Advancing The Profession of Pharmacy

[Interview] In-Home Medication Coaching: Creating Innovative Collaborative Relationships with Payers

by | Apr 5, 2017 | Consulting Pharmacist Education

Elevate Pharmacy Virtual Summit: Day 2 Session 4

Bold. Adaptive. Innovative. The Kelley-Ross Clinical Pharmacy Institute is about attaining the future of pharmacy, and managing that division is Josh Akers.  Josh graduated from Washington State University in 2007, completed a residency at Virginia Mason Medical Center in 2008, and has been with Kelley-Ross ever since.  Josh oversees their in-home med coaching and transitions of care programs, serves as Residency Director for the Community Pharmacy Residency Program and is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of Washington.  He serves on the board of directors for the Senior Housing Assistance Group (SHAG) Community Life Foundation and has participated in various advisory groups on a variety of topics.  He most recently was awarded the Upsher-Smith Excellence in Innovation award in Washington, as well as part of the Kelley-Ross team that received the APhA Pinnacle award for Group Practice.


Key Takeaways:

  • Partnering with Medicaid and private party payers through credentialing and contracts
  • In-home medication coaching on referral through the state’s DSHS and the local Area Agency on Aging
  • Creating the relationships that were able to plant the seed for advanced pharmacist-led clinical services
  • Challenges of gathering patient data in order to identify and quantify the impact of pharmacist interventions on patient outcomes and healthcare costs
  • Decreasing Virginia-Mason’s average readmission rate for HF from 22% to 8% after a 50 patient pilot program and saving an estimated $62,000 in the small pilot group.
  • How billing directly to the hospital allowed this pilot program to get off the ground quickly
  • Focusing on marketing pharmacist-led clinical services to other healthcare stakeholders and getting in front of community members using local media
  • Building relationships and connecting with others using common ground is a process that takes patience and persistence
  • ​The average timeline for new project implementation
  • Keys to success for the Pharmapreneur: stay adaptable, prepare for potential pivots and don’t fear failure

If you have any questions about this interview, come see me in our private Facebook community (link to join in your first email upon registration).

I hope to see you soon and look forward to hearing your ideas and plans to Elevate our profession.


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About the Author

Blair Thielemier, PharmD, is a business development consultant specializing in pharmacist-led billing models. She has set the industry standard for virtual pharmacy conferences with the Elevate Pharmacy Virtual Summit in 2017. She has consulted with national pharmacy organizations, drug wholesalers, point of sale companies, and Fortune 5 health insurers. She has books and online courses available for individuals looking to leverage their pharmacy knowledge into monetized clinical programs at She speaks internationally about trends in leveraging pharmacists to improve value-based care.


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