NISPC Payer Advisory Panel and Standards Board Meet

Alexandria, VA – The National Institute for Standards in Pharmacist Credentialing (NISPC), a credentialing organization composed of the American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA), the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), and the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), recently convened the inaugural meeting of its Payer Advisory Panel and Standards Board.

Pharmacist credentialing in disease state management is among the pharmacy profession's top priorities and prompted the formation of NISPC in June 1998. The Institute's efforts represent a coordinated approach to creating nationwide standards for examinations to credential pharmacists in specific disease states.

Both the Payer Advisory Panel and the Standards Board affirmed the need for and value of pharmacist credentialing and enthusiastically endorsed NISPC's efforts to expand the potential opportunities available to pharmacists who are credentialed in disease management.

The Payer Advisory Panel is composed of employer representatives, benefits managers, benefits consultants, regulators, and pharmacy practitioners. The Payer Advisory Panel

was appointed to advise NISPC on the needs of the payer community as the credentialing process evolves. The panel affirmed the value of credentialing pharmacists in areas representing high-cost clinical conditions. Further, panelists recognized the importance of outcomes measurement, the need to clearly define the package of services credentialed pharmacists consistently provide, the growing need for a credentials database accessible to payers, and the need for collaborative involvement of physicians and other providers.

The Standards Board is composed of representatives from consumer, nursing, and medical-related organizations, pharmacy practitioners, academicians, and regulatory representatives. The Standards Board was appointed to advise NISPC on the standards development process, the approval of standards, and future areas for credentialing development. The Standards Board recommended that NISPC articulate a regular review and modification process for the standards and competency statements and also consider where in the credentialing process the clinical or practical skills assessment should reside. Additionally, the Standards Board recommended possible revisions to the standards to address pharmacists' collaborative work with physicians and other allied health professionals, consistency of standards elements, increased attention to nonpharmacologic therapies, pharmacist communication skills, and outcomes assessment.

To date, NISPC has focused its attention on outlining disease state management standards for anticoagulation, asthma, diabetes, and dyslipidemia. Each set of disease state management standards is created by a panel of experts composed of practitioners, academicians, pharmacy benefits managers, and board of pharmacy members. NISPC will investigate the development of additional disease management standards based upon the needs and recommendations of practitioners, schools of pharmacy, payers, and the general health care community.

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