Dr Linda Frisk Discusses the Role of the Pharmacist in Value-Based Care

Linda Frisk, PharmD, of Arizona Oncology, discusses the role of the pharmacist in new value-based payment models and her experience with the Oncology Care Model (OCM).

What is the role of the oncology pharmacist in new value-based payment models?
I am part of the OCM, so cost of care is important to us, and managing our patients, preventing those side effects from getting worse, interacting with the physician, making sure that what we’re dispensing is the right medicine, the right dose, not auto-filling but checking with the physician, is going to reduce cost of care. It’s going to reduce emergency department visits. It’s going to reduce hospitalization. It’s going to make sure that we don’t dispense a medication that the patient can’t use.

What have been some of the biggest challenges you've had in implementing the Oncology Care Model?
In implementing OCM, there was a lot of a ramp up phase. Oral medications is probably the hardest part, because they don’t all come through us, so it’s a lot of phone calling to patients, to specialty pharmacies, to find out just the basic information that we need to get them enrolled, to get their care plan billed, and to find out where they’re at in their therapy. It would be much easier my sites, because they’re right in the clinics, could dispense the medications, but we know that because of insurance and [pharmacy benefit managers] and things like that, that we can’t dispense all of them. That makes it difficult.

What role does the pharmacist play in implementing clinical pathways?
I’m part of US Oncology McKesson, and we have the value pathways by [National Comprehensive Cancer Network], and they are integrated into our [electronic medical record], so every time that the physicians order a new regimen, they do go through our pathways. And if they don’t follow the pathways, then they have to give a reason why. So, we are very much integrated into that system.
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