The Times, They Are A-Changin’

Peggy, our Home Infusion Case Coordinator, recently attended the CMSA Kansas City Conference on May 14th at the Ritz-Charles in Overland Park, Ks. One of the presentations was by Ellen Fink-Samnick on E-Tech Ethics. As we all know HIPAA has changed the way we look at our roles in all aspects of the medical industry.

Medical Identity Theft, the use of an individual’s personal identity to fraudulently receive medical services, goods or prescriptions, has skyrocketed over the last few years. The results of medical identity theft are lost health insurance, misdiagnosis, and incorrect prescriptions. For more information about the HIPPA “hype”, visit the website: http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/index.html.

 

Recipe for Grilled Artichokes

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Ingredients:

  • 2 large artichokes
  •  1 lemon, quartered
  •  ¾ cup olive oil
  •  4 cloves garlic, chopped
  •  1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper

Directions:

Fill a large bowl with cold water. Squeeze the juice from one lemon wedge into the water. Trim the tops from the artichokes, then cut in half lengthwise, and place halves into the bowl of lemon water to prevent them from turning brown. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat. Add artichokes to boiling water, and cook for about 15 minutes. Drain. Squeeze the remaining lemon wedges into a medium bowl. Stir in the olive oil and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Brush the artichokes with a coating of the garlic dip, and place them on the preheated grill. Grill the artichokes for 5 to 10 minutes, basting with dip and turning frequently, until the tips are a little charred. Serve immediately with the remaining dip.

This dish pairs well with Treana White, a lovely white blend from Paso Robles, CA.

 

What is a Specialty Pharmacy?

 Did you know that Alternacare Infusion Pharmacy is a Specialty Pharmacy? In health care news recently, there has been much buzz about specialty pharmacies, but how does one define this term, Specialty Pharmacy? The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) in a recent publication entitled Format for Formulary Submission, version 3.1 defined Specialty Pharmacy as the following:

“Specialty pharmacies are distinct from traditional pharmacies in coordinating many aspects of patient care and disease management. They are designed to efficiently deliver medications with specialized handling, storage, and distribution requirements with standardized processes that permit economies of scale. Specialty pharmacies are also designed to improve clinical and economic outcomes for patients with complex, often chronic and rare conditions, with close contact and management by clinicians. Health care professionals employed by specialty pharmacies provide patient education, help ensure appropriate medication use, promote adherence, and attempt to avoid unnecessary costs. Other support systems coordinate sharing of information among clinicians treating patients and help patients locate resources to provide financial assistance with out of pocket expenditures.”

Specialty Pharmacies manage patients with chronic diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn’s Disease and immune disorders. Specialty Pharmacies dispense specialty drugs. A specialty drug most often meets the following criteria: high cost, administration by injection or infusion, use for chronic or rare diseases, and complex handling, storage, and/or distribution processes. Not only do Specialty Pharmacies like Alternacare Infusion Pharmacy specialize in the administration of specific medications, they also work to educate patients, conduct coordination regarding care, and manage inefficiencies related to the cost of providing a service in which the pharmacist and patient are much more collaborative and closely connected. Alternacare Infusion Pharmacy is equipped to handle complex conditions. Our pharmacists and nurses provide expert clinical care and support to our patients.

Alternacare’s Transition of Care Liaison Program: How Your Patients Can Benefit

When discharging a patient who will receive IV therapy at home, one of our liaisons will gladly visit the patient in the hospital prior to dismissal to help the transition of care from hospital to home flow more smoothly. The liaison will let your patient know what to expect, what equipment will be involved in the therapy and who will contact the patient. The liaison will also be sure that the patient has the pharmacy phone number in case a question or concern arises. The patient will be reassured that a nurse will meet him/her in the home to teach the patient how to use the medications and supplies. Insurance benefits may also be discussed prior to discharge. Liaisons are available in person in the Kansas City metropolitan area and by phone outside of the KC metro area. Patients will feel more relaxed and confident returning home after having spoken with Alternacare’s liaison.