Medication Therapy Management (MTM): A Patient’s Perspective
In the past decade MTM services have grown immensely and many patients are now qualifying and participating in these services. Patients qualify depending on the number of medications and chronic conditions that they have. When patients receive this phone call to go over their medications, some are initially wary if this is a scam but many patients do not understand that is actually a benefit provided to them on behalf of their insurance plan to ensure there are no problems with their current medications, among other things. Although this is an optional benefit many patients find that its impact in their lives is more than they ever expected.
The benefit of participating in the MTM program is that a pharmacist will thoroughly go through all of your medications with you over the phone and will also discuss your chronic conditions with you. Patients will then wonder what is the point of this call,”… if my doctor keeps a close eye on my medications already?” Well, the point is that after this phone call pharmacists will continue to monitor your medications throughout the year to ensure not only safety (drug-drug interactions) but also, cost savings opportunities, medication recommendations and adherence alerts.
Adherence alerts are the most common reason that a call is initiated by the pharmacist. This is essentially a red flag which comes up based on past medication refills provided from the insurance provider which shows gaps between refills. During an adherence call, the pharmacist will first go through all your other medications, then will determine what is going on with the medication that is showing refill gaps. The pharmacist will enforce the importance of why you should be taking this medication daily and may discuss the potential problems that will occur if you are not taking it on a regular basis. This is also the time to discuss any questions you may have about your medications. After the phone call is complete, you will receive a letter in the mail that contains a complete medication list that you discussed with the pharmacist as well as a phone number to a call center of pharmacists.
Medication Therapy Management (MTM) Success Stories
There are many success stories which are a result of this service. Recently, an elderly patient who spoke to one of the pharmacists had uncontrollable high blood pressure and was already maxed out on all of her blood pressure medications. The patient had also already made lifestyle changes such as limiting her salt and caffeine intake. During the medication review, the pharmacist discovered that the patient was taking an anti-inflammatory medication, meloxicam, daily. However, this medication should be taken as needed for pain and is not typically scheduled daily. Meloxicam is known to raise blood pressure and can also increase a person’s risk for stomach ulcers and bleeds. The pharmacist urged the patient to follow up with her doctor and the patient was grateful for this information and stated that nobody had ever let her know this information. The patient followed up with her doctor right away.
Another perk to completing a medication review with a pharmacist is that they are now readily accessible to you if you ever have any questions or concerns about your medications. After the phone call, many patients feel relieved and grateful that they gave the person on the phone a chance and it is at this time they realize that the pharmacist is there to help and serve their needs.
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