Objective. To develop, implement, and assess the effectiveness of an online medication therapy management (MTM) program to train pharmacists and pharmacy students in providing MTM services for patients with diabetes and to increase their intent to perform these services.
Design. An online program was created using an Internet-based learning platform to simulate 4 MTM meetings between a pharmacist and a virtual patient diagnosed with diabetes.
Assessment. Eighty students and 42 pharmacists completed the program. After completing the program, scores on post-intervention assessments showed significant improvement in 2 areas: control over performing MTM, and knowledge of how to perform MTM. Students had a significantly less-positive attitude about MTM and a decline in their perception of the social expectation that MTM is part of the practice of pharmacy, while pharmacists’ attitudes did not change significantly in these areas.
Conclusion. This online program using a virtual patient improved both participants’ belief that they have control over performing MTM, and their knowledge of how to perform MTM for diabetic patients, which may increase the likelihood that pharmacists and pharmacy students will perform MTM in the future.
medication therapy management; diabetes; pharmacist; virtual patient; simulation; pharmacy student
Objective. To describe the implementation of an advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) in medication therapy management (MTM) designed to contribute to student pharmacists’ confidence and abilities in providing MTM.
Design. Sixty-four student pharmacists provided MTM services during an APPE in a communication and care center.
Assessment. Students conducted 1,495 comprehensive medication reviews (CMRs) identifying 6,056 medication-related problems. Ninety-eight percent of the students who completed a survey instrument (52 of 53) following the APPE expressed that they had the necessary knowledge and skills to provide MTM services. Most respondents felt that pharmacist participation in providing Medicare MTM could move the profession of pharmacy forward and that pharmacists will have some role in deciding the specific provisions of the Medicare MTM program (92% and 91%, respectively).
Conclusion. Students completing the MTM APPE received patient-centered experiences that supplemented their confidence, knowledge, and skill in providing MTM services in the future.
medication therapy management; advanced pharmacy practice experience; student pharmacists; patient-centered care
In 2005 a definition for medication therapy management services (MTM) was developed by eleven pharmacy organizations. That year the American Medical Association introduced three temporary Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes for MTM. In 2008 these codes were made permanent making billing for outpatient MTM services possible. In 2010 our institution implemented a MTM program to augment services already provided. Clinical pharmacy specialists documented within the electronic medical record (EMR) upon completion of service and submitted a charge for MTM. The primary objective was to determine the effect of formal MTM services on pharmacist workload. Secondary objectives included describing the population receiving MTM, describing services provided, and determining the reimbursement rate for billed MTM services.
MTM CPT code claims, EMR, pharmacist MTM log
A retrospective review of all MTM charges from 1/1/2010-3/31/2010 was performed. Data collected included: location of MTM visit, age, gender, insurance, primary malignancy, comorbidities, home medications, time completing and documenting MTM visit, and rate of reimbursement.
In the three month period 239 MTM visits were completed. It took pharmacists a median of 20 minutes (range: 15–127 minutes) of face-to-face time and 18 minutes (range: 5–90 minutes) for documentation per visit. To date no claims for MTM have been rejected and reimbursement rates range from 47–79% depending on the insurance provider.
MTM in the ambulatory clinic is feasible despite the increase in pharmacist work load from documenting and billing. Increased visibility of clinical pharmacy services justify the extra time required for formal MTM.
Medication therapy management; clinical pharmacy; reimbursement; ambulatory clinic; CPT codes
Objectives. To evaluate the impact of student pharmacists delivering medication therapy management (MTM) services during an elective advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE).
Methods. Student pharmacists provided MTM services at community pharmacy APPE sites, documented their recommendations, and then made follow-up telephone calls to patients to determine the impact of the MTM provided. Students were surveyed about the MTM experience.
Results. Forty-seven students provided MTM services to 509 patients over 2 years and identified 704 drug-related problems (average of 1.4 problems per patient). About 53% of patients relayed the recommendations to their physician and 205 (75%) physicians accepted the recommendations. Eighty-eight percent of patients reported feeling better about their medications after receiving MTM services. A majority of the students perceived their provision of MTM services as valuable to their patients.
