Cost Analysis & Containment Services
Just two of the reasons you should consider contacting Guardian Consulting Services to help manage medication costs in your facility or program.
- Detailed Pharmacy Charges Analysis
- Formulary Development and Compliance Experts
The reimbursement picture in healthcare is ever evolving, and even in the era of Medicare Part D, it is important for facilities and programs to have an expert on their side to help keep up with the changes and hold medication costs under control.
While we pride ourselves on assisting facilities to manage their medication use, we’re equally proud of our reputation as independent Consultant Pharmacists, dedicated to ensuring that all medication changes recommended for cost containment purposes also maintain, and in many cases, improve both safety and efficacy. Finding the appropriate alternatives, bringing these alternatives to the medical staff and getting the necessary changes made is core to who we are.
Additionally, as Independent Consultant Pharmacists, we are uniquely suited to help you analyze your current pharmacy charges, compare them to your contracted rates, and help you ensure that your charges are accurate.
What is a Consultant Pharmacist?
A Consultant Pharmacist is a drug therapy expert that specializes in the prevention of drug therapy related problems.
Traditionally, Consultant Pharmacists review the medical records and assess the drug regimens of Nursing Home residents on a monthly basis. In recent years, the role of the Consultant Pharmacist has expanded to include performing drug regimen reviews and other services in Adult Homes, Assisted Living Facilities, Adult Day Health Care Programs, and Group Homes. More recently, Consultant Pharmacists have begun offering services to private individuals.
What is Medication Regimen Review?
“Medication Regimen Review” is the term used to describe the process by which a Consultant Pharmacist reviews medication use for a patient. A comprehensive drug regimen review is multifaceted and includes the following, at the minimum: A review of the individual patient’s complete medical record, including the drug list, current laboratory reports, consultation reports, as well as the nursing and medical progress notes.
The Drug Regimen Review is designed to identify medications that may no longer be necessary or may be more appropriate in a lower dose. Additionally, the drug regimen review can identify previously unrecognized drug-drug or drug-disease state interactions. Further, the drug regimen review process may identify opportunities to treat patients with better-tolerated medications or medications that have more convenient dosing schedules.
Does a Consultant Pharmacist dispense medications, like other Pharmacists?
A Consultant Pharmacist does not dispense medications in the traditional sense. Consultant Pharmacists are purely clinicians and practice in a variety of settings, dispensing medication related information. Some Consultant Pharmacists do, however, provide other services either privately or within their companies which may involve medication dispensing.
Is every Nursing Home REQUIRED to have a Consultant Pharmacist? What about Adult Homes and Assisted Living facilities?
Federal law requires that all nursing home residents in the United States have their drug regimens reviewed by a Consultant Pharmacist at least monthly. Currently, there are no similar regulations in Assisted Living Facilities and Adult Homes. Many of these homes, however, recognize the value of pharmacist conducted drug regimen reviews and have established services with qualified consultants in the absence of any legal requirement to do so.
I have questions about my (or my loved one’s) medications. Can’t I just call my local Pharmacist in my local drug store and ask him or her everything I need to know?
YES! By all means, ALWAYS seek out the advice of your local pharmacist for questions about your medications. Your Pharmacist is an EXCELLENT source of information. However, if you feel you require a specialized, detailed, and confidential review of your medications, a qualified Consultant Pharmacist may be just what you’re looking for.
What are the most common drug related problems identified by Consultant Pharmacists?
Consultant Pharmacists routinely identify medications which may be being used for too long, at too high a dose, in the absence of monitoring, or in the presence of side effects which may indicate that the medication should be reduced or eliminated. Typical findings may include the identification of antipsychotic or sedative drugs being used in potentially excessive doses, or in situations where these medications are resulting in side effects such as confusion, dizziness, sleepiness, or tremors.
The focus is not limited to just antipsychotic and sedative medications, however. Consultant Pharmacists, through the drug regimen review process, apply these standards to EVERY medication for EVERY patient. In each instance, findings and recommendations for changes are made directly to the prescribers.
What special credentials are needed to be a Consultant Pharmacist?
To be eligible to provide services in Nursing Homes, a Consultant Pharmacist must be a graduate of an ACPE accredited college of Pharmacy and be licensed by the Board of Pharmacy of that State.
While not required, some consultant pharmacists have sought advanced degrees or certifications through organizations such as the Commission for Certification in Geriatric Pharmacy (CCGP). Many have also become members of professional societies such as the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP). For more information about CCGP and ASCP, please see our links page.
How do Physicians and other healthcare practitioners respond to Consultant Pharmacist’s recommendations?
Many Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, Physicians Assistants, and Nurses have come to realize the benefit that a focused, professional drug regimen review can add to the overall medical care of their patients. Each of these professionals understands that a qualified Consultant Pharmacist can quickly focus in on potential or actual problems with medication therapy, and recommend practical alternatives or other actions. We are proud to enjoy an outstanding relationship with these and many other health care professionals in all of our clinical settings.