking medicines correctly, and provide immunizations beyond just flu shots.
“There is a need for greater access to health care for patients throughout the United States,” RxAlly chief executive officer Bruce Roberts says. “To address this challenge head on, RxAlly advances the role of community pharmacists to one that leverages their extensive clinical training, better equips them to interact with patients, improves patient health and lowers costs.”
Roberts and the alliance members say they expect the enhanced services offered by RxAlly pharmacists to appeal to health insurers looking for ways to lower patient costs.
RxAlly will pay pharmacists for the additional work they do, after receiving a payment from health insurers. A spokeswoman for the alliance says that some pharmacies are already performing the additional care coordination, and it expects to expand the model nationally as the year goes on.
Insurers and pharmacy executives say the new alliance will help fill the growing need for more health care services from providers outside of traditional physician-office settings.
“That’s why Walgreens is focused on advancing community pharmacy through closer integration with other health care providers and expanding the scope of services offered by pharmacists,” Walgreens president and chief executive officer Greg Wasson says.”
For such chains as Kerr, executives say the formation of the national network helps validate what they have been doing for years. “This outcomes-based, patient-centric model is a natural outgrowth of Kerr’s decade of work in transforming community pharmacy, and fits perfectly with our continuing vision,” chairman, president and chief executive officer Tony Civello says.