New Study: Community Pharmacy Network Demonstrates Improved Medication Use

Independent community pharmacists can network together across diverse practice settings to achieve dramatically improved patient health, according to a landmark study with direct application to a health care system transitioning toward value-based reimbursement for pharmacists and other providers.

PRESS RELEASEAlexandria, Va. (October 26, 2015) - Independent community pharmacists can network together across diverse practice settings to achieve dramatically improved patient health, according to a landmark study with direct application to a health care system transitioning toward value-based reimbursement for pharmacists and other providers.

The year-long

study

measured the collective impact of appointment-based medication synchronization (ABMS) services provided by 82 participating community pharmacies across Arkansas. Pharmacies, operating on 13 unique pharmacy management systems, provided standardized ABMS services using technology provided by

PrescribeWellness

. It was conducted by the

National Community Pharmacists Association

(NCPA) in collaboration with the

Arkansas Pharmacists Association

(APA) and with support from

Pfizer

.

Patients who received ABMS services were over 2.5 times more likely to stick with their medication as prescribed by their doctor. Medication adherence has been demonstrated to improve health care outcomes and reduce overall health costs. By contrast, patients who did not receive ABMS services were 21 percent more likely to discontinue their prescription drug regimen.

“As our country moves to a value-based model that rewards better outcomes, it’s critical for community pharmacists to demonstrate and measure how they can drive medication adherence and improved health,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA. “That’s why this new study is so different and so critical. It shows that a diverse group of independent community pharmacies can unite to provide consistently high-quality adherence services and positively affect patient health outcomes — and measure that impact. Community pharmacists will continue to work to replicate these successful results on a national scale.”

ABMS services, offered in many pharmacies across the country, create greater efficiency for pharmacies and more convenience for patients. All patient medication refills are consolidated to a once-a-month pick-up with the opportunity for a more extensive pharmacist consultation, prescription drug regimen review and to address any barriers to medication adherence. Many NCPA members offer ABMS services through the

Simplify My Meds®

program.

“I commend the Arkansas community pharmacies and pharmacists who participated in this study. Working together they produced convincing evidence of how community pharmacists can help achieve improved medication management, which leads to improved patient outcomes,” said Mark Riley, PharmD, APA Executive Vice President and CEO. “They are leading the way toward the future of U.S. pharmacy care in a value-based health care system.”

Leading health care payers, including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), are moving toward a reimbursement model to reward the quality of patient care achieved instead of paying for only the volume of services provided. For example, CMS has

announced

that by 2018 half of all traditional Medicare payments (fee-for-service) will be tied to quality or value through alternative delivery methods such as Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), in which some

community pharmacists are taking part

.

This latest research builds on NCPA’s

previous work

on and

long-running commitment to medication adherence

.