INDIANAPOLIS, IND. (June 28, 2021) – CareSource, a national leader in nonprofit health care, has implemented a new tobacco cessation pharmaceutical care program utilizing their partner, CSS Health, and their Medication Therapy Management (MTM) platform. Additionally, with an initial partnership with Engleking Rx, this program aims to take advantage of existing Indiana laws and provide both pharmacists and patients with accessible care.
The program supports the Indiana pharmacist’s ability to prescribe tobacco cessation products, counsel on tobacco cessation, and receive reimbursement for their services. Engleking Rx is located in Mitchell, Indiana. A new, second location will open on July 7 in Marengo, Indiana. Marengo is located in Crawford County, which has a smoking rate over 5% more than the national average.
“Tobacco cessation programs remain an important resource in supporting Indiana residents as they are attempting to quit,” said Steve Smitherman, Indiana CareSource president. “As one of the participating organizations in the state’s partnership to reduce tobacco-related disparities among Hoosiers, CareSource will provide our members with proper tobacco cessation products and support the state in their efforts to bring about prevention and treatment. Part of these efforts include recognizing the important role pharmacists play in tobacco cessation and including them in prevention plans.”
CareSource determined that Indiana pharmacists were not billing for tobacco cessation activities due to the lack of a billing pathway for medical counseling services. In response, CareSource collaborated with pharmacists and CSS Health to develop a pharmaceutical care plan for documentation of services provided. This allows members from the surrounding area to visit Engleking Rx for tobacco cessation services, including appropriate medications and evidence-based counseling interventions as needed. CareSource plans to work with other pharmacists to ensure they are set up to bill for tobacco cessation counseling services provided to their members.
“We are excited for Engleking Rx to partner with CareSource to create more accessible care to Hoosiers and patients,” said Ryan Engleking, founder of Engleking Rx. “This new tobacco cessation program helps acknowledge how crucial pharmacists can be on a health care team and allows them to assist in patient care even more.”
The program will be available July 1. Eligible patients include individuals who are 18 years or older, ready to quit based on individual assessments, and who are determined to be low risk based on a health screening conducted by the pharmacist. CareSource hopes to expand additional pharmacy services in the future.
“The new tobacco cessation pharmaceutical care program will only further demonstrate that pharmacists are the most accessible health care providers,” said Veronica Vernon, PharmD, Chair of the Indiana Pharmacists Association (IPA) Legislative and Regulatory Council. “Our hope is that other pharmacies will quickly join Engleking Rx in providing tobacco cessation counseling and offering treatment services. By making these services more accessible, we are taking major steps towards improving Indiana’s public health.”