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What Are The Hospice Pharmacy Solutions?

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If a patient’s prognosis is just six months or fewer, hospice care may be an option. Patient comfort and pain relief are the primary goals of healthcare practitioners, which include a pharmacist. Hospice patients can receive home healthcare, including pharmacy services, in their residences. Additionally, most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, often cover this.

Community-based hospice pharmacy and pharmacy benefits management services are provided by Spectrum Pharmacy Solutions (SPS), an international supplier of hospice pharmacy and PBM services. SPS’s pharmaceutical benefits program covers more than 500 hospice groups and 24,000 patients. Spectrum Pharmacy Solutions is devoted only to serving the needs of the hospice sector. Throughout its 2-year history, SPS has grown to become one of the nation’s major hospice pharmacies. This approach has lowered the average PPD of its clients by more than 22% in just two years.

What Are Hospice Pharmacy Solutions?

  • There are times when / may recommend hospice care for a patient with a life expectancy of fewer than six months. Palliative care refers to treatment to relieve symptoms rather than finding a cure for the disease.
  • The patient’s or a family member’s home 
  • An independent hospice facility that may include inpatient hospice care 
  • A hospice program offered via numerous hospitals
  • A hospice unit at long-term care or assisted living institution

Hospice pharmacy services include medication therapy management (MTM) and emotional support for patients in the hospice setting. Hospice-trained pharmacists deliver these services. 

  • Talking to patients about their medication, how they’re doing?
  • Learning about which  might interact negatively with one other
  • making sure that each patient receives the appropriate amount of medicine from their doctor

These services are provided by hospice pharmacists, who also deal with the unique issues of end-of-life care. Complicated MTM, the need for more excellent patient consultation, and a knowledge of end-of-life care are just a few of these considerations.

Treatments

Even though hospice’s primary goal is to alleviate pain and other symptoms, medication is still critical in helping patients cope with their diseases. An allergic reaction or a severe reaction to a single  a combination of medicines is more likely the more medicines a person takes.

Pharmacists at hospices are aware of these interactions. They can work with the patient’s doctors to determine the dosage, delivery method, or prescription form that works best for the patient.

Consultation

Hospice pharmacists can talk to patients about the frequency with which they take their prescription medications and why they might not be taking them as recommended and discuss side effects and how the treatment is performing. The following are examples of possible causes: Patients may stop taking a if it has too many adverse effects or creates an allergic response.

  • Stigma

Some patients are concerned that they will get addicted to their prescribed medications, particularly opiate painkillers.

  • Cost

Some patients may not pay all of their medications even with hospice care being reimbursed by Medicare.

  • Consideration

Hospice pharmacists can consider all of these considerations and determine whether there are other or alternate dosages of a prescription that can meet the patient’s concerns.

Care towards the End of Life

For a pharmacist who is used to treating and curing ailments, providing end-of-life care may necessitate a shift of viewpoint. Hospice pharmacists are mindful of the emotional burden that patients, their families, and their carers face during the dying process.

Things to Consider

Pain is frequently treated with medication. The hospice staff can utilize over-the-counter medicines like ibuprofen or harsher pain medications like morphine. Speak with your doctor or the hospice staff about what’s working or not working for you at any moment throughout your stay. They can swiftly alter treatment plans or medications, and they will do everything they can to ensure the patient’s well-being at all costs. 

Questions concerning these medications, including possible adverse effects, can be answered by talking to your pharmacist. Palliative care, including in-home pharmacy, is covered by most insurance policies, including Medicare and Medicaid. Speak with your hospice team if you have questions about the healthcare system or money.

Establishment of a Commercial Partnership That Benefits All Parties 

Patients, their families, and the rest of the multidisciplinary team will benefit if a hospice and an independent community pharmacy work together seamlessly. If you and the hospice can agree on proceeding, you will sign a pharmaceutical service contract. The contract would outline each party’s obligations, as well as agreed-upon payment arrangements for prescription  and pharmacy services.

Hospice patients use an average of eight prescription prescriptions and five non-prescription meds, which are typically supplied twice a month. This is the most appropriate and satisfying method of increasing pharmacy profits. An independent pharmacy’s ethos is well-matched with that of a hospice partnership since you’ll be responsible for managing and optimising the clinical usage of the  you’ll be administering.

Secondary to getting hospice business will be increased prescription volume and new pharmacy income streams from services like the clinical review of patient care upon admission and participation in team meetings. A medium-sized hospice with 100 patients generates $175,000 in net income per year due to servicing them.

All the benefits aside, it’s crucial to note that nearly all hospice patients are referred to the pharmacy by a family member or friend. If you want to keep the hospice’s reputation intact, you must be willing to put in the time and effort. That’s why independent community pharmacies are so well-suited to hospice care. In the latter stages of a patient’s life, they deserve and require personalized care. When it comes to patients, hospices are looking for the same thing as your pharmacy.

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