Promising results from a temporary push to get patients to take their medications properly have convinced a health insurer to expand the model.
PacificSource Community Solutions originally tested the idea on 220 Central Oregon Medicaid patients who suffered from chronic conditions but had trouble taking their pills as directed. The company used a computer program to identify people who needed help and paired them with pharmacists who explained the medications and made prescription changes, if necessary.
The meetings slightly decreased patients’ medical costs and the number of times they visited emergency rooms. Their medication expenses increased slightly, which researchers said was a good thing: It meant more of them were actually picking up their prescriptions.
Now, PacificSource wants to expand the model to all of its insurance products — not just Medicaid, but commercial policies and Medicare, too.
“With those results, we moved forward with a large-scale implementation of the project,” said Clinton Smith, director of pharmacy services for PacificSource Health Plans.
For the STUDY, which ran from November 2014 to June 2015, PacificSource hired MTMCare, a Hood River-based medication management company, to deploy its pharmacists in participating clinics where they met with patients after their appointments or by calling them on the phone. Participating providers included St. Charles Health System and Bend Memorial Clinic. Most patients only met with a pharmacist once, which researchers realized in hindsight wasn’t enough...
Apr 16, 2016