CVS Caremark, Dovetail Health Team Up to Reduce Hospital Readmissions

Kate H. Gamble, Senior Editor
Published Online: Friday, September 30, 2011
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CVS Caremark and Dovetail Health, a provider of transitional care services, have formed a partnership to prevent avoidable hospital readmissions by helping patients better manage and understand their medication regimens after they are discharged from a hospital. As part of the collaboration, Dovetail will provide plan members whose pharmacy benefits are administered by CVS Caremark with comprehensive in-home medication counseling conducted by a pharmacist care manager.

“Dovetail Health will help CVS Caremark clients deal with the high prevalence of hospital readmissions, which are costly and have a negative impact on members' health outcomes,” said Troyen A. Brennan, MD, MPH, executive vice president and chief medical officer of CVS Caremark, in a statement. “Very often these patients are taking multiple medications and are trying to navigate a variety of treatment guidelines provided by their primary care physician and the hospital discharge team, all of which can complicate medication safety and adherence. Our research shows that the intervention of a clinical pharmacist helps patients better understand their medications and avoid potential barriers to recovery after coming home from the hospital.”

Studies have shown that 1 in 5 seniors are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of discharge. It is estimated that nearly 70% of adverse health events that take place after hospital discharge are related to medication management issues.

The integrated readmission prevention initiative from CVS Caremark and Dovetail will utilize risk stratification and predictive modeling to identify patients at greatest risk for hospital readmission. High risk patients will receive an in-home consultation with a clinical pharmacist shortly after discharge, which includes a drug therapy review, care plan development to reduce readmission risk factors, health coaching, and care coordination with the patient's health care provider. Patients will continue to receive ongoing counseling support from a clinical pharmacist for up to 90 days to continue to monitor progress and encourage active participation in their treatment and adherence to their prescribed medication regimen. Patients identified to be at moderate risk will be targeted for a 90-day telephonic program that will include an initial comprehensive medication review by a pharmacist and ongoing care coordination with other health care providers.

“Dovetail is focused on reducing unnecessary medical expenditures by supporting the highest risk patients with coordinated care to help them successfully transition back to their homes following a hospitalization,” said Stever Aubrey, CEO of Dovetail Health. “We have found that in-home Pharmacist Care Managers are uniquely qualified to assess and mitigate the most urgent readmission risk factors. Being able to coordinate ongoing follow-up with a CVS Caremark pharmacist via telephone for 90 days post-discharge further magnifies the impact of the program and empowers patients to take charge of their health and stay out of the hospital.”

It is expected that by focusing on the highest risk patients, the program will reduce readmission rates overall, creating significant financial savings and improved clinical outcomes. CVS Caremark and Dovetail Health plan to initiate a pilot program in early 2012 and will make this offering available to CVS Caremark PBM clients later next year.
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