CareSource training pharmacists on providing clinical services to patients at local clinics

Insurance company partners with Community Health Centers of Greater Dayton, Profero Team.

CareSource began a new partnership this month that is allowing the Dayton-based health insurance company to train pharmacists on providing clinical services to patients regarding their medications at local clinics.

CareSource’s new partnership with Profero Team, LLC, a clinical pharmacy consulting company, and the Community Health Centers of Greater Dayton (CHCGD), a non-profit, federally qualified health center (FQHC) stems from the Ohio General Assembly passing in 2019 legislation that gives pharmacists “provider status” in healthcare.

Having the provider status allows pharmacists to credential and bill Ohio Medicaid and managed Medicaid programs for their services, such as counseling patients on how to take their medications properly and if there are any dangerous interactions between the drugs they are taking.

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Groups like CareSource and Profero Team are aiming to provide more patients with access to consultations from a pharmacist on the medications they are taking, because if patients make mistakes with their medication, they could wind up in the emergency room.

According to the Ohio Pharmacists Association, 50% of patients are taking their medications incorrectly. Approximately 10% of all hospital admissions are due to taking the medications wrong, said Ernest Boyd, executive director of the Ohio Pharmacists Association. Approximately 20% of nursing home admissions are also due to individuals not understanding their medications.

This new partnership allows CareSource health care professionals to train in specialized residency programs at Community Health Centers of Greater Dayton through post-graduation education. Leading the training will be Katelyn Streit, PharmD, and Amanda Roberts, PharmD.

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“We are always looking to improve the care of patients through optimizing the expertise of the pharmacist,” said Marc Sweeney, CEO of Profero Team. “It’s truly an honor to partner with CareSource because it has set a high bar for excellence in health care.”

CareSource has had a pharmacy residency program since 2015, which is focused on managed care services. Each year, it has worked with various clinics in the Dayton region to give their pharmacists direct patient care experiences.

“CareSource’s managed care residency program is unique because it includes this patient care experience at Community Health Centers of Greater Dayton,” said Shannon Steele, pharmacy community program manager for CareSource. “The experience is invaluable for our residents – it allows them to see first-hand how programs developed by health plans affect the care of patients.”

Having a pharmacist provide clinical services in addition to the services provided by physicians can reduce medical costs later on by preventing visits to the emergency room.

“They found they’re saving $3 for every $1 dollar they pay the pharmacist,” Boyd said about CareSource.

Profero Team has also been working with CHCGD since 2021 to provide clinical pharmacist services at three of their health centers. The clinical pharmacist on site at CHCGD counsels patients on managing their chronic health conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure through collaborative practice agreements.

Pharmacists can manage the medications patients are using in these agreements in partnership with physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. This allows pharmacists to see patients for chronic conditions and order medications, test supplements, review labs, and provide the education needed for patients to get to their goals, according to Profero Team.

“Having the clinical pharmacist available to consult with our high-risk patients has added value to our care teams,” said Dr. Anna Roetker, medical director at the Community Health Centers of Greater Dayton.

When it comes to pharmacists working directly with the patients to counsel them on their medications, as well as have an active role in what medications patients are using, Boyd said, “It has been proven that ER visits drop dramatically.”

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CareSource’s pharmacists trainees will spend time training with Profero Team during their residency in Dayton, Sweeney said.

“The real value is a collaborative based team approach,” Sweeney said, explaining they are “optimizing pharmacy services to improve patient care.”

This partnership will also allow CHCGD to expand their medication therapy management program.

“It’s exciting to be able to work with CareSource and Community Health Centers to help train the next generation of pharmacists and serve the community in Dayton, " said Melody Hartzler, director of clinical services for Profero Team. “Adding pharmacists to the patient’s care team has been shown to improve health outcomes such as diabetes control as well as decrease medication-related adverse events.”

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