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Kudos to BPS and CCGP – A Major Step Forward

By David Witmer posted 10-25-2016 15:59


Today the Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS) and the Commission for Certification in Geriatric Pharmacy (CCGP) issued a press release announcing announcing that the Certified Geriatric Pharmacist (CGP) credential will move under the BPS portfolio of pharmacist certifications. Kudos to those involved for this forward thinking decision.

This is a win-win-win for BPS, CCGP, and the profession. The CGP credential has been confusing to the profession and others since it was not positioned as one of the profession’s “recognized specialties” even though the exam and credential seemed a logical fit among the BPS specialties. It has always been awkward to try to explain to those both within and outside our profession that CGP was not a specialty, while the BPS exams were. Especially following the recognition of pediatrics in 2013, geriatrics seemed like a gap in BPS’s growing list of recognized specialties. Given the aging population, increasing costs of medications, and growing recognition of the unique challenges of effectively managing drug therapy in the elderly, geriatrics seems to represent an excellent area where pharmacists can make a real contribution to health care outcomes and an area where a recognized specialty is essential.

CCGP will benefit from efficiencies and access to new resources as a part of the BPS umbrella. There are significant costs to develop a certification examination. CCGP will benefit by being integrated within BPS where it will gain efficiencies related to the costs of psychometrics, marketing and examination offerings. Recognition as a “specialty” and retitling the credential as a Board Certified Geriatric Pharmacist (BCGP) will also benefit CGP’s brand recognition among pharmacists, other health professionals, and payers.

BPS will benefit by adding a new credential that fills a gap in its portfolio of examinations. Though not explicitly noted in the press release I would assume that this also brings new staff resources to BPS. BPS has been growing rapidly and could certainly benefit from new resources to support its growing array of specialties and certification exams. This is also timely given that the profession is on the verge of achieving provider status. Although BPS certifications will not be the only credential that will be needed by the profession, they do represent an important foundation for credentialing and privileging.

This could not have been easy. I know how difficult these kinds of negotiations can be. Congratulations to all those involved for bringing this to fruition. This is a very positive step! I look forward to seeing the integration unfold in the year to come.

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