hero media helmsley

The APhA Foundation Launches Patient Enrollment for a Program to Expand Access to Pharmacist-Provided Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) Devices and Services

Project IMPACT: CGM Access will provide community pharmacists tools to prescribe and support CGMs for people with diabetes, with funding from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust

NEW YORK, July 20, 2023 — The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Foundation, in collaboration with 20 community pharmacy practices and one of the top 5 health plans in the US, today announces the official launch of patient enrollment for Project IMPACT: CGM Access with funding from the Helmsley Charitable Trust. The project is a pilot credentialing program for community pharmacists that aims to increase access to CGM and improve diabetes care. It does so by integrating CGM devices and support services into the pharmacist workflow and ensuring pharmacists receive equitable payment for these services from insurers.

This program addresses a critical need: many people with diabetes lack access to CGM care and associated providers despite the device being recognized as the standard of care for people with type 1 diabetes and people with type 2 diabetes who use insulin. Roughly 90 percent of Americans live within five miles of a pharmacy, and increasingly pharmacists offer patient care services for people with diabetes, but this does not currently include CGM services.

“Community pharmacists are well positioned, accessible, trusted by patients, and can provide great care to people who may not otherwise receive care. This pilot will produce critical data to support the inclusion of CGM services in the suite of patient care services offered in the community pharmacy setting to increase access to quality diabetes care,” said Benjamin Bluml, Executive Director and SVP, Research & Innovation at the APhA Foundation.

The program is launching in 20 community pharmacies across the United States, a combination of chain and independent practices with a goal of 50 patients per site. Patient enrollment will be ongoing through Fall 2023, after which patients will receive monthly monitoring and management services throughout the remainder of 2023 and into 2024. Project IMPACT: CGM Access will include training of pharmacists to initiate use of devices and includes the development of a pharmacist certification training program for CGM by APhA. Long term, the aim is to scale the project toward a national model for providing CGM services in pharmacies.

Pharmacists need to be compensated for the CGM services they provide, but are often paid less than other providers, or not compensated at all, for the same service. Establishing a credentialing process that provides pharmacists with a direct payment mechanism for CGM services is essential to this project. As patients receive pharmacist-provided CGM care, it is expected that their overall outcomes will improve, allowing third-party payors to see the value their members obtain through receiving CGM services in pharmacies.

“Helmsley recognizes that pharmacists are trusted providers embedded within communities and are a crucial part of the diabetes care team,” said Laurel Koester, Program Officer at Helmsley. “Our partnership with The APhA Foundation gives us confidence that Project IMPACT: CGM Access will take us one step closer to making CGM services more accessible.”

About The American Pharmacists Association Foundation

The APhA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization is affiliated with The American Pharmacists Association, the oldest national professional society of pharmacists in the United States established in 1852. The APhA Foundation’s mission is to improve health by inspiring philanthropy, research and innovation that advances pharmacists’ patient care services. For more information, please visit www.APhAFoundation.org.

About The Leona M. and Harry B. Charitable Trust

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional efforts in the U.S. and around the world in health and select place-based initiatives. Since beginning active grantmaking in 2008, Helmsley has committed more than $4 billion for a wide range of charitable purposes. The Helmsley Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) Program is the largest private foundation funder in the world with a focus on T1D, with more than $1 billion to date committed to transform the trajectory of the disease and to accelerate access to 21st century care, everywhere. For more information on Helmsley and its programs, visit helmsleytrust.org.