Survey: Potential for MTM Is Great, but Barriers Remain

Published Online: Friday, May 6, 2011
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By Kate H. Gamble, Senior Editor

In a survey conducted by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), most pharmacists reported that they are doing MTM cases and receive positive feedback from patients, yet the eligibility requirements are too stringent for this service to reach its full potential for cost savings and better health.

Most pharmacists report that they are doing medication therapy management (MTM) cases and receive positive feedback from patients, according to a survey conducted by the National Community Pharmacists Association. However, most also believe that the eligibility requirements are too stringent for this service to reach its full potential for cost savings and better health.

In the survey, 58 community pharmacists were asked to share their thoughts on the current state of MTM in their pharmacy practice.

Some of the key findings are as follows:
  • 78% of their pharmacies do MTM cases.
  • 93% do 10 or fewer MTM cases each month.
  • 86% are aware that this year, Mirixa increased its fee paid for face-to-face pharmacy MTM cases from $60 to $100.
Overall, pharmacists doing MTM cases reported having satisfied patients, according to NCPA. “I have found that these MTM’s are really very helpful and informative for my patients,” one observed, citing “many positive comments from patients.”

Research indicates that the cost-savings from MTM can be significant. One Minnesota study found a 12:1 return-on-investment for MTM. In North Carolina, Kerr Drug reports that MTM programs there helping seniors produced a 13:1 return.

The most common reasons cited for pharmacists not involved in MTM were the lack of case volume, low fees from insurance plans and not enough pharmacy staff.
“Most cases take several hours to prepare for, the majority of which is pharmacist time,” one respondent said. “The fee is still inadequate.”

Another noted, “If we had many patients with similar problems so that preparation time could be spread among patients it could be profitable and therefore justifiable as a patient and business benefit.”

All in all, the survey also illustrates the need for bipartisan legislation in Congress endorsed by NCPA and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. The Medication Therapy Management Benefits Act would expand MTM coverage in Medicare to all patients with a chronic condition.

Senate and House sponsors of this legislation include U.S. Senators Kay Hagan (D, NC), Sherrod Brown (D, OH), Al Franken (D, MN) and Tim Johnson (D, SD) Amy Klobuchar (D, MN), Ron Wyden (D, OR) and Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R, WA), Mike Ross (D, AR), Shelley Moore Capito (R, WV), Joe Courtney (D, CT), Tim Griffin (R, AR), David Loebsack (D, IA), and Laura Richardson (D, CA).

For more information, or to encourage your Congress member to support this legislation, visit the NCPA’s Legislative Action Center.

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