When the nation's pharmacists begin providing Medication Therapy Management (MTM) services to patients under the new Medicare drug benefit next year, they will have little guidance from federal health regulators to use in designing specific services eligible for reimbursement under the program.
The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) are moving to fill that void with a new model "framework"that identifies 5 "core elements"for pharmacists to consider using when providing MTM services to patients.
Pharmacists who follow the model would provide the following basic MTM services to Medicare patients who have >1 chronic disease, take multiple medications, and incur high medication costs:
The APhA and the NACDS Foundation are planning to augment the new MTM model with a complete operations manual, forms, and MTM practice guidelines for pharmacists and other pharmacy personnel.
Mr. Rankin is a freelance medical writer.