Conclusions. Providing MTM services to patients in a pharmacy practice setting allowed student pharmacists to apply skills learned in the doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum.
medication therapy management; experiential education; doctor of pharmacy program; advanced pharmacy practice experience; community pharmacy
To determine the direct financial impact for patients resulting from
Medication Therapy Management (MTM) interventions made by community
pharmacists. Secondary objectives include evaluating the patient and
physician acceptance rates of the community pharmacists' recommended
This was a retrospective observational study conducted at 20 Price Chopper
and Hen House grocery store chain pharmacies in the Kansas City metro area
from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2010. Study patients were Medicare Part
D beneficiaries eligible for MTM services. The primary outcome was the
change in patient out-of-pocket prescription medication expense as a result
of MTM services.
Of 128 patients included in this study, 68% experienced no out-of-pocket
financial impact on their medication expenses as a result of MTM services. A
total of 27% of the patients realized a cost-savings (USD440.50 per year,
(SD=289.69)) while another 5% of patients saw a cost increase in
out-of-pocket expense (USD255.66 per year, (SD=324.48)). The net financial
impact for all 128 patients who participated in MTM services was an average
savings of USD102.83 per patient per year (SD=269.18, p<0.0001).
Pharmacists attempted a total of 732 recommendations; 391 (53%) were
accepted by both the patient and their prescriber. A total of 341 (47%)
recommendations were not accepted because of patient refusal (290, 85%) or
prescriber refusal (51, 15%).
Patient participation in MTM services reduces patient out-of-pocket
medication expense. However, this savings is driven by only 32% of subjects
who are experiencing a financial impact on out-of-pocket medication expense.
Additionally, the majority of the pharmacists' recommended
interventions (53%) were accepted by patients and prescribers.
Community Pharmacy Services; Medication Therapy Management; Drug Costs; United States
Objective. To measure the impact of medication therapy management (MTM) learning activities on students’ confidence and intention to provide MTM using the Theory of Planned Behavior.
Design. An MTM curriculum combining lecture instruction and active-learning strategies was incorporated into a required pharmacotherapy laboratory course.
Assessment. A validated survey instrument was developed to evaluate student confidence and intent to engage in MTM services using the domains comprising the Theory of Planned Behavior. Confidence scores improved significantly from baseline for all items (p < 0.00), including identification of billable services, documentation, and electronic billing. Mean scores improved significantly for all Theory of Planned Behavior items within the constructs of perceived behavioral control and subjective norms (p < 0.05). At baseline, 42% of students agreed or strongly agreed that they had knowledge and skills to provide MTM. This percentage increased to 82% following completion of the laboratory activities.
Conclusion. Implementation of simulated MTM activities in a pharmacotherapy laboratory significantly increased knowledge scores, confidence measures, and scores on Theory of Planned Behavior constructs related to perceived behavioral control and subjective norms. Despite these improvements, intention to engage in future MTM services remained unchanged.
medication therapy management; active learning; theory of planned behavior; laboratory course; student confidence; intention
Objective. To determine whether a college of pharmacy curriculum creates a sense of self-efficacy among students with respect to providing medication therapy management (MTM) services.
Methods. An electronic survey instrument was sent to all pharmacy students to elicit information on their perceived confidence in providing MTM services, and the results were reviewed.
Results. Of the 1,160 students targeted, 464 (40%) completed the survey instrument. Responses indicated that overall self-efficacy increased with each successive year of the curriculum that students completed. Fourth-year students completing an advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) in medication therapy management (MTM) had significantly higher self-efficacy than did other fourth-year students, whose self-efficacy was similar to that of third-year students.
Conclusion. In this study population, students’ self-efficacy increased with each successive year in pharmacy school, with those who completed an APPE in MTM exhibiting the highest level of self-efficacy. These students may be more likely to pursue MTM opportunities in future careers.
medication therapy management; student self-efficacy; advanced pharmacy practice experience
Medication therapy management (MTM) is a mandated component of the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act for Part D prescription drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans, authorizing the pharmacist or other qualified provider to identify, resolve, and prevent medication-related problems for patients with chronic diseases. MTM programs have been shown to improve medication adherence and reduce medication errors while reducing overall costs in patients with cardiovascular (CV) disease; however, MTM has been greatly underutilized for patients with chronic diseases.
To identify the proportion of Medicare beneficiaries who are eligible for, and who could potentially benefit from, participating in MTM among patients enrolled in the National Cardiovascular Data Registry's PINNACLE Registry.
