School of Pharmacy, Virginia Commonwealth University-MCV Campus, 215 McGuire Hall, 1112 East Clay St., P.O. Box 980533, Richmond, VA 23298-0533, email@example.com.
The health reforms of the last several years at the federal and state levels have created many opportunities for pharmacists to become actively involved in the direct patient care provision. Indeed, the statutory language in some sections of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 creates expectations of pharmacists that will require practice transformation if we are to arise to accept the responsibilities associated with these expectations. These new opportunities open the door for pharmacists to benefit community-dwelling patients with chronic medical conditions, those with acute/emergent care needs, those experiencing a transition between chronic and acute care and vice versa, as well as others in long-term care settings. Although the profession has demonstrated value in many practice environments, our contributions to improved medication-related patient outcomes through medication therapy management (MTM) and the other pharmaceutical care services remain to be rigorously quantified. Incorporation of pharmacists either by their physical presence within the practice or through the design of effective community linkages, such as electronic health records, must be developed to meet the needs of rural and urban patients seen in a variety of practice settings. New business models that build upon cognitive and direct patient care services in addition to the provision of drug products will surely need to emerge for the profession to become a viable and vital component of the US health care system.