Throughout the month of October, I completed my fourth APPE rotation with the Missouri Pharmacy Association (MPA). My rotation was two-fold; I worked with my preceptor Dr. Oestreich at G.L.O. and Associates and spent time working in downtown Jefferson City with the MPA. Switching back and forth between the two made the rotation especially interesting, as each day was unique.
Working with Dr. Oestreich and Dr. Jennifer Kemp-Cornelius was a wonderful experience; I am very grateful to them for taking time out of their busy schedules to engage a student in their consultant and grant projects and to pass along the expert knowledge they have acquired from their impressive backgrounds in pharmacy. I learned about billing issues for new or changing medications, lingo related to the pharmacy billing world, the breakdown of claim processing and pharmacy payer structures, and was able to see what it is like to be a consultant pharmacist. Many diverse roles exist for a Pharm.D., and this rotation has allowed me to see in great detail a very interesting career path in healthcare consultant services.
Dr. Oestreich also allowed me to attend multiple events with him over the month, including conference calls, a sterile compounding meeting at the Board of Pharmacy, and the Board of Pharmacy meeting in Columbia with Mr. Ron Fitzwater, CEO of MPA. In addition, I learned about two CDC grant projects Dr. Oestreich and the MPA are working on with Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) in Missouri. These projects involve adding pharmacists to patient care teams in FQHCs and providing opportunities for pharmacists to complete medication therapy services (MTS) and diabetes accreditation standards-practical applications (DASPA) training. The MPA and CDC are very active in advancing the role of pharmacy; I felt privileged to gain first-hand knowledge of these projects. Just this week APhA posted an article entitled “CDC program makes case that pharmacists improve public health.” It is an exciting time for pharmacists nationwide.
Dr. Kemp-Cornelius provided education on Medicaid billing, First Databank drug classifications, drug utilization review, the development of clinical edits for billing, and how Xerox is more than a printing company, just to name a few of the enlightening discussions we had. I attended a drug utilization review meeting with her and was able to see demonstrations for the various Medicaid tools, including Direct Inform, Direct Care Pro, CyberAccess and ProAct. We discussed many real-life situations that I had previously seen as a pharmacy technician, providing me with a better understanding of many past billing issues I have seen.
During my last week of rotation, I was able to attend the MPA’s first Fall Pharmacy Night event in St. Louis. At the event, goals were presented to members for the coming year. These goals included increasing membership, providing more continuing education credit opportunities, developing more resources to post to the MPA website, and financial growth to support ongoing projects. As a student on rotation, I was not only able to learn about what the Missouri Pharmacy Association does to support practicing pharmacists, but also was able to work on projects supporting these goals.
As MPA’s student, I wrote a weekly blog as well as articles for the Missouri Pharmacist magazine. I was able to write about relevant topics of interest to me; Ms. Sarah Luebbert was a great resource for ideas and feedback on the pieces I wrote. Through my research, I learned about interesting topics and was able to share my research with the MPA members. Via social media, we hope to reach out to more and more pharmacists, with the ultimate goal of those who aren’t members reading our blogs and further researching and joining the MPA.
I was also given the opportunity to write a continuing education piece for pharmacy technicians on laws regarding controlled substances. This was a wonderful refresher for myself, a great CV builder if approved for continuing education credit, and a good experience in developing educational tools for technicians. I enjoyed writing the CE questions and thinking about real scenarios, a practice that will help me prepare for the MPJE upon graduation.
Ms. Luebbert and Mrs. Cheryl Hoeffer also shared with me an overview of the Missouri Pharmacist Care Network (MO-PCN). This network is designed to support, or administer, pharmacist patient care delivery in Missouri. By connecting payers and providers, positive health outcomes are stimulated. New and practicing pharmacists should join in this group to support pharmacist-led health management services, ultimately decreasing medication-related problems. Another student and I have begun the first step toward involving the schools of pharmacy in MO-PCN, a project I hope to see successful at both Missouri schools of pharmacy.
Working with the staff at the MPA and G.L.O and Associates has been delightful. Everyone was excited to help me learn. The MPA even provides free housing to students on rotation in a very nice, furnished apartment with a beautiful view of Jefferson City and the capital building. I am very grateful for the MPA’s contributions to my educational endeavors. I could write for pages about the knowledge I have gained in one month, and I encourage all students to apply for the MPA’s APPE rotation.
Melissa Luechtefeld, Doctor of Pharmacy Candidate Class of 2015
University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy at MU