Patient MTM eligibility is based on the presence of multiple chronic diseases and meeting a minimum annual insurance medication costs. We used patient data from 462 academic and private cardiology practices in the United States who participated in the PINNACLE Registry between May 1, 2008, and September 30, 2010, to determine Medicare beneficiaries' eligibility to participate in an MTM program for patients meeting the MTM criteria of (1) a number of chronic diseases (in this case, the number of CV conditions) and (2) an estimated minimum annual medication expenses, using a weighted average cost calculated based on the average wholesale price of the most often prescribed medications, by class, as extracted from the HealthCore Integrated Research Database and weighted according to prescribing frequency within a class.
Among the Medicare beneficiaries in the PINNACLE Registry, 93,089 (58%) had ≥3 chronic CV conditions, and the median annual estimated medication expenditure per patient enrolled in the PINNACLE Registry was $1329. Of the total of 93,089 Medicare beneficiaries, 21.4% were eligible for MTM, based on the 2010 minimum eligibility criterion of an annual insurer medication expenditure of $3000 or more. These costs ranged from $366 for low-cost generics to $3958 for the highest-cost drug in a class. In addition, based on the 2010 minimum eligibility rule, the proportion of patients eligible for MTM ranged from 7.9% for those eligible for MTM for low-cost generics to 64% of patients eligible for MTM for the highest-cost medication in a class.
These data serve to raise awareness regarding patients' potential eligibility to receive the benefits of MTM programs. Providers caring for patients with multiple CV conditions, including specialists such as cardiologists, should explain to eligible patients about MTM programs and encourage these patients to take advantage of such programs.
Objective. To implement and evaluate an introductory pharmacy practice experience (IPPE) based on the medication therapy management (MTM) service model.
Design. Patient Care 2 is an IPPE that introduces third-year pharmacy students to the MTM service model. Students interacted with older adults to identify medication-related problems and develop recommendations using core MTM elements. Course outcome evaluations were based on number of documented medication-related problems, recommendations, and student reviews.
Assessment. Fifty-seven older adults participated in the course. Students identified 52 medication-related problems and 66 medical problems, and documented 233 recommendations relating to health maintenance and wellness, pharmacotherapy, referrals, and education. Students reported having adequate experience performing core MTM elements.
Conclusion. Patient Care 2 may serve as an experiential learning model for pharmacy schools to teach the core elements of MTM and provide patient care services to the community.
medication therapy management; introductory pharmacy practice experience; patient care service learning
To determine the impact of active-learning strategies in a medication therapy management (MTM) elective on pharmacy students' preparedness to participate in real-life MTM counseling sessions.
The elective included active-learning assignments such as patient cases, group discussions, role playing, and use of actual patients to prepare students for MTM services.
A survey was administered before (week 11) and after (week 15) completing a face-to-face comprehensive medication review (CMR) to evaluate achievement of course objectives and students' preparedness to participate in MTM. In the pre-CMR survey, 66.7% of the students strongly agreed that the course prepared them to provide MTM services. In the post-CMR survey, 88.9% of the students strongly agreed (p = 0.046).
The active-learning strategies used in the MTM elective course provided students with the skills necessary to participate in MTM counseling sessions. Face-to-face CMRs better prepared pharmacy students to provide MTM services.
medication therapy management; elective; active learning; comprehensive medication review
The purpose of this study was to determine the cost savings of a pharmacist-led, employer-sponsored medication therapy management (MTM) program for diabetic patients and to assess for any changes in patient satisfaction and self-reported medication adherence for enrollees.
Participants in this study were enrollees of an employer-sponsored MTM program. They were included if their primary medical insurance and prescription coverage was from the City of Toledo, they had a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, and whether or not they had been on medication or had been given a new prescription for diabetes treatment. The data were analyzed on a prospective, pre-post longitudinal basis, and tracked for one year following enrollment. Outcomes included economic costs, patient satisfaction, and self-reported patient adherence. Descriptive statistics were used to characterize the population, calculate the number of visits, and determine the mean costs for each visit. Friedman’s test was used to determine changes in outcomes due to the nonparametric nature of the data.
