Archive for the ‘Prescription Drugs’ Category

Infographic: A Digital Prescription for Medication Adherence

December 26th, 2016 by Melanie Matthews

A Digital Prescription for Medication AdherenceMedication adherence is a $337 billion problem in the U.S. healthcare industry. Patients failing to take their prescriptions or follow treatment plans result in more than $100 billion every year in hospitalizations alone, and healthcare spending on noncompliant patients is nearly double the cost of abiding patients, according to a new infographic by epam.

The infographic examines how telehealth can be used to improve medication adherence.

2016 Healthcare Benchmarks: Medication ManagementMedication management is the standard of care that ensures each patient’s medications (whether prescription, nonprescription, alternative, etc.) are individually assessed for appropriateness, effectiveness, safety given the individual's comorbidities, other medications and ability to be taken as intended, according to a 2012 Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative definition. And while medications represent only a fraction of overall medical cost, they wield considerable influence over patients' chronic condition outcomes, utilization, cost and care experiences.

2016 Healthcare Benchmarks: Medication Management compiles actionable data on the infrastructure, challenges and outcomes of medication management initiatives, based on responses from 101 healthcare organizations to the August 2016 Medication Management survey by the Healthcare Intelligence Network. Click here for more information.

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Engage a Pharmacist and 12 More Prescriptions for Medication Management

October 20th, 2016 by Patricia Donovan

Half of medication management programs engage retail or community pharmacists in 2016.

When should a pharmacist be brought in for a medication management consultation?

When the patient requests a consult, experiences general medication adherence issues, or suffers complications from medications, say respondents to the 2016 Medication Management survey by the Healthcare Intelligence Network.

The 101 respondents to the August 2016 survey also indicated that as a general medication management guideline, and with or without a pharmacist's involvement, polypharmacy patients, individuals taking high-risk medications, those registering frequent ER or inpatient stays and those transitioning between care sites should receive priority.

Drilling down to clinical red flags for medication management, a diagnosis of diabetes is a key indicator, say 84 percent, followed by congestive heart failure or hypertension, say 81 percent of respondents.

Despite the inclusion of pharmacists in 90 percent of medication management programs, 42 percent of respondents say pharmacists are not currently reimbursed for medication management-related tasks.

Other medication management metrics documented by the survey include the following:

  • The three most common components of medication management programs are education and health coaching (71 percent), a medication needs assessment (69 percent) and pharmacist counseling (68 percent).
  • A pharmacist-driven clinical assessment is the most reliable standard for measuring medication management, say 63 percent of respondents.
  • E-prescribing and aids such as medication event monitoring system (MEMS) caps, pillboxes and calendars are the most common medication management tools, according to 49 percent of participants.
  • Patient-reported medication data is the information most commonly assessed for medication management, say 78 percent, closely followed by medication refill patterns (75 percent) and claims data (53 percent).
  • Half of responding medication management programs engage a retail or community pharmacist.
  • Fifty-eight percent of respondents not currently engaged in medication management plan to launch a program in the coming year.
  • Forty-four percent of respondents share electronic health records for medication management purposes.
  • Beyond a pharmacist-driven assessment, the Medication Possession Ratio (MPR) is the key measure of medication management for 31 percent of respondents.

Click here to download an executive summary of survey results: Medication Management in 2016: Polypharmacy, Diabetes Patients Priorities for Pharmacist-Led Interventions.

Infographic: Prescription Drug Spending Trends

April 20th, 2016 by Melanie Matthews

Prescription drug spending rose sharply in 2014, driven by growth in expenditures on specialty drugs, including medications to treat cancer and hepatitis C. Medicare's spending on prescription pharmaceuticals also has risen, largely due to the addition of the Medicare prescription drug benefit in 2006: between 2004 and 2014, the program's share of U.S. drug expenditures increased from 2 percent of $193 billion to 29 percent of $298 billion.

A new infographic by Visualizing Health Policy from the Kaiser Family Foundation spotlights these and other national spending trends on prescription drugs and the public's views on pharmaceutical prices.

What's the cost of medication non-adherence? As high as $290 billion annually, according to one frequently cited estimate. An equally bitter pill to swallow is the dismal C+ grade in medication adherence earned in 2013 by Americans with chronic medical conditions, according to the first National Report Card on Adherence from the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA).

Fortunately, the healthcare industry is striving to improve performance in this area. 42 Metrics for Improving Medication Adherence: Interventions, Impacts and Technologies provides convincing evidence of the impact of nine key interventions on medication non-adherence—from the presence of pharmacists in patient-centered medical homes to medication reconciliation conducted during home visits.

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Novant Health Pharmacists Dispense Healthcare Value in the Discharge Space

February 25th, 2016 by Patricia Donovan

Novant Health's team of 12 clinical pharmacists supports medication management across the care continuum.

It's a statistic healthcare organizations know well: 20 percent of Medicare beneficiaries are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days.

Factor adverse drug events (ADEs) into this trend, and the picture becomes more dire.

