Case Study

How Summit Scaled Their Hybrid Pharmacy Model

15 Minute Read

Overview

The challenge

Pharmacists are proven to improve patient outcomes and decrease total cost of care, but their salaries are difficult to cover under fee-for-service since many services aren’t billable. As a result, organizations struggle to prove ROI and scale pharmacy support to the patients who need it most.

The organization

Summit Medical Group is a more than 800-provider physician-owned multi-specialty medical group based in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey.

The approach

Summit has scaled up their pharmacy program from a community partnership to a three-pharmacist team. They’ve done so by embedding pharmacists in clinics with the most patients in value-based contracts, extending support virtually to reach more populations, and hiring more pharmacists as they take on more risk.

The results

Summit has seen significant improvements in generic utilization and reduction of high-risk medication and opioid prescribing as a result of their pharmacy interventions.

 

Approach

How Summit deploys and scalesambulatory pharmacists in primary care 

To rationalize limited pharmacy services, Summit decided to deploy pharmacists in a hybrid model where they’re embedded in some practices that serve as central hubs and provide remote services to other clinics without a pharmacist on site. Read on to learn how Summit scales this model and proves ROI.

 

The four principles

Summit aligned pharmacy deployment to the group’s value-based care strategy by adhering to four principles:

  • Principle

    Avoid overinvesting too early

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  • Principle

    Scale support as financial risk rises

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  • Principle

    Deploy with patients who would benefit most

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  • Principle

    Extend support beyond embedded practices

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Results

Hybrid deployment model increases quality, decreases cost

By targeting patients in value-based contracts and extending pharmacy support across the organization, Summit has seen significant improvements in medication management and utilization. Summit tracks metrics like the ones below to measure ROI and make the case for additional investment in their pharmacy program.

84%

Decrease in high-risk medications

25%

Increase in generic utilization

50%

Decrease in post-operative opioid prescribing

X
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