With the upcoming 2024 changes to DIR fees, reviewing and improving medication adherence rates today may offer some relief to the retroactive DIR collections for 2023. Medication adherence refers to the extent to which a patient takes their medication as prescribed by their healthcare provider. Medication non-adherence is a common problem for patients, which can lead to adverse health outcomes, including increased healthcare costs, hospitalizations, and even death.
Independent pharmacies play an essential role in their community by working to improve medication adherence for their patients. Unfortunately, medication adherence is not a one-size-fits-all solution for every patient. Below is a list of several medication adherence options your pharmacy can implement to help patients stick to their medication regimen, reduce overall healthcare costs, and keep your community healthy:
Pill organizers: Pill organizers are a simple and cost-effective way to help patients keep track of their medications. These organizers can be sold in pharmacy and typically have separate compartments for each day of the week, with some organizers containing additional sections for different times of the day.
Automatic refills: Automatic refills can be set up so that a patient’s maintenance medications are automatically refilled when they run out without the patient needing to take any action. Some states may have additional regulations regarding patient consent to refill programs or billing automatically for Medicaid beneficiaries. Please reach out to your respective state’s Board of Pharmacy if you are uncertain of your state’s current laws.
Medication synchronization: Medication synchronization involves aligning all a patient’s prescription refills to occur on the same day each month. This can make it easier for patients to manage their medications and remember when to take them. Partnering with companies like Medicine-on-Time® that provide pharmacies with med-sync solutions has been clinically proven to increase PDC scores by 30% in poor-performing patients. Certain states have enacted recent legislation to support medication synchronization.
Medication reminders: Medication reminders can take the form of phone calls, text messages, or alerts from a mobile app. These reminders can be set up to remind patients when it’s time to take or refill their medications and can be customized to the patient’s preferences.
Medication packaging solutions: Medication packaging can include blister packs, pre-filled syringes, and other specialized packaging to help patients manage their medications more easily. Medicine-on-Time can provide your pharmacy with customized pack solutions for your patients, from weekly layouts to color-coded single-dose. If interested, be sure to schedule a meeting on our exclusive collaboration page with Medicine-On-Time, as they offer Pharmacy First members exclusive deals and/or samples.
Performance Management Tools: Performance Management tools provide pharmacies with performance metrics that help them measure and track their performance in various areas, such as medication safety and adherence. Utilizing performance management tools like EQuIPP® can provide pharmacies with actionable data that can be used to develop quality improvement initiatives – helping improve patient outcomes, increase workflow efficiency, and enhance the overall quality of care.
Medication therapy management (MTM): MTM involves a pharmacist working with a patient to optimize their medication regimen. Pharmacies can review all the patient’s medications to ensure they are safe and effective, identify potential drug interactions or side effects, and develop a plan for medication management. Utilizing platforms like OutcomesMTM™ can help streamline workflow, maximize clinical opportunities, and provide access to revenue streams while communicating effectively with your patients.
Overall, offering various medication adherence options can help pharmacies improve patient outcomes and increase patient satisfaction with their care. If you have questions, Pharmacy First can be your trusted resource to partner with to improve patient adherence. Contact us here