Pharmacy Patient Consultations – Policies and Procedures

In the news this week is that Rite Aid Corporation has agreed to settle a lawsuit regarding allegations that it’s pharmacists failed to properly conduct patient consultations. Rite Aid has agreed to pay almost $500,000 plus implement reforms immediately in the chain’s California based stores. According to the lawsuit filed in Riverside, California, an ongoing investigation had revealed that Rite Aid pharmacists neglected to offer and perform one-on-one consultations with patients. This included patients receiving new medicines PLUS patients whose existing prescription medicines had changed.

Lawsuits and settlements regarding failures by pharmacies to properly consult with patients regarding medications is nothing new. We probably all can remember this past December when CVS Pharmacies went through a similar situation. In that case ongoing undercover investigators documented that CVS pharmacies and pharmacists were guilty of offering patient consultations performed by improper personnel. In addition the investigation revealed that in numerous instances the pharmacies did not offer or provide the required consultations at all! As with the case involving Rite Aid Corporation, CVS was cited in the lawsuit for it’s pharmacists frequently failing to provide customer consulting and consultations for brand new prescriptions and for dosage changes of existing prescriptions. As in the Rite Aid case, CVS paid a penalty of over $650,000 plus agreed to a commitment to provide patients appropriate medication counseling that would comply to all legal requirements.

Providing consultation services to patients has become a requirement of doing business for pharmacies and pharmacists. It is a part of the job and in the best interests of the consumers and the public today. Patient consultation to consumers regarding their medications and proper usage is a requirement in many states that cannot be ignored. In Florida, Chapter 465 of the Florida Statutes pertaining to pharmacy clearly states that the pharmacist shall provide counseling on proper drug usage to the patient, either orally or in writing.

Does your pharmacy have written policies and procedures in place regarding patient and medication counseling? Do you ensure that patients have convenient access to speak with the pharmacist regarding their prescriptions? Is your staff properly trained and able to document consultation services provided? If not, then contact HCC today to see how we can help.

Healthcare Consulting has been a full service Pharmacy staffing and consulting firm that has been in business for over 25 years. HCC has been helping pharmacies plan, prepare and deal with issues such as Patient Consultation Services since 1989. Just a few examples of our services include:

– Development of Policies and Procedures
– Employee Training
– Patient Consultation Documentation
– Pharmacy Management Consultation

Although we all hope that we will never personally deal with such situations such as Rite Aide and CVS did, I strongly urge you to be prepared. Contact us on line or call us today for a Free Consultation at 800-642-1653 to discuss how we can help you.

Bob Miller

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