Clinical and outcome data from nursing homes, especially in relationship to its pharmacies, will grow in importance over the next year, two McKesson executives said last month.

“The days of a great relationship with a discharge nurse are way behind us,” said Rich McKeon, vice president of McKesson Alternate Site Pharmacy Solutions.

At the same time, the dizzying amount of data available means long-term care providers have to pick when presenting to referral partners, said Mark Eastham, R.Ph., senior vice president, McKesson RxO.

“There is a ton of data out there, so it’s about coordinating that data and pulling out the pieces that make it actionable,” he said.

In addition to managing a referral stream, Eastham told McKnight’s that major challenges remain with providers being reimbursed correctly.

“We see the problems with how they are coding, and in a lot of cases it leads to underpayment,” he said. “There are a lot of new products coming into the market: If they don’t get it right now, it perpetuates  miscoding and missing out on significant revenue opportunities.”

Plus, as valuable as nurses are in long-term care, pharmacists shouldn’t be taken for granted, the executives agreed.

“The pharmacists play a vital role in the healthcare chain,” Eastham said. “They are getting six years of training. In particular, in a nursing home, it’s just critical that pharmacists are playing a key role.”

Other 2019 trends include the 340B Drug Pricing Program. The Health Resources and Services Administration continues to focus on covered entity compliance, the company noted. 

Additionally, there’s a need to address regulatory roadblocks that do not allow parties to openly discuss supply chain disruptions, Eastham said.

“Pharmacy leadership needs actionable insights to help maintain a healthy bottom line and achieve meaningful impact for their patients, their pharmacy and their health system,” he said.