The mean number of visits to a physician’s office decreased from 10.22 to 7.07. The mean cost of these visits for patients increased from $47.70 to $66.41, but use of the emergency room and inpatient visits decreased by at least 50%. Employer spending on emergency room visits decreased by $24,214.17 and inpatient visit costs decreased by $166,610.84. Office visit spending increased by $11,776.41. A total cost savings of $179,047.80 was realized by the employer at the end of the program. Significant improvements in patient satisfaction and adherence were observed.
Pharmacist interventions provided through the employer-sponsored MTM program led to substantial cost savings to the employer with improved patient satisfaction and adherence on the part of employees at the conclusion of the program.
costs; patient satisfaction; adherence; pharmaceutical care; diabetes
To determine the overall perception and utilization of the pharmacist managed
medication therapy management (MTM) clinic services, by healthcare
professionals in a large, urban, university medical care setting.
This was a cross-sectional, anonymous survey sent to 195 healthcare
professionals, including physicians, nurses, and pharmacists at The
University of Illinois Outpatient Care Center to determine their perception
and utilization of the MTM clinic. The survey consisted of 12 questions and
was delivered through a secure online application.
Sixty-two healthcare professionals (32%) completed the survey. 82% were
familiar with the MTM clinic, and 63% had referred patients to the clinic.
Medication adherence and disease state management was the most common reason
for referral. Lack of knowledge on the appropriate referral procedure was
the prominent reason for not referring patients to the MTM clinic. Of the
providers that were aware of MTM services, 44% rated care as ‘excellent’,
44% as ‘good’, 5% as ‘fair’, and 0% stated ‘poor’. Strengths of MTM clinic
identified by healthcare providers included in-depth education to patients,
close follow-up, and detailed medication reconciliation provided by MTM
clinic pharmacists. Of those familiar with MTM clinic, recommendations
included; increase marketing efforts to raise awareness of the MTM clinic
service, create collaborative practice agreements between MTM pharmacists
and physicians, and ensure that progress notes are more concise.
In a large, urban, academic institution MTM clinic is perceived as a valuable
resource to optimize patient care by providing patients with in-depth
education as it relates to their prescribed medications and disease states.
These identified benefits of MTM clinic lead to frequent patient referrals
specifically for aid with medication adherence and disease state
Medication Therapy Management; Professional Practice; Academic Medical Centers; Personal Satisfaction; Attitude of Health Personnel; Pharmacists; United States
Pharmacists' acceptable level of compensation for medication therapy management (MTM) services needs to be determined using various economic evaluation techniques.
Using contingent valuation method, determine pharmacists' acceptable levels of compensation for MTM services.
A mailing survey was used to elicit Tennessee (US) pharmacists' acceptable levels of compensation for a 30-minute MTM session for a new patient with 2 medical conditions, 8 medications, and an annual drug cost of $2,000. Three versions of a series of double-bounded, closed-ended, binary discrete choice questions were asked of pharmacists for their willingness-to-accept (WTA) for an original monetary value ($30, $60, or $90) and then follow-up higher or lower value depending on their responses to the original value. A Kaplan-Meier approach was taken to analyze pharmacists' WTA, and Cox's proportional hazards model was used to examine the effects of pharmacist characteristics on their WTA.
Three hundred and forty-eight pharmacists responded to the survey. Pharmacists' WTA for the given MTM session had a mean of $63.31 and median of $60. The proportions of pharmacists willing to accept $30, $60, and $90 for the given MTM session were 30.61%, 85.19%, and 91.01%, respectively. Pharmacists' characteristics had statistically significant association with their WTA rates.
Pharmacists' WTA for the given MTM session is higher than current Medicare MTM programs' compensation levels of $15 to $50 and patients' willingness-to-pay of less than $40. Besides advocating for higher MTM compensation levels by third-party payers, pharmacists also may need to charge patients to reach sufficient compensation levels for MTM services.
Medication therapy management services; contingent valuation; pharmacists; compensation; willingness to accept
To develop and implement a medication therapy management (MTM) curriculum and assess students' skills and attitudes after the provision of MTM services to faculty and staff members.
Third-year students enrolled in a pharmaceutical care laboratory course received lectures and participated in MTM activities in preparation for an MTM encounter. Students conduced MTM sessions with university faculty and staff members, providing comprehensive medication review, blood pressure checks, and optional blood glucose and cholesterol (total cholesterol and HDL) screenings.
