Consultant pharmacistsworking in the assisted livingenvironment have a newpayment formula. Paymentfor clinical services providedby consultant and senior carepharmacists in this practicesetting is separate from reimbursementto pharmacies for the dispensing of drug productsand associated services.
The Board of Directors of the American Society of ConsultantPharmacists (ASCP) noted that this was a key point in the revised"Guidelines for Providing Consultant and Dispensing Services toAssisted Living Residents." ASCP adopted the guidelines onSeptember 27, 2006. They can be found at www.ascp.com/resources/policy/guidelines.cfm; click on Assisted Living. Theguidelines are intended to accomplish the following:
•Enable residents of assisted living facilities to receive themedication therapy management services needed to promotetheir health, functionality, and independence
•Direct pharmacists who provide consulting and dispensingservices to assisted living settings
•Educate the officials of assisted living facilities about servicesthey should expect to receive from consultant pharmacistsand the dispensing pharmacy
•Educate residents, family members, policy makers, and othersabout the critical role of pharmacy services in the assistedliving setting
Furthermore, according to ASCP, providing quality pharmacyservices to the assisted living community involves additionaltime, knowledge, systems, and procedures that are beyond thescope of services provided by most pharmacies and pharmacists.Payers must realize and prepare to reimburse for theseservices using a different formula designed to cover the expensesassociated with providing these services in addition to paying forthe cost of the individual medications.