Alexandria, Va. - Jan. 12, 2011
In San Diego this month, pharmacists will convene to learn about the training they require to become much-needed educators in the war against the growing public health scourge of diabetes.
The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) and the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) developed the Diabetes Accreditation Standards-Practical Applications (DASPA) program in 2010 to help educate community pharmacists seeking to establish a diabetes self-management education/training (DSME/T) program in their community and accredit it through the Diabetes Education Accreditation Program (DEAP). This year there will be four offerings, with the first one being at the Westin Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego, CA from January 21-23.
"Diabetes affects 23.6 million Americans, with 57 million having pre-diabetes, so everything possible needs to be done to address this health crisis," said Robert J. Greenwood, RPh, NCPA president and pharmacy owner in Waterloo, IA. "Pharmacists provide patients with diabetes prescription drugs, testing supplies, counseling and therapeutic shoes, but the missing component is teaching patients how to undergo the lifestyle changes that can make a difference. That is why we are offering four DASPA programs this year, with the first one being in San Diego."
Traditionally, DSME/T services have been limited to hospital settings, but falling reimbursements have created an access void for patients that pharmacies can help fill.
The DASPA program is the only one of its kind currently available. It is designed to help practicing community pharmacists expand their scope of diabetes-related services by establishing a program that is eligible for reimbursement. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) pays pharmacies for DSME/T, because they can provide convenient access to diabetes education in an effort to improve quality of life and contain costs for diabetes patients.
"This is an opportunity for community pharmacists to not only provide a valuable public health service, but also get reimbursed for their efforts by opening up an additional revenue stream," said William Popomaronis, RPh, NCPA vice president, Long-Term and Home Health Care Pharmacy Services, who is also a faculty member for the DASPA program. "I'm excited to participate; AADE is fully committed to this initiative; and if the response we received last year is any harbinger of things to come this effort is poised to grow with each passing year."
DASPA is divided into two-parts: one online and one live. The online phase is completed before attending the live aspect, which in this instance is in San Diego. The curriculum teaches participants the clinical components of providing diabetes education, the business aspects of program management, and the expertise to accredit a DSME/T program through AADE, one of only three accrediting bodies nationwide that leads to billing eligibility. Participants obtain up to 25 ACPE continuing pharmacy education contact hours, so they are successfully positioned to then pursue accreditation and ultimately offer classes to patients with diabetes.
More information about how you can take advantage of this opportunity is now available at www.ncpanet.org/index.php/events/daspa or you can call 1-800-544-7447 ext. 2670.
The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents the interests of America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 independent community pharmacies, pharmacy franchises, and chains. Together they represent a $93 billion health-care marketplace, have more than 315,000 employees including 62,400 pharmacists, and dispense over 41% of all retail prescriptions. To learn more go to www.ncpanet.org or read NCPA's blog, The Dose, at http://ncpanet.wordpress.com.
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