APhA Releases Fifth Edition of MTM Digest

Published Online: Monday, February 25, 2013
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The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) today released the newest edition of the APhA Medication Therapy Management Digest – Pharmacists Emerging as Interdisciplinary Health Care Team Members. The survey suggests that MTM services are continuing to grow and expand in the marketplace. From 2010 to 2012, 70% of MTM provider respondents reported more patients receiving MTM services, with 49% reporting a moderate or significant increase. In 2013, 34% of MTM provider repondants expect an additional increase in the number of contract opportunities.

APhA began conducting environmental scans of providers and payers and their MTM involvement in 2007. The data collected from these surveys enables an expert pharmacy research panel to track progress and developments in the provision of MTM services and programs over time. The 2012 report is the fifth edition of the MTM Digest.

The Affordable Care Act had an important impact on the development of MTM services and utilization of pharmacists in integrated care delivery models. In the 2012 survey, providers were asked for the first time about the provision of MTM services within integrated care delivery models, such as accountable care organizations (ACOs) and medical homes. Of those indicating that they are providing services in an integrated care delivery model (31% of respondents), most were in medical home models (15%) and transitions of care models (10%). The most common pharmacist-provided services in these models include MTM (33%), patient education (32%) and drug information services (27%).

Demand for MTM services is growing, and both providers and payers reported in the survey enhancing their practices and organizations in 2012 to accommodate this increase. Provider changes included adjusting pharmacists’ schedules to facilitate service delivery (24%), adding full-time pharmacist employees (23%) and remodeling facilities (10%). Payers modifications include enhancing MTM program offerings to beneficiaries for 2012 (46%), increasing in-house provider staff (36%), increasing contracted provider staff (25%) and contracting with an MTM network service provider to administer program for 2012 (11%).

Survey results indicate that providers of MTM services are continuing to invest and build their patient care practices for a multitude of personal, professional and business reasons other than solely on a financial return on investment. Providers and payers associate significant value with the provision of MTM services. Providers find increased professional satisfaction, increased patient satisfaction and increased quality of care/ performance measure outcomes from MTM services. Payers report increased quality of care/performance measure outcomes, reduced costs of medical care and reduced total healthcare costs as primary factors.

Despite the growth in demand, this year’s survey reveals that there are still challenges and barriers to the implementation of MTM services. MTM providers continued to list operational issues such as lack of third-party payment for MTM, inadequate time availability, difficulty billing, and low payment rates for MTM services. The most significant challenge reported by MTM payers continues to be that patients are not interested or decline to participate in MTM service offerings. Providers and payers report that direct contact with patients is their most successful marketing strategy. Building patient relationships will be vital for future MTM expansion and growth.

The APhA Medication Therapy Management Digest – Pharmacists Emerging as Interdisciplinary Health Care Team Members is available, free of charge, at www.pharmacist.com/2013-mtm-digest. A discussion of the findings will be held at the 2013 APhA Annual Meeting in Los Angeles. Hot Topics in Pharmacy: Examining MTM and Pharmacists Emerging Roles in Interdisciplinary Health Care Teams will be held on Sunday, March 3, from 1:00pm-2:00pm in the Los Angeles Convention Center Room 306A.

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