A faculty-developed rubric was used to evaluate students' ability to explain MTM to the participant and address medication-related problems. Students' responses on pre- and post-encounter survey instruments showed their confidence to provide MTM services, communicate with participants and other health care providers, and provide point-of-care screening services had increased.
Incorporating MTM into an existing laboratory course increased students' confidence and perceived ability to provide MTM services.
medication therapy management; medication review; patient-centered care
A pharmacist-delivered, outpatient-focused medication therapy management (MTM) program is using a remote blood glucose (BG) meter upload device to provide better care and to improve outcomes for its patients with diabetes. Sharing uploaded BG meter data, presented in easily comprehensible graphs and charts, enables patients, caregivers, and the medical team to better understand how the patients’ diabetes care is progressing.
Pharmacists are becoming increasingly more active in helping to manage patients’ complex medication regimens in an effort to help detect and avoid medication-related problems. Working together with patients and their physicians as part of an interdisciplinary health care team, pharmacists are helping to improve medication outcomes. This article focuses on two case studies highlighting the Diabetes Monitoring Program, one component of the Meridian Pharmacology Institute MTM service, and discusses the clinical application of a unique BG meter upload device.
blood glucose meter upload device; clinical pharmacist; diabetes monitoring program; medication compliance; medication therapy management; Metriklink; pharmacist
Objective. To determine the impact of an elective course on pharmacy students’ perceptions, knowledge, and confidence regarding Medicare Part D, medication therapy management (MTM), and immunizations.
Design. Thirty-three pharmacy students were enrolled in a Medicare Part D elective course that included both classroom instruction and experiential training.
Assessment. Students’ self-reported confidence in and knowledge of Part D significantly improved upon course completion. End-of-course student perceptions about the relative importance of various aspects of MTM interventions and their confidence in performing MTM services significantly improved from those at the beginning of the course. Students’ confidence in performing immunizations also increased significantly from the start of the course.
Conclusion. A classroom course covering Medicare Part D with an experiential requirement serving beneficiaries can improve students’ attitudes and knowledge about Medicare Part D and their confidence in providing related services to beneficiaries in the community.
Medicare Part D; medication therapy management; student attitudes; experiential learning
The pressures driving the need for an expanded practice scope in community pharmacy have been building for the past 2 decades. Many pharmacists have chosen to embrace the pharmaceutical care model in their practice sites to meet patient and healthcare system needs. The potential for medication therapy management (MTM) services provide an additional career opportunity for pharmacy graduates. Colleges of pharmacy offer advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs) in the community setting that are designed to prepare students for these opportunities. These sites provide students with the opportunity to observe the integration of pharmaceutical care activities into community practice. Although developing an APPE site is challenging, serving as a preceptor benefits the students, the site, and the patients served. Therefore, colleges of pharmacy and community pharmacists are collaborating to increase the number of APPE sites to prepare pharmacy students for practice today and tomorrow.
curriculum; advanced pharmacy practice experience; community pharmacy; preceptor
The quality of pharmacologic care provided to older adults is less than optimal. Medication therapy management (MTM) programs delivered to older adults in the ambulatory care setting may improve the quality of medication use for these individuals.
We conducted focus groups with older adults and primary care physicians to explore: (1) older adults' experiences working with a clinical pharmacist in managing medications, (2) physician perspectives on the role of clinical pharmacists in facilitating medication management, and (3) key attributes of an effective MTM program and potential barriers from both patient and provider perspectives.
Five focus groups (4 with older adults, 1 with primary care physicians) were conducted by a trained moderator using a semi-structured interview guide. Each participant completed a demographic questionnaire. Sessions were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using qualitative analysis software for theme identification.
Twenty-eight older adults and 8 physicians participated. Older adults valued the professional, trusting nature of their interactions with the pharmacist. They found the clinical pharmacist to be a useful resource, thorough, personable, and a valuable team member. Physicians believe the clinical pharmacist fills a unique role as a specialized practitioner, contributing meaningfully to patient care. Physicians emphasized the importance of effective communication, pharmacist's access to the medical record, and a mutually-trusting relationship as key attributes of a program. Potential barriers to an effective program include poor communication and lack of familiarity with the patient's history. The lack of a sustainable reimbursement model was cited as a barrier to widespread implementation of MTM.
