Reflection #1: Bhavik Patel, PharmD 2010
On September 28, 2016, I attended the seminar – “Inland Empire Health Plan” – given by Dr. Chris Chan. Dr. Chan is the Sr. Director of Pharmaceutical Services of the Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP), which is a non-profit Medi-cal/Medicare health plan serving the Inland Empire. During the seminar, Dr. Chan discussed several aspects of managed care as well as career settings. Managed care is essentially to manage patients’ care in a cost effective manner to optimize their treatment. It was emphasized that the key to managed care is the concept of prevention. To treat the whole person, not just the illness or focusing solely on the medication alone. Some career settings of managed care are in public and private health plans, pharmacy benefit managers, and pharmaceutical companies. Managed care pharmacists are in prior authorization, clinical programs, pharmacy informatics, or administrative roles. One role of managed care pharmacists that Dr. Chan discussed was those managing the formulary, P & T committees. These pharmacists are the ones who decide which medications should be on the formulary based from usage ,literature, costs and so forth. A few characteristics that managed care pharmacists have are strong clinical knowledge, understanding of the healthcare and industry sectors, and great project management skills. Dr. Chan stressed the importance of considering a non-traditional route of pharmacy as the supply of pharmacists continue to increase while the demand decreases, and because there is a decreasing trend towards outpatient pharmacy. It is possible that in the future mail order pharmacies will overpower independent and chain pharmacies; therefore, it is wise to follow a different aspect of pharmacy in order to adapt to the continuous changes that will be brought forth.
Reflection #2: Anahit Tivriktsyan, PharmD Candidate 2020
Today’s speaker had a different approach towards pharmacy. Dr. Chris Chan talked about managed care in the beginning and then listed an idea of what the pharmacy world is going to look like in 2030. Dr. Chan briefly described how they manage care, for example they handle insurance coverage, prior authorizations, drug information, clinical programs, and pharmacy informatics and so on. After listing these many responsibilities, he recommended that we look outside the box and get into the clinical pharmacy side or managing care aspect of it. He said that there are too many private pharmacies and chain pharmacies open now and that the demand for these pharmacies are decreasing. Dr. Chan also talked about pharmacy informatics and how there is a demand in this field. He described what the position requires and how the pharmacy is shifting to being technologically handled. This actually seemed interesting to me and I will do more research about it. Another thing that interested me was his opinion of what the future of pharmacy may look like. He mentioned that there might be kiosks in the malls and virtual pharmacists that customers can speak to. Therefore, we need to be more open-minded when in this field and settle in jobs where we can be more clinically involved and/or other ways of managing care.