Medication Therapy Management, or MTM, is growing in pharmacies around the country. But what is it?
1. It's one-on-one care MTM is a tool that pharmacists use to work with a patient on his or her health to ensure the best possible outcomes. The pharmacist checks in regularly with the patient; ensures he or she is taking medications as prescribed; verifies the patient is following health and wellness guidelines; and checks into any related problems such as adverse reactions to medications.
2. It bridges the gap in healthcare Through medication therapy management services, a pharmacist keeps in touch with other healthcare providers, such as the doctor (or a number of doctors), bridging the gap and keeping track of every aspect of a patient's health. According to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association: "[The] dys-organization in healthcare delivery is "particularly problematic for complex patients with several chronic conditions who take multiple medications, often provided by numerous specialists in little or no contact with one another-a recipe for pharmacological chaos."
3. It helps saves lives According to the National Pharmaceutical Council and American Hospital Association, more than 125,000 Americans die from medication mis-management every year, which is more than twice the number of people killed on our roads. And the National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL) points out that one in four Americans (about 75 million people) do not follow directions when taking prescription medicines, which leads to prolonged illnesses or even hospitalizations and deaths.
4. There are benefits for the pharmacy/drug store The benefits for patients are clear, but what about the pharmacist and pharmacy that's using medication therapy management? There are big wins there, too: - The pharmacy/pharmacist becomes a trusted healthcare partner. - MTM creates additional retail opportunities for a pharmacy or drug store, since patients will likely be visiting more frequently to see the pharmacist. - It creates new reimbursement opportunities for pharmacies.
5. MTM saves money A patient taking his or her medication correctly is a patient who's likely to be in good health sooner. - This means that using medication therapy management saves patients money because in the long run they buy less medication. - It reduces pharmacy costs because less labor is required since patients are healthier. - And it reduces the country's overall healthcare spending. According to Edith Rosato, senior vice president of pharmacy affairs for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), it can save a grand total of $290 billion per year. "So there's a fantastic opportunity to address healthcare costs through the appropriate use of medication," she points out.
6. Pharmacists are more fulfilled MTM allows pharmacists to do what they trained to do-talk with patients and advise them on their medication and health-instead of pill counting.