Thirty years ago, pharmacies were just realizing the opportunities available to them in the long-term care space. At that time, long-term care pharmacy and pharmacists were servicing residents living in nursing homes (SNF) and that was the end of the story. In 2022, the healthcare spectrum has changed. Everyone is looking for a way to decrease healthcare costs and provide better care. Adverse drug reactions account for many hospital admissions – according to a recent meta-analysis, one in ten hospital admissions are for elderly patients.1 This makes pharmacists—more specifically, long-term care pharmacists— part of the solution for both costs and care; especially as the definition of appropriate long-term patients and services continue to be defined. Long-term care pharmacies can be a closed-door pharmacy servicing only long-term care residents or a long-term care pharmacy can be in a “combo” pharmacy where both retail and long-term care pharmacy are being offered under a retail license.
As you know, long-term care pharmacies provide services above and beyond what is delivered at the counter of a typical retail pharmacy for a walk-in patient. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has specific requirements for pharmacies servicing Medicare Part D beneficiaries in long term care facilities2. LTC pharmacies must have the capacity to provide specific drugs in units of use packaging, bingo cards, cassettes, unit dose or other special packaging commonly required by LTC facilities. They must also have services available twenty-four hours, seven days a week for emergency calls. These are but a couple of the services needed to take care of patients in a long-term care setting. Many pharmacies have added other services such as medication reconciliation, medication management, medication regimen reviews (MRRs), etc., in addition to the ones specified by CMS. Read More.