<p>The benefits of preventive care are prominent in several articles in the media this week. </p>
<li><em style="text-indent: -0.25in;">The New York Times</em><span style="text-indent: -0.25in;"> published a </span><a href="http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/06/09/revolving-doors-at-hospitals/?_php=true&amp;_type=blogs&amp;_php=true&amp;_type=blogs&amp;emc=edit_tnt_20140609&amp;nlid=58462464&amp;tntemail0=y&amp;utm_campaign=KHN%3A+Daily+Health+Policy+Report&amp;utm_source=hs_email&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_content=13138333&amp;_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9kTwaQit6wou7X3BhF7S4vFaZkPTpkxqwJ6moyE4wczjM35RmzsIQuX28Co15N021d49UtGSkkNtUE_2FWE5D9mw_YiQ&amp;_hsmi=13138333&amp;_r=1&amp;" style="text-indent: -0.25in;">blog</a><span style="text-indent: -0.25in;"> discussing a patient in the hospital who doesn&rsquo;t connect the dots after being discharged and is readmitted to the hospital, causing the hospital to be fined by Medicare. The author notes that a lack of &ldquo;coherent follow-up,&rdquo; along with other common missteps, leads the patient back to the hospital.</span></li>
<li><span style="text-indent: -0.25in;">An </span><a href="http://www.courier-journal.com/story/health-bytes/2014/06/09/university-cincinnati-kroger-hospitalization-re-admission/10231015/" style="text-indent: -0.25in;">article</a><span style="text-indent: -0.25in;"> in </span><em style="text-indent: -0.25in;">The Courier Journal </em><span style="text-indent: -0.25in;">reports on a study on the impact of pharmacist-led medication therapy management (MTM) on reducing hospital readmissions.</span></li>
<li><span style="text-indent: -0.25in;">NPR </span><a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/06/09/318567633/hospitals-put-pharmacists-in-the-er-to-cut-medication-errors" style="text-indent: -0.25in;">reported</a><span style="text-indent: -0.25in;"> on pharmacists who work full time in a Dallas emergency room to help cut down on medication errors.</span></li>
<li><span style="text-indent: -0.25in;">A group of studies published in the journal </span><a href="http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2014/06/03/peds.2013-3849.full.pdf+html" style="text-indent: -0.25in;"><em>Pediatrics</em></a><span style="text-indent: -0.25in;"> this week points to the far-ranging benefits of childhood vaccinations.</span></li>
<p>As more Americans seek healthcare under provisions of the Affordable Care Act, exacerbating an existing shortage of primary care physicians, healthcare is, by necessity, changing to more team-based care. A May 2014 Avalere study found that pharmacist services, such as MTM, medication reconciliation and immunizations, improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs. The study recommended more focus on the value pharmacists can provide and the role they can play in integrated delivery models.</p>
<p>Healthcare numbers starkly point to a need for successful healthcare strategies. The federal government reports that nearly one in five Medicare patients is readmitted to a hospital within 30 days of discharge, which leads to $26 billion in healthcare costs annually. A NEHI study found that patients who do not take their medications as prescribed add more than $290 billion in additional healthcare costs each year. The same study stated that &ldquo;medication management is at the core of advanced discharge planning and transitional care.&rdquo;</p>
<p>Working toward goals that would expand pharmacy services, NACDS supports <a href="https://www.nacds.org/Home/TabId/107/PostId/3467/nacds-endorses-bipartisan-senate-bill-to-expand-mtm-services-for-seniors.aspx">legislation</a> to expand access to MTM services for senior citizens enrolled in the Medicare program and a <a href="https://www.nacds.org/Home/TabId/107/PostId/3883/provider-status-bill-focuses-on-underserved-earns-nacds-backing.aspx">bill</a> that would enable pharmacists to work to their full capability by providing underserved patients in the Medicare program with services such as immunizations and disease state testing, within the scope of state laws.</p>
<p style="margin-left: 0in;">The need for a more collaborative approach to healthcare is evident&mdash;in the numbers and the news&mdash;and pharmacy is poised to be an integral part of the evolving team-based model, an effective strategy that coordinates treatment to provide optimal patient care and reduce healthcare costs.</p>