ASCP Leads Charge to Develop Measures Impacting Care of Older Persons

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ALEXANDRIA, VA, April 11, 2012 -- The American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP) developed an in-depth analysis of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) response to public comments on a proposal requiring that consultant pharmacists be independent from long-term care pharmacies, pharmaceutical manufacturers and wholesalers.

“I believe ASCP has been given a prime opportunity to take the lead on addressing very strong and disconcerting comments about the value of consultant pharmacists’ services. We must get out front and lead this charge!” says ASCP President Penny Shelton, PharmD, CGP, FASCP.

There is common ground with other long-term care stakeholders on this issue and ASCP will work with them to gather the data necessary to adequately address CMS’s concerns.

Adds Shelton, “We look forward to the opportunity to develop industry-wide measures through collaboration with quality standards organizations, such as the Pharmacy Quality Alliance, that will satisfy issues raised by CMS and best ensure patient safety and quality of care.”

What is a Consultant Pharmacist and what role do these medical professionals play in health care for the older persons? Consultant Pharmacists are the patient-centered advocates for seniors at-risk for medication-related problems. Typically found working in long-term care settings for the elderly, these ASCP members possess specific knowledge and skills in geriatric pharmacotherapy and are experts in the unique medication-related needs of seniors and long-term care residents.

ASCP is an association representing more than 6,000 members who manage drug therapy and improve the quality of life of geriatric patients and other individuals residing in a variety of environments, including nursing facilities, sub acute care and assisted living facilities, psychiatric hospitals, hospice programs, and home and community-based care.

Learn more about ASCP’s efforts in regard to the CMS proposal and about the vital role that ASCP members play in the lives of senior citizens at the Spring Conference + Exhibition in Anaheim, CA, May 21-23, 2012. Register at ascp.com/spring2012.

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