By From Ricky T. Guidry, R.Ph., chairman, Louisiana Independent Pharmacies Association - 02/04/08 06:00 PM EST
(Regarding article, “In stealthy move, CMS eyes end to care-coordination program,” Jan. 30.) I feel that one of the most important reasons that CMS’s care-coordination programs failed is because they were using non-healthcare professionals, or were doing it by phone or other means of communication with the patients. Being a professional pharmacist, I strongly believe that the way to approach this concept is to have face-to-face consultations. This is where pharmacists come into play.
We are the most trusted and available healthcare professionals. Patients visit our pharmacies two or more times a month. If we were used to coordinate these programs and were paid for our services, I believe that the results would be different in a positive way. We have patient histories and medications in front of our faces. We can see if Mr. or Mrs. Jones is refilling his or her medication on a regular schedule and can question and advise them of the consequences of not taking their medications properly.
I challenge the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to look at our curriculum in obtaining a pharmacy degree. They will find that we are more than qualified to do these programs, and that our services should be considered and reimbursable. It seems to me that government and insurers still have the conception that all we can do is count pills.
This is far from the truth, and we are ready to put our knowledge to work and save the healthcare system billions of dollars.
MoveOn’s undemocratic endorsement decision
On your website you have a story, “MoveOn endorses Obama” (Feb. 1.) In it, you just rehash MoveOn’s press release. This is not reporting. MoveOn is not telling the truth.
You repeat MoveOn’s claim that the Obama endorsement was approved by 70 percent of MoveOn’s membership. Do the numbers. MoveOn claims 3.2 million members, and 197,444 votes to endorse Obama. That’s 6.2 percent, not 70 percent.
As they have done in the past, they came up with a way to try to rig a poll for a preordained result. They claim they require a two-thirds vote to give an endorsement. But they knew there was no way they could get that.
So how do you do that? They provide only one alternative to their decision — Hillary Clinton, who they know is not that popular among their members. What about MoveOn members who favor Ron Paul? Not allowed to vote. Favor Cynthia McKinney? Not allowed to vote? Favor Mike Gravel? Not allowed to vote? Favor Ralph Nader? Not allowed to vote. Favor someone else? Not allowed to vote. Favor no endorsement? Not allowed to vote.
Many MoveOn members were effectively not allowed to vote. In fact, 91 percent of MoveOn members did not vote.
Because MoveOn didn’t count, we don’t know how many of those didn’t vote because they favored another option, how many didn’t get to their e-mail before the very short time frame to vote, or something else.
You also report MoveOn’s statement that they would strongly support Clinton if she wins the nomination. There has been no poll of its members whatsoever on that, so this again indicates that decisions at MoveOn are top-down. It is time for newspapers like The Hill to do some real journalism and not just glibly repeat what biased sources tell you.
Silver Spring, Md.