Is MTM Certification Really Necessary?
After 28 years of pharmacy practice, I thought I knew what MTM was. Then I took the MTM certification course.
About 6 months ago, I found myself looking at different pharmacist certification programs. After comparing my skills with certifications that would be most marketable in my current practice setting, I chose medication therapy management (MTM).
This certification course involves 10 hours of pre-seminar work, an 8-hour live seminar that involves quite a bit of participation, including role playing, and 3 hours of post-seminar MTM practice.
As a practicing pharmacist of 28 years, I feel that I have a reasonable understanding of how both hospital and community pharmacy work. I practiced for 10 years as a hospital pharmacist, 3 of which were in a director position, and for the last 18 years, I have been practicing in an outpatient pharmacy for a community hospital.
I understand the basic premise of MTM, but taking the time to fully understand it from start to finish was an eye-opening experience.
First and foremost, the certification process helped me navigate the nuts and bolts of delivering a comprehensive medication review to patients and their caregivers, from the initial symptom history, to the development of the personal medication record (PMR), to identifying medication-related Problems (MRP), to creating a medication action plan (MAP), to following up with the prescriber, to documenting the entire process.
Next, learning about different MTM models helped me define how an MTM program may be implemented in my own practice. This understanding is valuable when discussing MTM opportunities with colleagues and presenting the need for program implementation to administrators.
Finally, I now have a clear idea of how MTM integrates with the Five-Star Quality Rating System for community pharmacies. Unless an independent community pharmacy provides and documents MTM services, it runs the risk of seeing its Star rating decline, which may impact its Medicare Part D reimbursement.
Platforms such as OutcomesMTM and Mirixa contract with Medicare Part D programs for us, and then send us a list of patients who qualify for MTM services. It is our job to integrate the MTM process into our daily workflow, follow up on these cases, and document their outcome on the platform's website.
Participating in the MTM certification program provided me with the knowledge to discuss the importance of this process with administration, so that we may come up with a plan for providing the necessary personnel to make this service sustainable.