Research snapshot: At-home medication therapy management services beneficial for some patients

Managing medications can be difficult. An aging population with a variety of health challenges brings the need for more at-home care options, especially for managing medications.

Shannon Reidt, Pharm.D., MPH, assistant professor in the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, and her team members found that at-home pharmacy visits can help people better manage their medications.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, evaluated the effective design and implementation of home-based medication therapy management services in a health system.

“We took a look at which clinics had the most home-based medication therapy management referrals, and reasons for referral, to understand how home-based medication therapy management services were meeting the needs of our health system patients,” Reidt said.

Bringing a pharmacist to a patient’s home can be more convenient for the patient and allow the pharmacist to get a real-life, comprehensive picture of how a patient is using medications.

“Home-based medication therapy management services offer a patient-centered approach to ensure that medications are indicated, effective, safe, and convenient for patients to use,” Reidt said. “By evaluating medication use in a patient’s home, a pharmacist can better understand how medications are helping or harming a patient’s quality of life.”

Reidt found that the most common referral for an at-home medication therapy management session was non-adherence to medications. Other reasons included transportation barriers and the need for medication reconciliation with a home care nurse.

“Most often, patients didn’t understand how to take their medications or preferred not to use them,” Reidt said.

According to Reidt, 54 percent of patients followed-up with their primary care provider to address the medication-related within thirty days of the home-based visit.

“It was important to us to understand how home-based medication therapy management services were being used and what types of medication-related problems our patients were experiencing,” Reidt said.

Reidt is hoping to use the information from this study to lobby for more insurance plans to cover home-based medication therapy management services, promote home-based medication therapy management services to providers and ensure patients with the greatest need get the services.

“Though beneficial, home-based medication therapy management services can be resource intensive,” Reidt said. “This study gives us some direction on what patient populations may be targeted to most benefit from these services.”

https://twin-cities.umn.edu/node/263451
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
06/27/2018