Enlisting pharmacists to reduce the number of ADEs in the Medicare population is just one goal in a five-point program by Novant Health to deliver healthcare value through medication management services.

"We've focused on adverse drug events because we feel they are an opportunity," explained Rebecca Bean, Novant Health's director of population health pharmacy. "Many ADEs are potentially preventable, and we know they are a contributor to hospitalizations. We believe pharmacists have a role in reducing risk for ADEs."

The list of ADE risks is extensive. By the end of Ms. Bean's February 2016 presentation on Medication Management: Using Clinical Pharmacists To Complete Comprehensive Drug Therapy Management Post Discharge in High-Risk Patients, now available for replay, she had identified more than 25 different factors that can complicate medication management— everything from a patient's affordability issues, even among the insured, to fear of a drug's side effects to potential dangers from high-risk medications or health conditions.

In the Novant Health model, an RN care coordinator risk-stratifies the newly discharged, combing real-time hospital discharge notifications for red flags, such as patients taking high-risk medications or having high-risk conditions, signaling the need for a pharmacist referral.

Once referred, pharmacists conduct a comprehensive drug therapy review, keeping an eye out for adverse effects, newly prescribed medications and polypharmacy as well as general medication adherence issues.

"There could be financial barriers to getting their medications. There could be health literacy issues. Those are the sorts of things we want to make sure we're directing pharmacist resources toward," noted Ms. Bean.

Aware its providers have limited time to spend with patients, the integrated health system layers its pharmacists as an additional resource to improve quality performance, to incorporate protocols and evidence-based guidelines such as the all-important medication reconciliation. In an era of electronic health record use, the medication list has become dynamic, with many providers editing the list, Ms. Bean notes.

"We're also utilizing our pharmacy team both on the inpatient and outpatient sides to gather that best possible medication history, and then teach other clinical team members how to best reconcile medications."

Ms. Bean shared seven ways Novant Health pharmacists impact comprehensive medication management services, including the dozen benefits of incorporating these clinicians into its patient-centered medical homes (PCMH).

Encouraged by early financial gains from pharmacist interventions, particularly in the areas of medication reconciliation, therapeutic monitoring and warfarin review, Novant Health is committed to staff development to further its medication management program, exploring certification programs and even pharmacy resident programs.

"We feel it's really valuable in the discharge space to be able to get a pharmacist involved with taking care of patients," Ms. Bean concluded.

Listen to an interview with Rebecca Bean in which she offers ideas to improve the accuracy of medication lists.

Infographic: mHealth Improves Medication Adherence, Lowers Costs

November 16th, 2015 by Melanie Matthews

Fifty percent of medications are not taken as prescribed, according to a new infographic by MediSafe.

The infographic also looks at the impact of three chronic conditions on the U.S. healthcare system and results from an IMS study on how MediSafe's medication management platform increased medication adherence.

mHealth Improves Medication Adherence, Lowers Costs

What's the cost of medication non-adherence? As high as $290 billion annually, according to one frequently cited estimate. An equally bitter pill to swallow is the dismal C+ grade in medication adherence earned in 2013 by Americans with chronic medical conditions, according to the first National Report Card on Adherence from the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA).

Fortunately, the healthcare industry is striving to improve performance in this area. 42 Metrics for Improving Medication Adherence: Interventions, Impacts and Technologies provides convincing evidence of the impact of nine key interventions on medication non-adherence—from the presence of pharmacists in patient-centered medical homes to medication reconciliation conducted during home visits.

Get the latest healthcare infographics delivered to your e-inbox with Eye on Infographics, a bi-weekly, e-newsletter digest of visual healthcare data. Click here to sign up today.

Have an infographic you'd like featured on our site? Click here for submission guidelines.

Infographic: 2 Key Features of the 2016 Federal Marketplace Drug Coverage

November 11th, 2015 by Melanie Matthews

Americans fill more than 12 prescriptions per year, per person, according to a new infographic by April L.J. Seifert, Ph.D.

The infographic looks at the types of prescription drug coverage available through the federal marketplace for 2016 and factors that consumers should consider when selecting health insurance coverage.

2 Key Features of the 2016 Federal Marketplace Drug Coverage

Innovative Plan-Provider Ventures: Case Studies From Anthem and Aetna provides the details of two case studies of plans and providers that are collaborating on value-based care models:

  • Vivity, a collaboration between seven prestigious California health systems and Anthem Blue Cross of California, promises to improve quality and share cost savings among the participating entities.

  • Innovation Health, the northern Virginia health plan owned 50-50 by Aetna Inc. and Inova Health System, represents a great example of an "alignment" structure, with the new health plan allowing the provider and carrier to tap into each other's expertise to lower costs, grow market share and move to value-based payment.

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Infographic: Medication Adherence

June 29th, 2015 by Melanie Matthews

Seventy-five percent of physician visits involve drug therapy, according to a new infographic by Anthem.

The infographic also looks at the percent of Americans taking prescription medications, the public health cost of medication non-adherence and how to improve adherence.

