By RYAN BAKER | Pharm.D. Candidate 2012
While it is fairly easy to employ our pharmacist training and identify problems in a patient’s medication list, the challenge came when creating a viable business from this service.
Three platforms provide the majority of my MTM cases: Mirixa, Outcomes, and Cyber Access. Mirixa and Outcomes deal primarily with patients covered by Medicare Part D plans while Cyber Access allows for access to patients on Missouri Medicaid. In addition to MTM, the three platforms serve as an electronic medical record in the community setting where lab values, medical history and prescription history, all critical pieces to the MTM process, can be shared among members of the healthcare team.
To get the most benefit from an encounter, prepare the patient beforehand with any necessary documentation and reserve an appropriate amount of time to spend with them. Include services that hit on coexisting conditions such as educating on falls prevention and herpes zoster vaccination when a senior patient comes in for their comprehensive medication review. It is easier for patients to work in an MTM consult while they are already visiting the store to fill a script rather than having them make a special trip just for an interview. Tagging eligible Medicare and Medicaid patients in your store’s computer system helps pharmacy staff identify these patients so MTM can be provided on the fly for unscheduled patients.
While building MTM into your practice workflow may take time, the good news is pharmacists and student pharmacists already know how to perform a great deal of MTM. The only real extra step is documentation, and then you are eligible for reimbursement. Each practice site and patient population is different of course, so being able to think on your feet and being positive while promoting your service is essential to building your consumer base.
Turning MTM consults into a business required effort, but learning how to transition from the theoretical world of the classroom to the feasibility of the real world made it worth it. MTM creates an environment allowing pharmacists to provide a wider variety of clinical service all while strengthening the relationship with your patient and allowing them to live healthier lives. MTM is not just a meaningful way to interact with your patients, it is the ability to define your practice and show your community how far you are willing to go to provide great patient care.