Pharma Web Site News
National Survey of Long-Term Health Professionals by Novartis
Reveals Shifts in Providers’ Needs and Practices
For Immediate Release
Novartis Pharmaceuticals announces the release of “The 2005 Senior Care
Source: An Interdisciplinary Survey of Long-Term Care Health Professionals,” its
annual survey of long-term care health professionals.
The survey is undertaken to help identify and address the unique challenges
of medical directors, pharmacists, directors of nursing, and nurse practitioners
who work in the long-term care environment.
Representatives from each discipline were asked a series of questions on such
issues as clinical practices; the use of formularies and preferred drug lists;
reimbursement issues; the evolving role of consultant pharmacists and collaborative
practice by pharmacists; Medicare payment for medication management services
provided by pharmacists; and the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and
Modernization Act of 2003.
Some key findings published in the report include:
• Medical directors cite increased risk of malpractice/liability, over-regulation
of the nursing facility environment, stress, and burnout as major problem areas
in their long-term care careers. Their feedback indicates serious concerns
that the quality of care offered by their facilities may impact their own risk
of being named in a lawsuit. They report that, in some cases, insurance carriers
are discouraging or even preventing physicians from serving as nursing facility
• The use of formularies will likely increase and play a key role in
Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit. The survey data indicated that a
portion of medical directors, nurse practitioners, and directors of nursing
do not agree with—and perhaps not fully understand—the implications
of the formulary process. Yet, compared to some hospital formularies, which
may be very strict, or “closed,” and offer little or no alternative
drug selection, formularies developed by pharmacies serving nursing facilities
tend to be very “open,” allowing prescribers to override recommendations
for preferred products with relative ease.
• Long-term care health professionals will rely increasingly on technology
to perform their duties. Close to 100% of directors of nursing and MDS nurses
had computer access this year, compared to only 82% of MDS nurses in last year’s
report. This indicates that adoption of computers in nursing facilities, at
least by MDS nurses, has increased rapidly.
• Medical directors, pharmacists, and nurse practitioners were asked
to express their opinions on the potential impact that proposed formulary restrictions
of the Medicare Modernization Act would have on the therapeutic outcomes of
their patients. Approximately two-thirds of each discipline indicated that
limitation of the use of certain drug productswould have a negative impact
on patient outcomes.
• Nurse practitioners employed by a physician group, paid by salary,
and working in the nursing facility environment exemplify an employment model
that has grown in popularity. Nurse practitioners named acute events (87%),
meetings with family (85%), monthly visits (78%), referral of patients to acute-care
sites (70%), and annual physicals (67%) as their most common practices.
Executive Editor William Simonson, PharmD,FASCP, CGP says, “This survey
takes an interdisciplinary look at the entire long-term care spectrum. Our
goal in releasing this survey publication is to encourage dialogue and promote
problem solving among the various constituents in the long-term care profession.
This tool brings all of the issues to the table in a constructive way and enables
people to collaborate more effectively. Such collaboration always improves
the quality of care that we ultimately provide to our long-term care residents.”
To obtain a complimentary copy of this report, call 800-456-4994. For questions,
call Executive Editor William Simonson, PharmD, FASCP, CGP at (757) 238-7707,
or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Publisher Peter Sonnenreich may be
reached at (202) 246-2525.
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Survey of Long-Term Health Professionals by Novartis Reveals Shifts in Providers’ Needs
and Practices *
* This document is in PDF file format.