Savings abound when LTC administrators and pharmacists work together, experts stress

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Alan Bronfein
Alan Bronfein

As providers struggle to operate on increasingly thin margins, close collaboration between nursing home administrators and consultant pharmacists is becoming more important, industry experts said Tuesday.

“Administrators need to sit down with their consultant pharmacists and look at the direction their facility is going in,” said Alan Bronfein, senior vice president of Remedi SeniorCare, during a webcast featuring long-term care pharmacy stakeholders.

The webinar, which was sponsored by McKesson, tackled the role of LTC pharmacies in an era of state and federal funding cuts. It included several institutional pharmacy executives who said administrators have increasingly been approaching them about strategies to cut medication costs. If administrators haven't yet approached the pharmacy department about changes, they are already behind the curve, panelists noted.

For example, getting medication quickly to residents is tied to increasing census, noted Frank Grosso, vice president of pharmacy services at Genesis HealthCare.

“Between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. is our busiest time of day,” he said. “The delivery of those first doses is important. … We need to have a better understanding of each other's business.”

Bronfein added that the industry will go through “a big paradigm shift in the next five years, in part because of the cost of technology,” and that reducing waste would ultimately lead to greater cost savings.

“[Funding] cuts are forcing everyone to take a step back and look at their business model. New technology is coming in on the facility side, which can create great efficiencies,” he said.