Kim Westrich Discusses ACOs and Pharmacy Management

Kimberly Westrich, director for health services research for the National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC), says that the NPC determined many accountable care organizations (ACOs) are not yet prepared to maximize the value of pharmaceuticals in patient care.

Kimberly Westrich, director for health services research for the National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC), says that the NPC determined many accountable care organizations (ACOs) are not yet prepared to maximize the value of pharmaceuticals in patient care. This lack of readiness is partly due to the fact that ACOs continue to struggle with quality measures for a broad diversity of conditions and a general inability to measure cost offsets, among other reasons.

ACO participants also have a variety of perspectives on medications as an essential part of condition management, but Ms Westrich says there are opportunities.

“When you look beneath the surface, you realize there is a lot of opportunity for medications to help lower costs in situations where perhaps they reduce readmissions to the hospital, or to achieve the important quality benchmarks CMS and others are looking for,” says Ms Westrich. “So an ACO that would thoughtfully use pharmaceuticals to maximize patient care can meet both their cost and quality benchmarks, and that’s the best way to be using them.”