|Member Profile - Chad Worz|
The Consultant Pharmacist publishes occasional snapshots of members who have interesting practices or businesses or are involved in unusual projects or research. All pharmacists were asked to provide answers to several questions. This was originally published in the March 2017 issue of The Consultant Pharmacist.
Chad Worz, PharmD, is president and founder of Medication Managers, LLC, a consulting practice that serves nursing facilities and long-term care pharmacy clients across the country.
Tell us about yourself and your business/ practice.
Like most of us, I am the product of my upbringing. My mother was an art history major and has been an artist her entire life. My father was a former Army helicopter pilot who served in Vietnam and has been an entrepreneur with a wide range of businesses including real estate, placement companies, and ATM machine networks. My mother’s creative way of seeing the world and my father’s entrepreneurial spirit primed me for work in the world of pharmacy (which I entered as a stock person at 15) in a different way. I am a self-proclaimed “antipharmacist,” because my main focus is deprescribing. I approach every problem believing a medication is a cause, working to limit medication use whenever possible. Using this philosophy, I established Medication Managers, LLC, which is a consulting practice that serves nursing facilities and long-term care pharmacy clients across the country.
We use a patient-focused approach, driven by deprescribing. We strive to make sure individuals are on the least amount of needed medications, and for most that means eliminating unneeded medication.
What have the highlights and challenges been over the years?
Never “working” a day in your life because you love what you do; I love what we do at Medication Managers. I view my profession, especially those pharmacists focusing on older adults, as in the perfect position to impact the aging population. Baby Boomers are now turning 70, and with that seniority comes an increased need for medication management. Our country’s health and financial stability depend on us finding innovative ways to use pharmacists to improve quality of life and lower the burden of medications and medication use. The highlights of my practice over the years have been working with the many, many talented pharmacists that I have encountered in our practice and in our industry. Our company is nothing if not a reflection of our pharmacists; we now have 70 working throughout the country. We hire only those pharmacists with high communication and social skills, and those are skills we can’t teach. What we can teach are state and federal regulations and clinical details, but without an ability to translate those into ways to serve our patients, we wouldn’t be successful. My high points are seeing pharmacists use their talents and the freedom we can provide in a consulting pharmacy to impact their patients’ lives. Without challenges, there is no progress. We are constantly challenged by the system. The biggest issue we have faced is reimbursement. We fight for a fair wage, and we are challenged by how other pharmacy entities discount and give away the valuable services that we as pharmacists can provide. Pharmacists always agree that reimbursement for dispensing products and providing cognitive services doesn’t fit the level of value that we contribute. Unfortunately, when push comes to shove, pharmacists end up discounting, and we devalue ourselves.
What advice can you offer other consultant pharmacists?
Use the skills you have. There is a paradigm shift in pharmacy, and dispensing is slowly becoming a commodity. Clinical reviews, education, and interventions in medication management—those are the skills that are critical as the population shifts. Our seniors consume the most health care of any age group, and they take the most medications. Seniors’ knowledge of their medications is generally poor, and their ability to care for themselves using those medications is also lacking. As a consultant pharmacist, you need to have the confidence to position yourself in health systems to provide solutions to those problems. As an ASCP leader, I am working to open channels for consultant pharmacists to provide those skills and am piloting opportunities for us to work within physician offices. Consultant pharmacists need to be ready to step in and explore those opportunities. We are also working with ASCP to open opportunities for medication therapy management. Antibiotic stewardship, changes in immunization guidelines, anticholinergic burden, management and costs of Medicare Part A (hospitalization), and reductions in rehospitalizations for post-acute patients—30, 60, and 90 days posthospitalization—all represent tremendous problems for the health care system, and tremendous opportunities for consultant pharmacists who have the creativity, drive, and confidence to solve them.