Following the doctor’s orders is often easier said than done, especially when it comes to taking medications. Lacking information and support, nearly 75 percent of adults fail to take their medications as advised, resulting in an estimated $290 billion in unnecessary health care spending annually.
In Hood River, many high-risk patients are getting the pharmaceutical support they need through a pilot program led by PacificSource Community Solutions and implemented by Hood River-based MTMCare and Columbia Gorge Family Medicine. Eligible CGFM patients with complex medication regimes are receiving detailed medication reviews from MTMCare, a network of pharmacists providing one-on-one consulting as a way to help patients avoid medication-related health problems.
“People don’t know what they don’t know,” says MTMCare co-founder Nicole Schrankel, PharmD. “Many patients don’t think to ask what symptoms their medications are treating or what to do if they suffer side effects. We can prevent hospital visits by addressing people’s fears or questions around taking medications.”
Medication therapy management is slowly gaining traction as an important preventative service. Yet many primary care providers such as CGFM can’t afford to hire a full-time, in-house pharmacist. That’s where MTMCare comes in.
“Some people need more touches and encouragement to promote medication adherence,” says Megan Barton, a nurse practitioner at CGFM. “Nicole has worked with our clinic to identify and educate those patients with complex health issues to help them become more successful with their medication regimens.”
Launched in March, the six-month program known as the Columbia Gorge Health Council’s Clinical Pharmacy Services Pilot Project is funded by Oregon’s health “transformation funds.”
In 2013, the state legislature directed the funds to be used for projects that would create services targeting the state’s Medicaid population to make health care more efficient and cost-effective. MTMCare will soon kick off a similar program with PacificSource in Bend, serving three community health centers: Bend Memorial Clinic, St. Charles Health System and Mosaic Medical.
“With U.S. health care spending at an all-time high, there is a growing need to find solutions that cut costs and help patients live longer, more enjoyable lives,” says Randee Bowder, R.Ph., MTMCare’s CEO and co-founder. “We’ve proven that integrated solutions improve patient outcomes. We are very excited to be working directly with health care providers in Oregon and with PacificSource to tackle important health care issues.”
MTMCare also provides phone-based MTM services to high-risk patients utilizing an expanding network of pharmacists located throughout the country. Most of this phone-based consulting is a result of its partnership with OutcomesMTM, a national leader in the design, delivery and administration of MTM programs.
With its network of pharmacist consultants, MTMCare served about 5,000 patients in 2013, a number that is expected to more than double in 2014.
In November 2013, after making a compelling case that it’s poised to capture a large segment of this growing market, MTMCare was honored to receive the Audience Favorite Award at the Gorge Angel Conference.
To learn more about MTMCare or to inquire about partnership or employment opportunities, visit mymtmcare.com.
MTMCare is a network of pharmacists that provides one-on-one medication therapy management and clinical pharmacy services to high-risk patients. MTMCare works with health plans, organizations and directly with patients. Through these meaningful relationships, MTMCare’s pharmacist consultants provide support and deliver expert advice as a way to reduce medication-related health problems.
Serving an estimated 10,000 patients annually, MTMCare is improving the lives of patients and cutting health care costs for the people and organizations it serves. For more information, visit mymtmcare.com.