PHARMACIST INCENTIVES AND COMPENSATION FOR SERVICES
PHARMACIST INCENTIVES AND COMPENSATION FOR SERVICES should be part of the drug reimbursement system under Medicaid, the American Society of Hospital Pharmacists (ASHP) maintained in a March 13 letter to HHS Secretary Bowen. "ASHP strongly urges the department to meet the challenge of developing a new, equitable and comprehensive drug reimbursement program which combines incentives for pharmacists to provide the most cost-effective pharmaceutical products with commensurate compensation for services," association Exec VP Joseph Oddis wrote. "To date, efforts to address the need for a new system of pharmacy payment have been unsuccessful," Oddis said. "Efforts to adjust the existing -- and in our view only marginally effective -- MAC program were inartful and only served to perpetuate a system in which product-related costs inappropriately subsidize the cost of professional services. Current proposals simply play with numbers without addressing the issue foursquare," he added. ASHP contended that to establish a new system that is free from "past inequities imposed upon both the government and the profession," the department should set five criteria for its Rx drug reimbursement program: The system should allow for budget limitations, It should "minimize administrative costs to pharmacists and reduce government overhead costs", It should "use marketplace incentives to encourage cost control", Reimbursement should include both product costs and "an incentive to use lower-cost products where possible" and, It should "include payment for professional services."
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