This study provides information to assist pharmacists in designing MTM programs in the ambulatory setting. Key attributes of an effective program include one that is comprehensive, addressing all medication-related needs over time. The clinical pharmacist's ability to build trusting relationships with both patients and providers is essential.
older adults; medication management; focus groups; collaborative practice; pharmacists
To implement and assess a medication therapy management (MTM) training program for pharmacy students using the MirixaPro (Mirixa Corporation, Reston, VA) platform and case studies.
Students received lectures introducing MTM and were given a demonstration of the MirixaPro platform. They were divided into teams and assigned cases and times to interview patients portrayed by faculty members. Using the MirixaPro system, students performed 2 comprehensive medication reviews during the semester, recording the patient's current medications, indications, side effects, allergies, health conditions, and laboratory test recommendations and developed a personal medication record and medication action plan.
Based on a rubric with a rating scale of 0-10, campus and distance pathway students received mean scores ranging from 6.3-7.4 for their performance on the second MTM exercise, an increase of 47%-54% over the first MTM exercise. In qualitative assessments, the majority of students believed that their confidence in providing MTM was enhanced by the activity, while faculty members recognized the advantage of using MirixaPro, which allowed students to experience what is required in processing a pharmacist led, billable MTM encounter.
Use of the MirixaPro system and patient cases provides students with a “hands-on” experience that may encourage them to promote MTM during their APPEs and provide MTM services as practicing pharmacists.
medication therapy management (MTM); Web-based technology; active learning; patient simulation; case-based learning
Previous studies have found that racial and ethnic minorities would be less likely to meet the Medicare eligibility criteria for medication therapy management (MTM) services than their non-Hispanic White counterparts.
To examine whether racial and ethnic disparities in health status, health services utilization and costs, and medication utilization patterns among MTM-ineligible individuals differed from MTM-eligible individuals.
This study analyzed Medicare beneficiaries in 2004–2005 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey. Various multivariate regressions were employed depending on the nature of dependent variables. Interaction terms between the dummy variables for Blacks (and Hispanics) and MTM eligibility were included to test whether disparity patterns varied between MTM-ineligible and MTM-eligible individuals. Main and sensitivity analyses were conducted for MTM eligibility thresholds for 2006 and 2010.
Based on the main analysis for 2006 MTM eligibility criteria, the proportions for self-reported good health status for Whites and Blacks were 82.82% vs. 70.75%, respectively (difference=12.07%; P< .001), among MTM-ineligible population; and 56.98% vs. 52.14%, respectively (difference=4.84%; P= .31), among MTM-eligible population. The difference between these differences was 7.23% (P< .001). In the adjusted logistic regression, the interaction effect for Blacks and MTM eligibility had an OR of 1.57 (95% Confidence Interval, or CI=0.98–2.52) on multiplicative term and difference in odds of 2.38 (95% CI=1.54–3.22) on additive term. Analyses for disparities between Whites and Hispanics found similar disparity patterns. All analyses for 2006 and 2010 eligibility criteria generally reported similar patterns. Analyses of other measures did not find greater racial or ethnic disparities among the MTM-ineligible than MTM-eligible individuals.
Disparities in MTM eligibility may aggravate existing racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes. However, disparities in MTM eligibility may not aggravate existing disparities in health services utilization and costs and medication utilization patterns. Future studies should examine the effects of Medicare Part D on these disparities.
Health disparities; race; ethnicity; medication therapy management services; eligibility criteria
To elicit and describe mutually agreed upon common problems and subsequent solutions resulting from a facilitated face-to-face meeting between pharmacists and physicians.
Descriptive, exploratory, non-experimental study.
Wisconsin from October to December 2011.
Physicians and community pharmacists
Face-to-face semi-structured interviews with pharmacists and physicians from the same community, informed by previous individual interviews.
Main outcome measure
Methods to enhance collaboration and barriers to implementing collaboration between pharmacists and physicians
Physicians and pharmacists generated ideas in which collaboration could improve patient care, including controlled substance monitoring, medication adherence, collaborative practice agreements for point of service issues, and a mechanism for urgent communication. Methods on how to collaborate on these issues were also discussed.
