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May 24, 2016, Vienna, Va.– What if there were experts who worked alongside physicians to adjust and maximize the benefit of all medicines a person takes? Professionals who could help a grandfather control his diabetes and hypertension with fewer side effects, or counsel a young mother trying to manage her schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis so she can get on with her life?

 There are: Clinical pharmacists provide comprehensive medication management services in your community. Comprehensive medication management (CMM) has emerged as a practice that improves outcomes, controls costs and enhances the satisfaction of clinicians and patients. That’s one of the findings of a new research report from Health2 Resources and Blue Thorn Inc.

Get the medications right™: a nationwide snapshot of expert practices–Comprehensive medication management in ambulatory/community pharmacy reveals that clinical pharmacists, in a variety of community and ambulatory care settings, are optimizing medication use and making an impact on the communities they serve. The report is available, at no charge, at www.health2resources.com/comprehensive_medication_management.html .

CMM seeks to optimize outcomes through the effective and appropriate use of medications, by focusing on the patient and the clinical and personal goals of therapy. It encompasses all medications and all disease states, so pharmacists can add, modify and change medications to resolve drug therapy problems to control all conditions.

The report, sponsored by a grant from the Community Pharmacy Foundation and released today, draws on responses from 618 pharmacy program directors from 45 states and Puerto Rico, as well as in-depth interviews with leaders from practices delivering CMM services. It explores the expanding role of pharmacists as patient care medication experts who directly manage medications through collaborative practice with physicians.

“Comprehensive medication management is the key to optimal patient outcomes–period. These practices draw a clear roadmap for how collaborative team-based care works–and how CMM will forever change the role of pharmacists–and health care as we know it,” says Principal Investigator Terry McInnis, MD, MPH, FACOEM, president of Blue Thorn Inc. McInnis and her team were guided by an advisory board of CMM experts in the development of the report.

Among the report’s findings:

  • The pharmacist’s role in CMM is different and distinct from the role in dispensing. Both are equally valuable, but each is unique.
  • CMM has moved from an emerging practice to an essential element of health care delivery; it has proven validity as a means to improve outcomes and control costs.
  • The move to value-based reimbursement through team-based care models that pay for value (vs. volume) of care delivered is accelerating growth of CMM.
  • Successful CMM practices take a whole-person approach to target patients with complex health concerns and those who will reap the greatest benefit.
  • Physician buy-in to CMM is crucial–particularly senior-level support from physician leaders.

The interviews also found a lack of clarity around what CMM services are called. This variation in terminology makes it difficult to discuss CMM’s unique value. “How can we expect physicians, health plans and policymakers to understand CMM if we don’t use the right terms?” asks Katherine H. Capps, president of Health2 Resources and project director. “By providing clarity and offering real-world examples, we believe this report will start many important conversations about comprehensive medication management.”

To see a list of frequently asked questions and reactions to this report for health care leaders, visit www.health2resources.com/comprehensive_medication_management.html .

Suggested citation: McInnis, T. Capps, K. Get the medications right: a nationwide snapshot of expert practices—Comprehensive medication management in ambulatory/community pharmacy. Health2 Resources, May 2016

About Health2 Resources

Founded in 1998, Health2 Resources is a full-service communications and public relations firm that exclusively serves health care clients throughout the U.S. by offering a full range of research and public relations support. It works closely with local, state and federal policymakers and regulatory agencies to build and improve relationships on behalf of a mix of clients that buy, pay for, provide and evaluate health care. Visit Health2 Resources at www.health2resources.com .

About Blue Thorn Inc.

Blue Thorn Inc. provides consulting services to government, providers, health plans, the pharmaceutical industry, professional organizations, academia and others to move toward viable coordinated care and payment models in health care. Key areas of expertise include delivery system transformation, benefit and policy redesign, successful comprehensive medication management integration, and physician/team clinical model execution risk strategy.

About the Community Pharmacy Foundation

The Community Pharmacy Foundation (CPF) is a non-profit organization founded in 2000 dedicated to enhancing community pharmacy practice by funding research and grant opportunities seeking improvements in the delivery and quality of care. CPF disseminates study results and resources on a variety of topics ranging from professional practice to innovative patient care delivered by community pharmacists individually or in collaboration with other providers.

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