Durable Medical Equipment, Pharmaceutical, and Practitioner Connections: A Formula for Better Delivery of Care

      An important way the Foundation for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care (PALTC) Medicine advances its mission is by embracing and nurturing collaborative partnerships between practitioners and industry partners, both striving for better care for the patients and families we serve. We commend our Industry Advisory Board (IAB) members and highlight here how their support of your Foundation efforts fund many of our key initiatives.
      We believe that PALTC medicine is a unique specialty — we practice in settings unlike any others and in a medically complex older population. Clinical practice in PALTC is not taught in medical schools nor in clinical rotations. It is learned instead through extensive experience, informed by AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine training. Recognizing this, the Foundation partners with IAB members to provide insights into PALTC medication and clinical practice issues to discern what information matters to PALTC clinicians regarding medication options. Why is this important? Over the years we have observed pharmaceutical companies offer beneficial products that did not reach their potential or even failed due to misunderstandings of patient needs or the clinicians involved or inability to reach those clinicians with the crucial information that matters in PALTC care.
      The Foundation has demystified PALTC to IAB members through presentations at face-to-face meetings both during the Society’s Annual Conference and throughout the year. We provide specific contacts with practicing Society members and its knowledgeable staff so information is only a phone call away.
      Don Pouliot, regional account director of PALTC with Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, shared, “Over the last five years, the Industry Advisory Board for AMDA has allowed us to gather experts in multiple disciplines to better understand how we can serve patients/residents all along the growing geriatric care continuum. As senior care has evolved, we have been able to evolve along with it. The IAB team has consistently delivered value to Sunovion in building national and local relationships.”
      Susan Manganello, the lead for public affairs and patient advocacy with Sanofi’s U.S. Vaccines unit, offered, “Sanofi has been a member of the IAB since its inception. Important discussions around management of conditions with a specific lens to the frail elderly in post-acute and senior care have taken place in these meetings. These conversations have been valuable as we all work together to take care of the aging population.”
      The Foundation currently funds initiatives in education and training, workforce development, clinical resources, and research efforts. We are promoting a better understanding of the uniqueness of the PALTC setting.
      Perhaps the crucial issue of our time is the growing shortage of experienced, trained staff across all PALTC settings. The availability of physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, therapists, and other disciplines has reached a crisis point. The Foundation is addressing this need with funds developed from the support of IAB members and our membership.
      The crown jewel of the effort to increase the supply of clinicians is the Futures Program. This one-of-a-kind effort brings in remarkable individuals from medicine, nursing, therapy, and pharmacy training programs during the Society’s Annual Conference. They have a specific day of training in PALTC, meet with current practicing peers, and are matched with mentors with whom they interact for as long as they desire as they plan a career in PALTC. The attendees are then able to attend all the Annual Conference presentations. To date the Foundation has invested over $1 million in this program and has worked with more than 1,300 clinicians over the twenty years of the Foundation’s existence.
      Additionally, with the help of IAB members and individual donors, your Foundation is driving research by practitioners in PALTC: this year we launched an initiative to award grant funds to investigators across the country. Currently the funding proposal committee led by Dr. Barbara Zarowitz and other Society leaders is reviewing more than 25 innovative research proposals to advance how we think about and deliver care to our patients.
      Integral to our shared success is developing the relationship between durable medical equipment and pharmaceutical providers and clinicians or students in training at the beginning of their careers. These relationships establish mutual respect, professionalism, and goodwill, which will bear fruit throughout their careers.
      Society clinicians and medical directors are involved in more than nursing homes. Most Society clinicians practice and serve as medical directors in hospices, asisted living facilities, Programs for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), senior apartments, adult day care facilities, and Special Needs Plans (SNP) while maintaining an office practice. Their involvement in accountable care organizations (ACO), bundled payment plans, and other forms of alternative payment models (APM) has exponentially increased the reach of the Society’s clinician community.
      We celebrate the 2022 IAB Partners, listed below, for investing and engaging in this important PALTC forum. Thank you!
      We also offer gracious thanks to our volunteer IAB Program Subcommittee Members: Denise Wassenaar, RN, MSW; James Lett, MD, CMD; David Smith, MD, CMD; Dan Haimowitz, MD, CMD; Tom Haithcoat; Frank Grosso; and Elizabeth Sobcyzk, MPH, MSW.
      Drs. Lett and Smith are co-chairs of the Industry Advisory Board for the Foundation for PALTC Medicine.