Bringing physicians and pharmacists together for a face-to-face interaction that was informed by information gained in previous individual interviews successfully stimulated conversation on ways in which each profession could help the other provide optimal patient care. This interaction appeared to dispel assumptions and build trust. Results of this project may provide pharmacists with the confidence to reach out to their physician colleagues.
Collaboration; community pharmacist; physician
Collaborative working relationships (CWRs) between community pharmacists and physicians may foster the provision of medication therapy management services, disease state management, and other patient care activities; however, pharmacists have expressed difficulty in developing such relationships. Additional work is needed to understand the specific pharmacist-physician exchanges that effectively contribute to the development of CWR. Data from successful pairs of community pharmacists and physicians may provide further insights into these exchange variables and expand research on models of professional collaboration.
To describe the professional exchanges that occurred between community pharmacists and physicians engaged in successful CWRs, using a published conceptual model and tool for quantifying the extent of collaboration.
A national pool of experts in community pharmacy practice identified community pharmacists engaged in CWRs with physicians. Five pairs of community pharmacists and physician colleagues participated in individual semistructured interviews, and 4 of these pairs completed the Pharmacist-Physician Collaborative Index (PPCI). Main outcome measures include quantitative (ie, scores on the PPCI) and qualitative information about professional exchanges within 3 domains found previously to influence relationship development: relationship initiation, trustworthiness, and role specification.
On the PPCI, participants scored similarly on trustworthiness; however, physicians scored higher on relationship initiation and role specification. The qualitative interviews revealed that when initiating relationships, it was important for many pharmacists to establish open communication through face-to-face visits with physicians. Furthermore, physicians were able to recognize in these pharmacists a commitment for improved patient care. Trustworthiness was established by pharmacists making consistent contributions to care that improved patient outcomes over time. Open discussions regarding professional roles and an acknowledgment of professional norms (ie, physicians as decision makers) were essential.
The findings support and extend the literature on pharmacist-physician CWRs by examining the exchange domains of relationship initiation, trustworthiness, and role specification qualitatively and quantitatively among pairs of practitioners. Relationships appeared to develop in a manner consistent with a published model for CWRs, including the pharmacist as relationship initiator, the importance of communication during early stages of the relationship, and an emphasis on high-quality pharmacist contributions.
Pharmacists; Physicians; Collaborative working relationships; Pharmacist-physician collaborative index; Community
To examine PharmD students' knowledge about Medicare Part D and their attitudes toward and intention to provide Medicare medication therapy management services (MTMS).
Fourth-professional year students were given a self-administered survey instrument that assessed: (1) knowledge about Medicare Part D; (2) attitudes, perceived behavioral control, subjective norms, and intention to provide Medicare MTMS; and (3) demographic and experience information.
Ninety-five students responded for a response rate of 94%. Students showed good basic knowledge about Medicare Part D, with a mean score of 94%. Almost 60% of students agreed that they intended to provide Medicare MTMS, but agreement dropped to 37% when they were asked if they were willing to take initiative to provide MTMS.
The lack of willingness to take initiative to provide Medicare MTMS suggests that colleges and schools of pharmacy must strengthen efforts to encourage students to take on the role of service provider.
Medicare Part D; medication therapy management; assessment; theory of planned behavior
Adherence to a biologic treatment regimen is essential for tracking efficacy and justifying its cost. That’s where medication therapy management services come in.
Pharmacists are providing medication therapy management (MTM) services for patients taking biologics, although studies to demonstrate its cost-effectiveness are lacking. Is this the best way to ensure that high-cost, high-impact biologics are used correctly?
The number of patients with cardiovascular and kidney disease in the United States continues to grow as the population ages, increasing the demand on the health care system and its providers. Many patients develop chronic conditions in which optimization of care is labor intensive, specifically hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, heart failure, and chronic kidney disease. Therefore, innovative and collaborative approaches to health care are warranted. Several team-based health care models have evolved and are gaining popularity, including the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) and Medication Therapy Management (MTM). Team-based care is widely supported in the literature, demonstrating significant improvement in cardiovascular and renal outcomes. This article will review the premises of PCMH and MTM, review the evidence and roles for team-based care specific to cardiovascular and renal outcomes, and introduce fundamentals to implement collaborative practice focusing on pharmacist-provider teams.
Collaboration; Team-based care; Cardiovascular outcomes; Renal outcomes; Pharmacist; Patient-Centered Medical Home; Medication Therapy Management