Take the guesswork out of medication

Friday, May 23, 2014

AUSTIN, Texas – For patients who spend several hours each Sunday night organizing medications for the coming week, provider Britt Peterson says he has a new program that will be a “life-changer.”

“We are supporting the health care of the most fragile patient population,” said Peterson, CEO of Longhorn Health Solutions. “Medication management is a significant quality of life-changer not only for patients but their caregivers.”

Recognizing that, the provider, a DME/pharmacy, implemented medication therapy management program, in which a pharmacist contacts the patient each week to conduct a comprehensive medical review. 

“The patients enjoy the direct line to the pharmacist,” said Peterson. “They have a lot of questions about (prescriptions).”

The pharmacist also communicates with the prescribers, who may be unaware of other, potentially conflicting, medications the patient is taking.

Longhorn organizes the medications by date and time in easy-to-open packaging that is clearly labeled. There is no charge for the service, and the provider offers free delivery.

“We’re just removing obstacles like having to sort pills into a pill planner or having to rely on a spouse to do it,” said Peterson. “It’s as simple as grabbing the next packet of pills.”

The average patient has four prescribers and 10 or 15 prescriptions, on average, per month, says Peterson.

Helping patients adhere to prescribed medications prevents hospital or ER admissions or readmissions, he said. That’s a big selling point for payers, he said.

“We tell them that 20% of people that get discharged get readmitted within 30 days at an average cost of $10,000,” he said. “We get their attention when it’s something as basic as giving the patients a box with their medications all set when they are discharged.”

According to the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation, $290 billion is wasted annually on the improper use of medication, says John Norton, director of public relations for the National Community Pharmacists Association.

“If we spent less time dealing with administrative hurdles erected by pharmacy benefit managers and more time practicing our craft in this way the results would be readily apparent.”