Tips for getting patients involved with MTM

July 1, 2013

In addition to boosting patient health outcomes, medication therapy management (MTM) is vital to a pharmacy’s bottom line, according to various speakers participating in the recent Pharmacy Quality Alliance’s webinar “Boosting MTM Program Compliance.”

In addition to boosting patient health outcomes, medication therapy management (MTM)  is vital to a pharmacy’s bottom line, according to various speakers participating in the recent Pharmacy Quality Alliance’s webinar “Boosting MTM Program Compliance.”

A third of Medicare Part D’s Star ratings quality measures can be impacted by MTM and around 60% of Accountable Care Organizations’quality measures are impacted by MTM, according to Jessica Frank, PharmD, vice president of OutcomesMTM.

While there are numerous benefits to offering MTM, it can be a challenge getting patients involved in a Comprehensive Medication Review (CMR). “Some patients say that their physician already takes care of it. There is also some fear that this is being done without the physician’s knowledge,” said Kim Swiger, vice president of clinical product marketing for Mirixa. To assuage patients’ fears, “let them know that any important information will be communicated with their physician,” Swiger said.

So how do you get patients involved? Swiger provided several tips for pharmacists to reach out to patients whose health plans cover MTM counseling, including letting patients know that a pharmacist will be calling them to set up a time for a CMR – preferably face-to-face. “When you are face-to-face, you can see facial expressions and gauge whether the patient understands that the CMR is about,” Swiger said.

She also suggested calling unresponsive patients at various times of the day. For patients who say they are too busy to talk, let them know that, “we would be happy to do this at a time that is more convenient for you,” Swiger said. Give them a few different time options when the pharmacist or pharmacy staff is available, and patients can pick the best time.

Using simple language to describe CMR also helps. “Explain that it is very different than what they do when they are just picking up their medication,” Swiger said.

Swiger said pharmacists should stress that the program is complimentary, and should delete some of the contact work to others. “Pharmacy techs and other support staff can place reminder calls [for patients’ CMR appointments], and they can re-schedule CMR visits or calls when needed. Plus, pharmacy techs can explain the benefits of the program, especially if they already have relationships with certain patients,” Swiger said.