Will MTM Live Again?

Prescription-DrugsFor all its promise, MTM failed miserably as a supplemental revenue stream for pharmacies suffering under reduced Medicare payments and as a venue for a more professional direction for retail pharmacists. The “still birth,” which was largely the result of unclear and inadequate reimbursement guidelines, was more than disappointing – it left the major gap in patient care, safety, and quality – Medication Therapy Management – unaddressed.

The severity of the problem can be illustrated by my recent visit to Camp Lejeune, Marine Base in North Carolina where several marines have died from drug interactions. The few, the proud, the brave often receive prescription meds both on and off base from physicians who are not linked and do not communicate with each other in any way. Add to this the overuse of prescription drugs (often up to seven different medications at once) in treatment of combat trauma, and the failure of the naval hospital to require relinquishment of unused medications when new prescriptions are given, and you have the tragic result, dead marines.

The good news is that progress is being made. Thanks to dedicated professionals such as Linda Strand, VP of Medication Management Systems, policy and legislation are currently being crafted that will give Medication Therapy Management a second life. Check out this webinar hosted by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation to get fully up to speed on this important renaissance.

Read the tragic result of this failure at these links: