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CHCC opens outpatient pharmacy

THE Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation formally opened its hospital-based outpatient pharmacy with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday.

“We are thrilled to see that the dream has become a reality, and we look forward to the further development of its services,” CHCC Chief Executive Officer Esther Muna said.

CHCC has to provide for the pharmaceutical needs of a growing community while decreasing inpatient costs and improving the overall health of the people, she added.

“We see patients admitted and readmitted because they cannot afford to pay for the insulin that will manage and control their blood sugar and diabetes. We see patients admitted to the hospital who cannot afford to pay for the Lisinopril that will help control their blood pressure to reduce their risks of heart attacks and strokes. It is heartbreaking. All of us here at CHCC see it every day,” Muna said.

CHCC has to look at the overall picture and cope with the complexity of healthcare, she added.

“For one, CHCC is not only a hospital that focuses on acute care. CHCC is not just a public-health agency that educates and promotes good health. CHCC is a health system which must consider health across the continuum of care.”

She said hospitals throughout the U.S. are adding a community pharmacy to their operations to ensure that the individuals they serve are able to access the medications prescribed to them.

During the ceremony, Muna honored the late Louise Sablan Concepcion who, even during her battle with cancer, advocated publicly for better patient access to healthcare, affordable medication, and the federal 340B drug discount program.

A memorial plaque in her honor is displayed at the outpatient pharmacy.

As for the hospital’s inpatient pharmacy, Muna said they have also begun the upgrades necessary to meet the new federal requirements.

“We know that our costs in running a hospital continue to rise. Health leaders all over the world will tell you that in order to reduce the costs of hospitals, improving access to primary, outpatient care is essential,” she said.

The outpatient pharmacy is next to the hospital laboratory and is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. during weekdays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays.

All local insurance plans are accepted, including Aetna, and Medicaid. Medicare acceptance is pending.

The pharmacy features a private room for consultation, a wide range of over-the-counter and prescription products, and a comfortable waiting area.

With the new outpatient pharmacy, Muna said they can now implement a new service which delivers prescribed medications to patients upon discharge. They can also open a drive-through window and provide remote dispensing via telepharmacy services to Tinian and Rota.

The pharmacy can be reached at 236-8798, and medical providers outside of CHCC’s network can fax prescriptions to (670) 233-1156.

Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/101457-chcc-opens-outpatient-pharmacy

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