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DHBs increase funding for community pharmacy from 1 October 2019

Photo Carolyn Gullery

Carolyn Gullery, Lead GM Planning and Funding for Pharmacy.

 District Health Boards are forecasting a funding increase for the community pharmacy sector  of more than $18.5 million in 2019/20, says DHB lead General Manager Planning and Funding for pharmacy, Carolyn Gullery.

 “While operating in an environment of fiscal constraint, DHBs are committed to supporting a sustainable community pharmacy sector to service the needs of all New Zealanders,’’ she said.

In total, DHBs are forecasting a spend of around $491 million in 2019/20 on community pharmacies, up from around $472 million in 2018/19 – which was made up of $468.3 million in core business plus $4.1 million in local services funding.

APAS funding increase

A cost pressure recognition of 2 per cent, forecast to be around $9.6 million, will be paid through the Additional Professional Advisory Services payment, introduced in the new Integrated Community Pharmacy Services Agreement (ICPSA) last year. This is on top of $8.9 million expected underlying growth in 2019/20.

“The APAS payment recognises the clinical services pharmacists provide to their patients that are not specifically linked to the dispensing of a medicine,” Carolyn said.

National funding of $4.1 million for DHBs to use to commission local services to meet specific local needs will continue in 2019/20.

The ICPSA is an evergreen contract - it has no end-date.  Current APAS funding expires on 30 September 2019, however DHBs have decided to continue APAS funding for all contract-holders who sign a Variation. Contract-holders will be offered ICPSA Variation 1A, which will give them access to the new APAS funding plus the continuing 2018-19 allocation of $8.4 million.

If they don’t wish to sign Variation 1A, they can still access the 2018-19 APAS allocation of $8.4 million by signing Variation 1B.

 “ We have updated the equity adjustor applied to the new APAS funding to better recognise Māori and Pacific people, and Community Service Card and High Use Health Card holders.”

Details of the ICPSA Contract Variations offer can be found on the TAS website at this link. 

National Annual Agreement Review

The contract changes are the result of the National Annual Agreement Review process, which includes a review of the nationally consistent parts of the contract, and reasonable cost pressures.  Participants in the Review this year included DHB and Ministry of Health representatives, and the following provider representatives –  Countdown Pharmacy, Green Cross Health, Nirvana Pharmacy Group, the Pharmacy Guild and Pharmacy Partners.

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