Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Managing Medications May Save Money on Prescriptions




The last time you went to the doctor, you got yet another prescription. When you arrived home you counted the number of pills you take each day and wondered why on earth you don't rattle when someone shakes you. There are so many pills that you don't even know if they are all safe to take together. No one mentioned that at the doctor's office or at the drugstore. It's sad but true; when it comes to medication information, there seems to be an enormous lack of communication on all levels of the system â€" doctors, hospitals, urgent care facilities, drug stores and health plans. Somewhere along the line, the patient's needs were left out of the process. Enter Walgreen's, with an innovative idea to make a difference in the system. This innovation has not only resulted savings for Medicare Part D consumers; it has also improved overall drug care for patients. The idea was to target at-risk seniors with high yearly costs for their multiple maintenance drugs (called polypharmacy).Generally speaking, many seniors have more than one doctor and visit more than one pharmacy to get their drugs. It's easier to go to the drug store closest to the doctor's office. The problem with this scenario is that no one is talking to one another, including the patient, who often fails to inform the doctor of their current medications. The doctors don't get the whole picture and neither do the pharmacies, due to the fact that online medical crosschecking isn't that common. Walgreen's medication management program uses a merged claims database and search engine that pulls together all medical and pharmacy claims, no matter who the provider may be. The most interesting aspect of this program is its ability to do an assessment of the therapeutic treatment prescribed for seniors. The information is analyzed based on at least 100,000 rule sets on drug data combined with over 2,500 medical claims rules. Using this information, the system is able to provide pharmacists with crucial medical information on the disease, drug interactions, treatment guidelines and anything else that may affect care. The idea is for the medication management pharmacists to deliver a personal medication record and action plan directly to these high-volume patients and their retail pharmacists. The plan makes sense when you consider that approximately 4 percent of the population is responsible for over 30 percent of drug spending in America. If this program reduces the number of yearly prescriptions taken by seniors think of the overall savings to the health care system. --The last time you went to the doctor, you got yet another prescription. When you arrived home you counted the number of pills you take each day and wondered why on earth you don't rattle when someone shakes you. There are so many pills that you don't even know if they are all safe to take together. No one mentioned that at the doctor's office or at the drugstore. It's sad but true; when it comes to medication information, there seems to be an enormous lack of communication on all levels of the system â€" doctors, hospitals, urgent care facilities, drug stores and health plans. Somewhere along the line, the patient's needs were left out of the process. Enter Walgreen's, with an innovative idea to make a difference in the system. This innovation has not only resulted savings for Medicare Part D consumers; it has also improved overall drug care for patients. The idea was to target at-risk seniors with high yearly costs for their multiple maintenance drugs (called polypharmacy).Generally speaking, many seniors have more than one doctor and visit more than one pharmacy to get their drugs. It's easier to go to the drug store closest to the doctor's office. The problem with this scenario is that no one is talking to one another, including the patient, who often fails to inform the doctor of their current medications. The doctors don't get the whole picture and neither do the pharmacies, due to the fact that online medical crosschecking isn't that common. Walgreen's medication management program uses a merged claims database and search engine that pulls together all medical and pharmacy claims, no matter who the provider may be. The most interesting aspect of this program is its ability to do an assessment of the therapeutic treatment prescribed for seniors. The information is analyzed based on at least 100,000 rule sets on drug data combined with over 2,500 medical claims rules. Using this information, the system is able to provide pharmacists with crucial medical information on the disease, drug interactions, treatment guidelines and anything else that may affect care. The idea is for the medication management pharmacists to deliver a personal medication record and action plan directly to these high-volume patients and their retail pharmacists. The plan makes sense when you consider that approximately 4 percent of the population is responsible for over 30 percent of drug spending in America. If this program reduces the number of yearly prescriptions taken by seniors think of the overall savings to the health care system. Source: http://www.articletrader.com
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