Innovative Approaches by Pharmacists Save Costs at a Comprehensive Cancer Center

Active implementation of cost-saving measures successfully cut down expenditure at the Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.

In April 2012, the University of Southern California (USC) Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center in Pasadena opened a hospital-based, outpatient oncology infusion center, where clinical pharmacists have been key in developing cost-savings and cost-avoidance initiatives. From formulary management alone, pharmacists have saved close to $550,000 in one year.

Much of the savings were made possible by the infusion center’s designation as a 1206D facility, according to Betty M. Chan, PharmD, BCOP, an assistant professor of clinical pharmacy at Norris. The designation, which is unique to the state of California, exempts hospital-based practices from drug-pricing regulations and other rules that affect physician-based clinics. As a result, facilities with the 1206D designation benefit from improved reimbursement in the outpatient setting, Dr. Chan said. Other advantages include split billing, minimal staffing requirements and shared medical resources between affiliated clinics and hospitals.

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Source: Pharmacy Practice News