DUBLIN, Ohio, June 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Cardinal Health today launched a new solution to make it easier and more time-efficient for retail pharmacies to help patients better understand and adhere to their medications.
The IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics reports that the United States could save as much as $200 billion each year – eight percent of its total healthcare spend – by improving the way patients take and manage medications.
Cardinal Health – which serves more than 8,000 independently owned pharmacies and thousands more chain pharmacies – believes that retail pharmacists are perfectly positioned to seize this opportunity to reduce costs and improve patient health, by offering medication therapy management (MTM) services to patients.
"No one is better positioned than a community pharmacist to help patients improve medication adherence, reduce medication errors and improve health outcomes related to medication use," said Brad Tice, product leader of Cardinal Health's new Medication Therapy Management Solution. "Our goal is to make it as easy and time-efficient as possible for pharmacies to deliver the MTM services that address these important patient needs."
Tice said that one issue that prevents pharmacists from delivering MTM services to patients is that there are currently few opportunities for them to be reimbursed for doing so. Medicare Part D currently reimburses pharmacists for delivering MTM services, but only a very small percentage of enrollees are eligible.
"Right now, retail pharmacies are caught in a bit of a Catch 22. They can only be reimbursed for delivering MTM services to a very small percentage of the population, and it can be a challenge to find enough eligible patients to make it truly viable," said Tice. "On the other hand, if they want to be included in payers' quality performance networks, retail pharmacies need to demonstrate their ability to positively impact patient care. One of the best ways to do that is to deliver MTM services to as many eligible patients as possible."
The goal of the company's new MTM program is to address these challenges by positioning Cardinal Health to work seamlessly with each participating pharmacy's patients to help ensure they are on the right medications, using them the right way and achieving the desired results. Tice said that the company's approach is working.
The more than 180 retail pharmacies that have participated in the company's pilot MTM program have delivered nearly four times as many comprehensive medication reviews as the industry average.
Through the company's new Medication Therapy Management Solution:
- Licensed pharmacists from Cardinal Health, who are certified in medication therapy management, will work directly with a retail pharmacy's eligible patients to perform a Comprehensive Medication Review.
- Acting as an extension of the retail pharmacy's team, Cardinal Health licensed pharmacists then share the results of that medication review with the patient's pharmacy in the form of a Medication Action Plan, which enables the pharmacy to work with the patient and the patient's other health care providers to implement the recommended changes.
- The patient and the retail pharmacy receive a patient-specific Medication Action Plan that can be implemented locally. It highlights recommended changes in therapy, adherence issues that need to be addressed through clinical intervention, suggestions for medications the patient should consider taking or stop taking, and opportunities for generic substitutions.
- The medication review also identifies additional opportunities for retail pharmacies to meet the individualized healthcare needs of each patient – like recommended immunizations, services to improve cardiovascular health, or to help patients better manage diabetes.
"This solution is a win for patients, for pharmacists, for payers and for the broader healthcare system. It helps improve patient outcomes and reduces unnecessary healthcare costs, saves retail pharmacists valuable time, and strengthens the very important relationship between retail pharmacies and their patients," said Tice.
About Cardinal Health
Headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, Cardinal Health, Inc. (NYSE: CAH) is a $101 billion health care services company that improves the cost-effectiveness of health care. As the business behind health care, Cardinal Health helps pharmacies, hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, clinical laboratories and physician offices focus on patient care while reducing costs, enhancing efficiency and improving quality. Cardinal Health is an essential link in the health care supply chain, providing pharmaceuticals and medical products and services to more than 100,000 locations each day and is also the industry-leading direct-to-home medical supplies distributor. The company is a leading manufacturer of medical and surgical products, including gloves, surgical apparel and fluid management products. In addition, the company operates the nation's largest network of radiopharmacies that dispense products to aid in the early diagnosis and treatment of disease. Ranked #19 on the Fortune 500, Cardinal Health employs 33,000 people worldwide. More information about the company may be found at www.cardinalhealth.com and @CardinalHealth on Twitter.
SOURCE Cardinal Health