Innovation in Asheville - New Job Title for Druggists: Diabetes Coach

  1. new job title for druggists: diabetes coach

    december 30, 2006

    asheville, n.c.-in an office behind the hershey's candy rack at a kerr drug here, stuart rohrbaugh shifts in his chair as his pharmacist stares at a dangerously high blood sugar reading from last month...

    for the past 10 years, the city of asheville has given free diabetes medicines and supplies to municipal workers who have the disease if they agree to monthly counseling from specially trained pharmacists. the results, city officials say, have been dramatic: within months of enrolling in the program, almost twice as many have their blood sugar levels under control. in addition, the city's health plan has saved more than $2,000 in medical costs per patient each year.

    there are at least 21 million diabetics in the united states, and health officials have begun to despair of combating the disease because it involves getting people to do something much more difficult than taking their medicine or having surgery: altering their daily behavior, like their eating and exercise habits....

    indeed, in recent years, about 40 other employers across the country-private companies or municipalities-have adopted versions of the program.

    excerpts from:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/30/he...th&oref=slogin
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   WaynesvilleRN
    I am aware of these Pharmacists and have seen their teaching. I do see the great effects of the program...but I question why the the patients were not referred to the Diabetes educators already within the communities. The City has paid for the education of Pharmacisits and now recieves healthier employees and a reduced price in insurance premiums...along with a kickback from the Pharmacists involved...since they can charge insurance for this education...All along they are taking business from the agencies already within the communities and creating a closed market....Yes..THERE ARE plenty of diabetics in this world...This recent program just leaves one looking at it like a dog looks at an object inquisitivly....
  4. by   VickyRN
    Very good point, WaynesvilleRN.
  5. by   Jolie
    I agree, WaynesvilleRN, youmake a very good point.

    But I wonder if the decision to contract with pharmacists has to do with the reality that diabetic patients have regular contact with pharmacists, while not necessarily so with other qualified diabetes educators such as home health RNs, RDs and hospital or agency-based CDEs. I'm just guessing that the familiarity with pharmacists and regular contact with them promotes better compliance with the program than would be the case if the patient were referred to yet another healthcare provider.
  6. by   WaynesvilleRN
    I see your way of thinking....but

    They have to schedule an appointment with a Pharmacist that they most likely do not know....They meet, not in a pharmacy, but generally in an offsite area related to a hospital anyway. For example. One meets at HRMC in Haywood County with patients. They schedule a room at the fitness center....RIGHT NEXT TO THE DIABETES EDUCATION DEPARTMENT....

    AND...Pharmacists are not trained on the complete spectrum of patient care. There are so many aspects of Diabetes..not just the medication. Are they really providing total patient care?

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