The Employer's Guide Blog for Overseeing PBMs

The Definition of Oversee: to watch over and direct (an undertaking, a group of workers, etc.) in order to ensure a satisfactory outcome or performance.

Maximizing Employee Health and Reducing Healthcare Costs: Incorporating Medication Therapy Management into Self-Insured Employer Health Programs

Medication therapy management (MTM) is a patient-centered service provided by healthcare professionals such as pharmacists, doctors, or nurses. MTM aims to optimize medication therapy for patients with chronic health conditions who take multiple medications. MTM involves a comprehensive review of a patient’s medication regimen to identify and resolve medication-related problems. It also includes education and counseling to help patients manage their medications and improve their health outcomes. Incorporating medication therapy management into self-insured employer health programs is a win-win.

The benefits of MTM are numerous. By optimizing medication therapy, MTM can help patients achieve better health outcomes, reduce medication-related problems, and lower healthcare costs by preventing hospitalizations and emergency room visits. Additionally, MTM can improve patient satisfaction and adherence to medication therapy. MTM services can also help healthcare providers identify and manage medication-related issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, such as drug interactions, medication side effects, or non-adherence to medication regimens.

Consider an MTM program as a tool for self-insured employers to assess the efficiency of the funds they set aside to pay for the health care of their employees and dependents. Incorporating MTM into their employee health programs can be a smart investment with an expected ROI of 2x. The ROI MTM services can help reduce healthcare costs by optimizing medication therapy and preventing costly medical interventions. Additionally, by providing MTM services, self-insured employers can show that they care about their staff’s health by raising morale and productivity.

However, there are also challenges associated with MTM that self-insured employers should be aware of. One of the primary challenges is the cost ($.50 – $2.00 PMPM) of providing MTM services. MTM services may require additional staffing, training, and technology investments, which can be a barrier for some healthcare providers and employers. Additionally, there may be resistance from some patients who are not accustomed to working with pharmacists or other healthcare providers to manage their medication therapy.

To successfully incorporate MTM into employee health programs, self-insured employers should consider the following recommendations:

  1. Start small: Begin by targeting a specific patient population or health condition and gradually expand the MTM program as resources and demand allow.
  2. Identify key partners: Collaborate with healthcare providers, such as pharmacists, doctors, and nurses, to provide MTM services to employees.
  3. Communicate the value of MTM: Educate employees on the benefits of MTM services and how they can help improve their health outcomes.
  4. Measure outcomes: Track key metrics, such as healthcare costs, hospitalizations, and medication adherence, to evaluate the effectiveness of MTM services and identify areas for improvement.

In summary, MTM is a patient-centered service that can help optimize medication therapy and improve patient outcomes when incorporating medication therapy management into self-insured employer health programs. For self-insured employers, incorporating MTM into employee health programs can lead to improved health outcomes, reduced healthcare costs, and improved employee satisfaction and productivity. However, to successfully incorporate MTM into employee health programs, self-insured employers must carefully consider the costs, benefits, and challenges associated with this service and develop a strategic plan for implementation.

Tyrone Squires, MBA, CPBS

I am the proud founder and managing director of TransparentRx, a fiduciary-model PBM based in Las Vegas, Nevada. We help health plan sponsors reduce pharmacy spend, by as much as 50%, without cutting benefits or shifting costs to employees.

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