Author Archive: Theresa Ware

The MedCompass Approach: Comprehensive Care Management

Care management typically involves a team-based, patient-centered approach to healthcare assisting patients with managing medical conditions. Here is an example of two approaches to the simple care management task of a woman named Sarah for a Breast Cancer Screen.

MedCompass Comprehensive Care Management comparison chart.

In the scenario above, Naomi uses MedCompass to take a truly patient centric approach to Care Management to improve care delivery. Current platforms only allow for narrow task and metric oriented care management practices to fulfill their bare minimum requirements. MedCompass presents all the critical information related to standards of care, a patient’s individual health conditions and risks, and relevant social determinants of health. During a single phone visit, Naomi not only completed her task to schedule Sarah for a Breast Cancer Screen, but also identified critical gaps in care that effectively prevented negative health outcomes. Naomi focused on what was most beneficial for Sarah’s health, while saving time and money for all stakeholders involved. Hence, this holistic view of a member on the MedCompass platform holds unparalleled value.

Does Your Zip Code Affect Your Health?


Healthy habits lead to a healthy life, but how is our life affected by factors outside of our control? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “your zip code can be more important than your genetic code.”1 In Philadelphia, two babies born just 5 miles apart face up to a 20-year difference in life expectancy.2 We don’t control where we are born but, as a community, we can counteract and prevent known healthcare inequities based on circumstances. An individual’s health is affected by several factors beyond the clinical measures, including neighborhood and built area, economic stability, education, and social and community context.3 Together these factors make up Social Determinants of Health: the conditions in which we grow, learn, work, and play.

Take Tracy for example. Tracy is a 34-year-old woman from rural Kentucky. She is a high school dropout working at the diner walking distance from her home. She has not seen her primary care physician for over 3 years and is morbidly obese. Living in a food desert, with no nutritional, fresh, and healthy food, and without access to her primary care physician, how can Tracy successfully manage her obesity and other risk factors? Clinical care affects only 20% of health1 according to the CDC. Limited or no access to a grocery store, stable housing, education, a safe place to exercise, air quality, etc. play an active role in a person’s health.

As in the case for Tracy, timely notification to a care team member can guide her to food pantries that are covered under her insurance. She can get healthy and wholesome food delivered to her, allowing her to get her health back on track. Proper utilization of analytics can alert a physician to a patient’s Social Determinants of Health to address these issues. For those babies in Philadelphia, a simple alert to the pediatrician would make sure that the child from the underserved neighborhood gets extra care to make sure he does not fall behind, physically, mentally, or socially compared to his peers. Educational data about an underserved population may help providers with a more effective strategy to reach their patients. A patient with no high school education may not be able to read the pamphlets given by their doctor, instead the patient would benefit much greater from a conversation.

Tracking Social Determinants of Health and analyzing subsets of the population help identify those at higher risk for chronic conditions. Using state-of-the-art clinical assessments, the providers can mitigate these health risks and reduce the costs for these patients, leading to a healthier population and health system. Opportunities for better health begin with our homes, neighborhoods, jobs, and schools, and the ability to pursue a better health outcome. An all-inclusive health strategy – focused on social, economic, environmental, clinical and preventative measures – allows people to shift their focus from regaining health to maintaining it.

  1. Invest in Your Community [PDF file]. (2015 March). Retrieved from (https://www.cdc.gov/chinav/docs/chi_nav_infographic.pdf
  2. Mapping Life Expectancy: Philadelphia. (2016, April 6). Retrieved from https://societyhealth.vcu.edu/work/the-projects/mapsphiladelphia.html
  3. Social Determinants of Health. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/social-determinants-of-health

AssureCare® Develops New Medication Therapy Management Module, Part 3

2018 January Newsletter: AssureCare develops new MTM module, part 3

Currently, Medication Therapy Management (MTM) is practiced inconsistently throughout the pharmacy world. There are some retail pharmacies that have haphazardly incorporated MTM services, while others have created call centers devoted to conducting Comprehensive Medication Reviews (CMRs) over the phone. MTM services are a very manual, high energy, low return experience for most practitioners. Pharmacists often do not pursue available opportunities because of lack of incentive as compared to the redundant paperwork that is required. A smart system, taking into account all of the MTM criteria for comprehensive as well as targeted medication reviews would not only greatly expedite the process for pharmacists, but increase the monetary returns as well. “Our intent is to build a world class product that will scale from large retail pharmacies to family owned community pharmacies,” said Dr. Yousuf J. Ahmad, President & CEO of AssureCare.

The chances for medication mismanagement are high for patients with multiple chronic conditions taking multiple medications. Often members of the care team will be unaware of what the other providers are prescribing – causing potential life-threatening drug interactions. In the USA, patients over the age of 65, on average, see 13 different practitioners, have 8 comorbidities, and take 15 medications.(1) Proper implementation of a robust MTM system would lead to fewer complications and readmissions, saving time and money for the patients, practitioners, and payers.

  1. Linda M. Strand; Peter C. Morley; Robert J. Cipolle. (2012) Pharmaceutical Care Practice: The Patient-Centered Approach to Medication Management Services. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc

AssureCare® Develops New Medication Therapy Management Module, Part 2

2017 December Newsletter: AssureCare develops new MTM module, part 2.

Proper implementation of MTM is a win-win-win for members, providers, and payers. Medication mismanagement can be fatal for the members. The American College of Prevention Medicine reported that poor medication adherence takes the lives of an estimated 125,000 Americans annually.(1) MTM services help members take a more active role in managing their comorbid chronic conditions. Providers also benefit by saving crucial time and resources currently spent on addressing recurrent clinical problems. As the healthcare reimbursement model shifts from a strictly service-based model to a more outcome-based model, providers find MTM services very pertinent. The payer’s advantage to MTM is straight forward. By preventing complications and drastically reducing readmissions, the cost is significantly reduced. “AssureCare’s® MedCompass® product already captures salient clinical and demographic information needed for care coordination making MTM a perfect evolution of our product. We also see a huge opportunity in expanding our MTM solution for a complete, end-to-end, pharmacy solution,” commented Dr. Yousuf J. Ahmad, President & CEO of AssureCare®.

  1. Medication Adherence Clinical Reference. Retrieved from https://www.acpm.org/?MedAdherTT_ClinRef

AssureCare® Develops New Medication Therapy Management Module, Part 1

2017 November Newsletter: AssureCare develops new MTM module, part 1.

“Medication Therapy Management (MTM) is a patient-centric and comprehensive approach to improve medication use, reduce the risk of adverse events, and improve medication adherence.”2 Pharmacists and other providers review a patient’s complete medication history including prescription, nonprescription, traditional, alternative, nutritional supplements, and vitamins. This information is then used to improve compliance and adherence to chronic medications, review side effects and drug interactions, address potential issues to the providers, and educate the patients. Medication mismanagement and medication-related problems lead to an estimated, “1.5 million preventable adverse events occur[ing] each year that result in $177 billion in injury and death.”1 MTM services are targeted to lower these alarmingly high rates and improve patient outcomes. “In all my healthcare experience I have found that pharmacists are the most underutilized healthcare professionals in America given the depth and breadth of their training. Our solution will allow pharmacists to spend more quality time with their patients in optimizing their medication therapy.” said Dr. Yousuf J. Ahmad, President & CEO of AssureCare®.

 

  1. APhA MTM Central. (2013, October 13). Retrieved from https://www.pharmacist.com/mtm
  2. Health Literacy Tools for Providers of Medication Therapy Management. Content last reviewed July 2017. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. Retrieved from https://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/quality-patient-safety/pharmhealthlit/mtm.html