Pilot program expands in 2016
BLOOMINGTON, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A pilot program that provides home visits from a pharmacist reduced the
number of preventable hospital readmissions for frail elderly patients,
according to a new report from HealthPartners. Started as a pilot in
2014, the medication therapy management (MTM) home visit program focuses
on patients with serious, chronic illnesses, who take multiple
medications and are unable to leave their homes.
Patients who choose to participate in the program are visited by a
clinical pharmacist within a week after leaving Regions Hospital. During
the visit, the pharmacist reviews medications, helps the patient
understand how to take medications as prescribed and evaluates whether
there are any safety risks in the home. There is no charge to patients
for the visits.
The most common medication problems identified by the visits include:
- Medication is no longer needed or a new medication is needed
- Medication is not being taken as prescribed
- A dose is too high
Among patients who received a home visit in the
first year, 6 percent were readmitted to Regions Hospital within 30-days
after a hospital stay. That is less than half of the readmission rate
(16 percent) among patients who did not to receive the MTM home visits.
“This pilot program shows that pharmacists are an important part of the
care team in supporting patients with chronic illnesses which can also
help patients avoid an unnecessary hospital visit,” said Rick Bruzek,
PharmD, HealthPartners vice president of pharmacy services.
In 2016, HealthPartners is expanding this program by partnering with
Ramsey County paramedics to provide MTM home visits to patients with
heart failure. Read
HealthPartners is the largest
consumer-governed, non-profit health care organization in the nation
with a mission to improve health and well-being in partnership with
members, patients and the community. For more information, visit healthpartners.com.
Patricia Lund, 952-883-5487