Money & Business

Drug Store Group Launches Immunization Initiative

By / Aug 2, 2016 (iStock/Thinkstock)

Wanting to boost pharmacy-based immunization rates, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores is launching three demonstration projects that aim to foster healthcare collaboration.

Through three demonstration projects, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) is looking to increase the number of pharmacy-based immunizations.

The goals of these projects, according to Drug Store News, are for the three chosen healthcare entities to work together to develop and implement a payment model that is scalable and replicable “that results in improved immunization rates for a targeted population that are recorded in the appropriate state-based registry.”

This work will help fulfill the goals of an $800,000 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant that NACDS was awarded to examine innovative healthcare collaborations designed to demonstrate increased rates of pharmacy-based immunizations including influenza, pneumococcal, pertussis, and herpes zoster.

“Legislators and regulators at the federal and state levels often reference pharmacists’ success in promoting the necessity of vaccines, and in increasing access to them,” said NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson in a press release. “These demonstration projects seek to improve patient health by aligning the interests of healthcare partners which should increase immunizations and improve the healthcare outcomes of patients across the country.”

After winning the CDC grant, NACDS released a request for proposals in February 2016 seeking pharmacies and healthcare entities that would be willing to collaborate in order to boost immunization rates.

From the more than 20 proposals NACDS received, an independent advisory board selected three awardees:

  • Giant Eagle, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Pittsburgh Welfare Benefit Plan
  • Hy-Vee, the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and Nebraska Health Network, and the University of Iowa Health Alliance
  • Bartell, QFC, University of Washington, and the Washington State Health Care Authority

These three awardees are using CDC grant money, as well as some raised by NACDS, to implement these demonstrations beginning this month and next. Two of the awardees’ demonstrations will take place across an entire year, while the other will wrap up within seven months.

In addition to driving pharmacy-based immunization rates, another part of the initiative is increasing immunization reporting to state health departments. To that end, each awardee will also be working closely with its own state health department to share immunization data.

Moving forward, NACDS hopes other pharmacies will learn from these demonstrations, replicate the value-based payment models in their own businesses, and boost the number of pharmacy-based immunization rates—ultimately improving the health of Americans throughout the nation.

Emily Bratcher

Emily Bratcher is a Contributing Editor for Associations Now. More »

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