Pharmacist medication therapy management in home health care: Investigation of a sustainable practice model
Objectives: The objective of this study was to quantify the financial impact of a pharmacist-driven pilot medication therapy management (MTM) program within a visiting nurse service (VNS) and identify types of medication-related problems affecting the home health care population. Methods: Patients were contacted to schedule a home visit with the primary investigator. At the appointment, a comprehensive medication review (CMR) was completed, and data collected included primary reason for VNS care, comorbid diagnoses, number of prescription and nonprescription medications at time of visit, and type of pharmacist-identified medication therapy intervention(s). The VNS is a nonprofit independent home health care agency serving patients of all ages and health conditions. Patients admitted with primary insurance coverage through Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBSRI) Blue Chip for Medicare and 65 years of age and older were eligible for inclusion. Intervention categories were aligned to coordinate with current billable OutcomesMTM claim categories. Dollar allocation for each intervention severity level was assigned according to the predetermined Medicare cost savings predicted value from BCBSRI. Interventions were assigned cost-saving value by the severity level to estimate savings. Results: Twenty-five patients received CMRs. Patients averaged 5.92 chronic health conditions, 8.48 Part D drugs, and 3.88 over-the-counter medications. Two hundred eighteen medication-related problems were identified spanning 13 intervention categories. Intervention severity level was assigned to the medication-related problems, with calculated cost savings from pharmacist interventions totaling $124,352. Conclusion: This pilot study demonstrated the positive economic impact of a pharmacist-run MTM program at VNS for patients with multiple chronic conditions and medication-related problems. Potential societal benefits include that community members admitted to VNS will continue to have access to a pharmacist as a standard of care with the continuation of this MTM program.