By Jonesa Rodriguez - November 22, 2022
Pharmacists play a major role in the health care system. They are medication experts who navigate patients through their treatment journey. They also educate patients on how and when to take medication and how to manage potential side effects, as well as provide ongoing pharmaceutical evaluation and support.
At Moffitt Cancer Center, the Pharmacy Department takes on a special role, as the medications administered are often complex and usually require special storage and handling. The Moffit Specialty Pharmacy team interacts directly with patients, taking the time to explain their medications and overcome any barriers to treatment. These elevated services have earned the specialty team full accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC) for Specialty Pharmacy. This month, Moffitt’s specialty pharmacy team hosted the surveyor from the Utilization Review Accreditation Commission (URAC) as well and is awaiting news of a second Specialty Pharmacy accreditation.
The ACHC is a nonprofit health care accrediting organization that offers nationally recognized accreditation services for home health, hospice and private duty agencies. The organization has the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Deeming Authority for Home Health, Hospice, and Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies (DMEPOS). ACHC’S consultative approach to accreditation is designed to improve the quality of patient care while enhancing business efficiencies through service-specific standards and industry-based best practices.
“Earning full accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Health Care demonstrates our organization’s dedication to providing an advanced level of specialized pharmacy services,” said Pharmacy Manager, Sophia Alfonso, PharmD.
Moffitt’s decision to pursue accreditation was heavily evaluated and planning began two years before the cancer center’s accreditation surveys. The process involved partnering with experienced consultants who guided the organization in tailoring its robust program to meet the required standards of the two accreditations. Proper allocation of staff and resources were considered and implemented as well.
Additionally, the cancer center formed a quality committee to ensure that Moffitt’s Specialty Pharmacy was evaluating the care and outcomes of pharmacy services. The ACHC surveyor was pleased with the organization's efforts and recommended that they pursue an additional Oncology Distinction.
“The accreditation opens up doors to third-party insurance contracts that non-accredited pharmacies are unable to participate in, thus increasing the number of patients we can serve,” said Alfonso. “It indicates to payers and manufacturers that our pharmacy delivers quality care.”
For Moffitt, having accreditation from the ACHC assures ongoing quality improvements within operations and clinical services.
"The goal of the accreditation process is to continue to elevate the level of care provided to patients in coordination with the research and clinical staff at Moffitt,” said Alfonso. “As patients at the cancer center deal with complex issues and extreme financial burdens, having an on-site accredited pharmacy serves as a safety net and a helpful resource in navigating the specialty pharmacy prescription process."