42 Metrics for Improving Medication Adherence: Interventions, Impacts and Technologies What's the cost of medication non-adherence? As high as $290 billion annually, according to one frequently cited estimate. An equally bitter pill to swallow is the dismal C+ grade in medication adherence earned in 2013 by Americans with chronic medical conditions, according to the first National Report Card on Adherence from the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA).

Fortunately, the healthcare industry is striving to improve performance in this area. 42 Metrics for Improving Medication Adherence: Interventions, Impacts and Technologies provides convincing evidence of the impact of nine key interventions on medication non-adherence—from the presence of pharmacists in patient-centered medical homes to medication reconciliation conducted during home visits.

Get the latest healthcare infographics delivered to your e-inbox with Eye on Infographics, a bi-weekly, e-newsletter digest of visual healthcare data. Click here to sign up today.

Have an infographic you'd like featured on our site? Click here for submission guidelines.

Nurse Practitioners Slowly Gain More Access to Patients; Could Relieve Anticipated Physician Shortage

June 5th, 2014 by Cheryl Miller

Patients are slowly gaining access to care provided by advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) as a number of states have taken steps to loosen restrictions on highly educated nurse practitioners (NPs).

Minnesota became the 19th state, plus the District of Columbia, tooffer patients full and direct access to NP service. According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), it is an important step that improves access to care and more effectively uses NPs to meet the state's growing healthcare needs. Officials state the following in a press release:

This comes at a time when the changing demographics of health care, especially primary care, necessitates that states make full use of the nurse practitioner workforce. The nursing community is committed to addressing these challenges in future sessions to ensure that patients have a choice of health provider and receive full access to the health services they need.

Maryland was one of the first states to loosen existing restrictions, according to a story from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). In 2010 the state replaced its requirement for lengthy collaborative agreements between NPs and physicians with less cumbersome “attestation statements” that identify a physician who is willing to collaborate when clinically necessary but do not require physician signatures.

The law eliminated situations where patients were left without care if their physician died, retired, or left the state. NPs can now open practices and serve larger patient populations. This has helped with the primary care shortage in Maryland.

And the shortage is not limited to Maryland. As the Healthcare Intelligence Network reported in a previous news story in 2013, the RAND Corporation predicted that as more Americans seek health services once newly insured under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), physician shortages could worsen, and reach as high as 45,000 by 2025.

And the recent Veterans Affairs problem that is making headlines around the world has been attributed to a shortage of primary care physicians (PCPs), as documented here in the New York Times.

Expanding the role of nurse practitioners and physician assistants could help eliminate the anticipated shortage of PCPs over the next decade, the RAND report suggested.

Other states that have taken steps to ease NP restrictions in recent years include the following:

  • In Utah, state Medicaid officials agreed to recognize and reimburse NPs for primary care services for beneficiaries.
  • Oregon’s governor signed a law that allows NPs and clinical nurse specialists to dispense prescription drugs.
  • In Iowa, the state Supreme Court ruled that NPs can supervise fluoroscopy, a high-tech X-ray, without physician supervision.
  • In 2011, North Dakota scrapped a requirement that NPs work in collaboration with physicians.

But these changes are not without their controversy. Some feel that it goes too far, that the supervision of a physician should be maintained. According to this editorial in the Times-Herald Record, "though well intentioned, such proposals underestimate the clinical importance of physicians' expertise and overestimate the cost-effectiveness of nurse practitioners."

Other areas of healthcare pose the same challenge. In Minnesota, a state law allows dental therapists to work under the supervision of dentists and perform many of the tasks they do, something that has been opposed nationally and in most other states.

But the field of NPs is also changing. First created in 1965 to meet the growing demand for basic pediatric care, by 2015 all new NPs will need to be trained at the doctorate level as a Doctor of Nursing Practice, and 104 new DNP programs are in development, according to a new infographic from Maryville University Master of Science in Nursing Online.

Infographic: Primary Care Physicians Use of Digital

June 2nd, 2014 by Jackie Lyons

Forty percent of primary care physicians (PCPs) research prescription options on their smartphones with their patients in the exam room, according to a new infographic from the Digital Insights Group.

This infographic also highlights the use of digital, mobile, apps and clinical resources online by U.S. PCPs.

Individually, mHealth devices, applications, and systems enhance the communication capabilities of patients, providers, payors, and other participants in the global healthcare ecosystem. mHealth: Global Opportunities and Challenges provides a practical guide for these individuals and organizations making plans for the future.

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Infographic: Medicated to Death

May 16th, 2014 by Jackie Lyons

Approximately one in five Americans take five or more prescriptions, which can lead to risks such as addiction or drug-resistant infections, according to a new infographic from Top RN to BSN.

This infographic details the statistics behind the use of medication in the United States, as well as the causes and risks of overmedication.

Want to know more about medication and prescription drugs trends? 2013 Healthcare Benchmarks: Improving Medication Adherence provides actionable information from more than 100 healthcare organizations on efforts to improve medication adherence and compliance in their populations.

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