NDSU researchers receive grant to evaluate impact of medication management on health outcomes
David Scott and Daniel Friesner, both professors of pharmacy practice at North Dakota State University, received a grant from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation. The purpose of the grant is to evaluate how medication management services provided by pharmacists impact health outcomes, patient satisfaction and cost in a patient-centered medical home.
Research partners include Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, Thrifty White Pharmacy, Outcomes MTM TM in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Prime Therapeutics in St. Paul, Minn. The project will help further explore the medical home model being used to deliver health care for North Dakotans.
MediQHome is Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota’s patient-centered medical home. It is a nationally-recognized program that focuses on managing and preventing nine chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, that account for much of the nation’s rising health care costs. Through the program, the patient selects a primary care doctor who keeps track of the patient’s health information and collaborates with other health professionals through MediQHome’s technology tool. More than 70 percent of North Dakota’s physicians participate in the program. The research project will analyze the impact of integrating medication management services into MediQHome, with the goal of improving the exchange of information among members of the health care team working with patients.
“This research project will position North Dakota as a pioneer in the movement to better coordinate care between pharmacists and physicians,” said Scott, the study’s lead researcher. “Research shows that when pharmacists and physicians work together, better care is delivered at lower cost. We believe this project will lead to major improvements in the health and wellness of communities throughout this state.”
Prime Therapeutics supports the project with its GuidedHealth® program that combines medical and pharmaceutical information that helps doctors, patients and health plans improve outcomes and lower overall cost of care. Prime Therapeutics is a pharmacy benefits manager collectively owned by 13 Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans, subsidiaries or affiliates of those plans, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota.
Outcomes MTM has a national network of pharmacists who provide medication therapy management services. Outcomes MTM tracks prescription data and medical data to deliver specific interventions to pharmacists. The interventions focus on helping patients maximize the effectiveness of their medications, counseling patients on high-risk medications, filling gaps in care and identifying cost-saving opportunities.
Thrifty White Pharmacy, located in 21 North Dakota communities, will provide medication management services, such as educating patients about the benefits of taking all medications as directed and giving immunizations, while incorporating core elements from Outcomes MTM and Prime’s Guided Health System.
“Pharmacists are playing an increasingly vital role in the team approach to providing health care,” said Tom Christensen, manager of pharmacy management at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota. “By supporting pharmacists in providing medication therapy management services, we hope to improve our members’ health and lower overall health care costs.”