I'd think the literature that's out there is enough impetus to at least get pharmacists thinking about introducing medication therapy management (MTM) to their pharmacies. But, in case it's not, the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) has partnered with Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States to provide MTM services in a pilot project to Medicare Part D consumers.
This is a big enough move that with any luck, will encourage more health plans to do the same thing, which will lead to more pharmacies offering this valuable service.
"There is a bigger realization by managed care organizations about the role of pharmacists," said Jim Owen, director of professional practice for APhA.
If this pilot program works, Kaiser Permanente will consider expanding the MTM services to other, non-Medicare Part D consumers, which is another big step that will hopefully bring about other followers.
Kaiser is treating this as a test model, to determine how it can transform the role of the community pharmacist, which is medication dispensing and counseling. "They would be adding comprehensive medication therapy review to that role," Owen said.
While there's training involved for MTM (link here to an article on training), MTM is something all pharmacies should be thinking about, if they haven't implemented it already. If not, they'll be wondering why their patients have moved on to other providers before too long.