As we look ahead to 2018, we’re sure to see fast paced changes to e-prescribing regulations in the hospice pharmacy specialty.
Recently, I’ve begun hearing from clients that they’re already thinking about those compliance changes. I asked my team for common sense approaches to help our hospice partners get ready for the new requirements. After discussion, we condensed our thoughts into these resulting top 3 “need to know” tips.
As 2017 counts down, we hope these straightforward strategies will help prepare you for the compliance changes expected in 2018. (You’ll also want to watch our blog in January 2018, as Delta Care Rx will speak directly to those compliance changes as they relate to e-prescribing.)
Feel free to help us add to this list.
Identify a “point person.”
A point person on the team is aware of the required changes. In smaller hospice organizations, this role is fulfilled by the CEO, and in larger hospice settings, by a compliance officer. This person monitors changes as they occur, educates staff, and helps make changes to keep e-prescribers in alignment with the regulatory guidelines set by the state.
The point person typically manages the aspects of change inside the hospice organization. They’re responsible for the built-in accountability, or “paper trail,” that changing regulations often require. With e-prescribing practices, we recommend documenting the formal process and ensuring replicability with staff developed check-sheets and protocols.
Monitor changes for your state.
Minimally, monitoring industry briefs, such as those by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, or NHPCO, ensures an efficient way to monitor changes and share relevant information with staff.
Other ways to stay informed include talking with regulatory compliance educators at state or national conferences, or sending representatives to hospice coalition meetings to see what’s changing and who’s managing that change.
Setting Google “alerts” to monitor online posts and breaking news can also be helpful. Set the alert using keywords such as your state, hospice, pharmacy, e-prescribers, etc. Have the alerts delivered to your inbox weekly and scan for pertinent information.
As you monitor emergent changes, encourage your team to commit to early adoption. This reduces workplace stress, increases quality of care, and establishes your leadership among peers.
Use a good e-prescribe integration with knowledgeable support team in place.
A good integration for pharmaceutical benefits management systems includes access to skilled professionals who are trained to do e-prescribing, and do it well.
What you don’t want in the midst of regulatory changes? To call state regulators and ask questions that make it obvious there’s confusion on your end. Or to realize that peers and colleagues have already made the requisite changes, and you’re behind the curve. Using a third party vendor for e-prescribing also adds a layer of potential obfuscation, complication, and time delays.
To meet these challenges, opt for direct integration of e-prescribing options into your system. At Delta Care Rx, the SureScripts integration answers this need in ways that make sense, increase efficiencies, and keep e-prescriptions in the hands of professionals. We’ve found that one system with dual entry capability is much more effective than third party alternatives. The process is simplified, e-prescriptions are processed in real time and within your direct control.
Escalating medication pricing and new e-prescribing regulations require changes at a rapid rate. We hope these tips will serve hospice leaders, physicians, and nurse practitioners well as the new year approaches.
Best wishes for a joyful holiday season,
Helen New is National Director of Client Strategies for Delta Care Rx.