ACOs’ Medication Readiness Falling Short of Quality, Cost Goals

Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) have not yet developed the capabilities to leverage optimal medication use to achieve quality care and reduce overall costs, according to a study by researchers from the National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC), the American Medical Group Association (AMGA) and Premier, Inc. and appearing in the Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy.

Researchers developed an assessment tool, using the National Survey of Accountable Care Organizations as a basis, and received survey responses from 46 ACOs representing a variety of physicians, hospitals, providers and health plans. Respondents reported high readiness in some areas, among them, the abilities to do the following:

  • Transmit prescriptions electronically (70 percent have high readiness in this area);
  • Integrate medical and pharmacy data into a single database (54 percent)
  • Offer formularies that encourage generic use when appropriate (50 percent)

However, survey responses show ACOs are just beginning to address several key capabilities, including the ability to:

  • Notify a physician when a prescription has been filled (9 percent)
  • Have protocols in place to avoid medication duplication and polypharmacy (17 percent)
  • Have quality metrics in place for a broad diversity of conditions (22 percent)
  • Quantify the cost offsets of medication use and demonstrate the value of appropriate medication use (7 percent have high readiness in this area).

Just as physicians need to consider when medications are appropriate for individual patients, ACOs are under the same imperative to put processes into place that will allow them to use medications to maximize the benefit for all of their patients, the study notes.

Source: GW Public Health (NIH), January 14, 2014

Accountable Care Reimbursement Models: Moving from Productivity to Population-Based Incentives, a 45-minute webinar on January 29, 2014, at 1:30 pm Eastern

Accountable Care Reimbursement Models: Moving from Productivity to Population-Based Incentives, a 45-minute webinar on January 29, 2014, at 1:30 pm Eastern provides advice from Cynthia Kilroy, senior vice president of provider strategy and business development at Optum, as she explores the key structure, issues and challenges in these evolving reimbursement models.

This entry was posted in Accountable Care Organizations, electronic health records (EHRs), Healthcare Costs, Medication Adherence, Prescription Drugs, Reducing Healthcare Costs and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
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