Pharmacy Times
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The financially strapped Medicaid program can stretchits budget significantly by encouraging pharmacists to providemedication therapy management services (MTMS) topatients, said an official of the American PharmacistsAssociation (APhA). "For every dollar invested in pharmacistsproviding?patient-focused services, an estimated$16.50 is saved in health care costs," APhA State RelationsDirector Hrant Jamgochian said in a presentation to theMedicaid Commission.

The commission, an advisory group charged with findingways to slash $10 billion from federal Medicaid expendituresby 2010, is scheduled to issue a series of cost-cuttingrecommendations by the end of this year. Although MTMSis a key element in the new Medicare Part D drug program,Medicaid currently provides no payment to encouragepharmacists to undertake these activities.

"By incentivizing pharmacists to spend this additionaltime with patients, Medicaid programs can optimize therapeuticoutcomes, improve medication use, reduce therisks of adverse events and drug interactions, and increasepatient adherence and compliance with prescribed regimens," said Jamgochian. He added that studies have foundthat MTMS by community pharmacists to asthma patientsreduced hospitalizations by 77% and emergency departmentvisits by 78%.

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