July 31, 2013 (Arlington, Va.) - The Community Pharmacy Foundation and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Foundation today announced that they will work together to evaluate the impact on patient outcomes of the integration of community pharmacy-provided medication management strategies into a statewide patient-centered medical home network in North Dakota. More than 70 percent of physicians participate in the state’s medical home program.
The Community Pharmacy Foundation will provide $190,000 in matching funds to support ongoing research with North Dakota State University, which is partnering with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota and their statewide MediQHomes network, as well as Thrifty White Pharmacies. The project will operate for two years across the state of North Dakota.
“Medications are the primary medical intervention for most patients. Optimizing medication use through medication management services should improve clinical outcomes while reducing medical spend,” said Phil Burgess, President of the Community Pharmacy Foundation. “We look forward to seeing the outcomes of this important research and its impact on patient care.”
The implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has created a healthcare environment that promotes collaborative partnerships. According to the National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA), there are now more than 5,000 recognized medical homes nationwide.
Patient-centered medical homes seek to improve patient health, and they can help curb health care costs. One potential key to these savings is medication adherence—– when patients take their medications as prescribed. Health policy research group NEHI cites that only 50 percent of patients take their medications properly as prescribed by their doctor, which costs the nation more than $290 billion in needless health spending each year.
In addition to helping improve patient health, pharmacist-provided medication management programs may reduce overall health care spending. Pharmacist-administered medication therapy management (MTM) programs, such as the North Carolina “ChecKmeds” program, for example, helped 31,000 seniors optimize their drug therapy for a savings of $34 million—– a return on investment of nearly 14-1.
“We’re thrilled to join with the Community Pharmacy Foundation on this meaningful research project, which may provide a model for successful interventions around the country, and lead to better outcomes for patients,” said Kathleen Jaeger, President of the NACDS Foundation.