Pharmacy Groups Praise Medicare Proposal to Expand Medication Therapy Management Services



Alexandria, Va. Mar. 6, 2014 - Eight pharmacy organizations, representing over 100,000 pharmacists nationwide across many pharmacy practice settings, sent a letter to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in support of the agency’s proposal to expand medication therapy management (MTM) services to Medicare Part D beneficiaries and encouraged CMS to move forward with this aspect of its proposed rule for contract year 2015.

The organizations that signed the letter were: The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP); American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP); American Pharmacists Association (APhA); American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP); International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists (IACP); National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations (NASPA); National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) and the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA).

"Because the Proposed Rule includes changes like the MTM expansion, which is a fundamental, much-needed reform that will greatly benefit Medicare beneficiaries, we encourage CMS to move forward with this component of the Proposed Rule," the groups wrote in their letter. "Medication-related problems have a significant detrimental impact on the U.S. health care system, and MTM services are a mechanism to improve both the quality and cost of medication-related outcomes and overall health care."

The letter highlights that some studies indicate that for every $1 the health care system spends on MTM services, $12 is potentially saved within the Medicare program - in addition to costs savings, patients also realize significant improvements in key health measures. The letter also notes that "by providing clear criteria for MTM eligibility—criteria that will allow many more Medicare beneficiaries to benefit from MTM services—CMS is taking an important step toward improving patient health in a cost-conscious manner."

The pharmacy groups offered suggestions on how to improve the CMS proposed rule. For example the signatories "urge CMS to require that MTM be pharmacist-led, meaning that to the extent possible, pharmacists interact directly with patients when providing MTM." The signatories continue "thus, we strongly urge CMS to not only retain the MTM provisions in the Final Rule, but to further refine them by including guidelines for MTM service provision."

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