October 18, 2023

How Independent Pharmacies Can Leverage Medication Therapy Management

How Independent Pharmacies Can Leverage Medication Therapy Management

As healthcare continues to become more patient-centered, independent pharmacies have a unique opportunity to shine. One area where independent pharmacies can make a significant impact is through Medication Therapy Management (MTM). Over the past 17 years, MTM services have come a long way, and pharmacists have been at the forefront of this movement. Not only are pharmacists widely embracing MTM services, but many private and public sector payers are also recognizing its value and joining in this transformative journey, including state Medicaid programs. It's a win-win situation for everyone involved, no doubt about it.

According to a survey released at the 2017 National Community Pharmacists Association annual meeting, 83% of community pharmacies now offer MTM, and the number is likely to continue to grow. “We’ll see independent pharmacies leading the way in offering the services and care patients need to stay adherent to their medications and remain healthy,” said Steve Lawrence, Senior Vice President of Retail Independent Sales at Cardinal Health.

The ROI of MTM Services

It’s incredible to see just how much of an impact MTM services can have on healthcare. Let’s examine a real-life case study by Cardinal Health to better understand how MTM is transforming the equation:

Meet a 54-year-old gentleman—a smoker with diabetes, taking 12 different medications. When he underwent an MTM checkup, four key issues affecting his health journey were identified, ranging from medication adherence challenges to the absence of ACE-I therapy. The focus wasn't solely on optimizing medication use but also on his overall well-being. With the dedicated pharmacist's intervention, adjustments were made to three of his medications, and the patient received personalized support to improve his adherence.

The result? Enhanced outcomes for this patient and a whopping net savings of $9,567.

And that's just one of the many examples of the incredible results of MTM. Studies and analyses have consistently shown the significant benefits of MTM services in cost savings and improving patient health outcomes. But, it's not just patients who benefit. Healthcare providers also benefit from increased patient satisfaction and loyalty, leading to improved patient retention rates and increased revenue for their practice. 

Key findings:

  • Out of 283 patients (receiving advanced care team services with MTM) and 566 patients (receiving advanced care team services without MTM) over a six-month period, patients who received MTM experienced a staggering $4,215 reduction in the average total cost of care per patient compared to their counterparts, according to an analysis by Catalyst Health.
  • A recent study by BMC Geriatrics showed that MTM services improved 81.0% of non-adherence and 72.2% of adverse drug reactions, leading to better disease management and improved quality of life.  

  • A study conducted by the Community Pharmacy Foundation demonstrated that integrating MTM services into community pharmacy practices can lead to financial gains, with two pharmacies in North Carolina achieving a total net profit of over $2,000 in just three months after implementing MTM services.

  • In a study of the MTM program with 186 patients under Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Minnesota, healthcare costs per person dropped by 31.5%, from $11,965 to $8,197. The total cost of the MTM services was an estimated $49,490, but total healthcare expenditures for all patients were reduced by 31.5%, from $2,225,540 to $1,524,703.  The return on investment was $12.15 per $1.00 of MTM services provided.

This supports the notion that MTM has indeed become an integral part of what pharmacists offer to patients and the entire healthcare system. By adopting MTM services, independent pharmacies can unlock a host of benefits that not only enhance patient outcomes but also yield positive financial revenue for pharmacies.

MTM Services: Best Practices for Success

It is essential to understand that successful MTM services take a practice-based approach. So, how can independent pharmacies make the most out of MTM services? Well, here are some practical tips utilized by independent pharmacies currently using MTMs successfully:

  • Educate patients: Patients are unlikely to participate in MTM services if they don’t know they exist. So, make the most out of your every interaction with patients, especially when they're picking up medication. Use that as an opportunity to offer MTM services either at that time or at another point in the future. Some pharmacies even go the extra mile by offering incentives to encourage patients to schedule an MTM session—or provide services over the phone if the patient can’t make it in person. 

  • Engage your staff: Get everyone involved - from pharmacists to technicians to cashiers. Every team member can contribute in their own way. For instance, you can assign non-pharmacy staff to monitor the MTM portal, while pharmacy students can assist with checking medication history and preparing for MTM sessions. That way, you will have more free time to work one-on-one with patients.

  • Continuous training: Train your entire staff on your chosen MTM and the services you’re going to offer to your customers. Know the best practices, and keep them handy. By providing continuous training, you can ensure that you and your staff are up-to-date with the latest advancements in medication management. 

  • Use the right technology: Embrace innovative MTM software solutions that streamline the entire process, enabling you to focus on patient care rather than administrative tasks. Not only does this reduce paperwork but it also boosts your pharmacy efficiency and enhances the quality of care you provide to your patients.

Overcoming Challenges with Signetic

While the implementation of MTM services can bring numerous benefits, it is not without challenges. Independent pharmacies may face barriers such as reimbursement issues, limited resources, and lack of streamlined workflow. These challenges can seem daunting, but with the right support, pharmacies can overcome these hurdles and fully capitalize on the benefits of MTM. By partnering with Signetic, independent pharmacies can tap into our expertise and resources to optimize their MTM programs and build more meaningful relationships with their patients. 

Here's how Signetic can help:

  • Streamlining workflow: Signetic simplifies the entire aspect of MTM, from scheduling appointments and delivering care to reporting and reimbursement, making it easier for pharmacy managers to establish and oversee the service, pharmacists to administer and document it, and patients to register, receive, and follow up on their medication therapy service. 

  • Enhancing patient communication: Effective communication is key to successful MTM services. Our system offers tools for secure messaging and patient engagement, allowing you to communicate directly with patients, address their concerns, and provide personalized medication information, leading to increased patient satisfaction and adherence to medication regimens.

  • Taking the guesswork out of reimbursement: Our platform simplifies the documentation and workflow and automates billing, taking the guesswork out of the process. For payers that cover MTM services for their subscribers, Signetic makes it easy for pharmacies to collect patient insurance information and automatically create a claim.

    And if you're a Signetic Pro subscriber, we'll even send the claim to the payer and follow through with Revenue Cycle Management to ensure you get reimbursed for your service. No more headaches, no more hassle - just seamless reimbursement and peace of mind! 

  • Expert guidance and support: Our team of experts will work with you every step of the way, from contract negotiations to credentialing, ensuring that you have the necessary qualifications to offer MTM services effectively.

    And if you're feeling overwhelmed by the certification requirements, don't worry - we've got your back. Our team will provide the guidance and support you need to run MTM seamlessly as a service, so you can focus on what you do best: delivering exceptional patient care.

By leveraging the features and capabilities of Signetic, independent pharmacies can provide efficient, effective, and patient-centered care while demonstrating the value of MTM in improving health outcomes.

Ready to take the first step towards implementing MTM services at your pharmacy? Schedule a call with us today and we’ll guide you through the step-by-step process to optimize your practice and boost your revenue.

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