HIMSS News

Community Care Network of North Carolina Connects Pharmacy Systems to EHRs and more

Due to new collaboration, community pharmacists and primary health care providers in North Carolina are sharing critical information about a patient’s comprehensive medication use, health challenges, and social care needs. Pharmacists in North Carolina joined the Community Care Network of North Carolina in 2007; the Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network (CPESN) was part of a 3-year grant funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to test new reimbursement models for community pharmacies serving Medicaid, Medicare, dually eligible, and North Carolina Health Choice beneficiaries. CPESN is based on collaborative care model in which community pharmacists are active and integrated participants of the medical home care team.

This model will allow pharmacy management systems to communicate with electronic health records (EHRs), payers, and care management systems, which they have not been able to do before.

Participating community pharmacies will receive a monthly payment when they send a patient care plan to CCNC. The care plan will be updated every month.

The project brings the same standards to pharmacists that physicians and hospitals have adopted for exchanging clinical information. Not only will this allow community pharmacists to communicate in a more efficient way with the care team, but it could also begin to carve out a mechanism for payment.