With the exception of cost, few people give much thought to filling a prescription at their local pharmacy. It’s generally assumed that the physician has accurately filled out a script, but the reality is very different.
These Adverse Drug Events (or ADEs) are common occurrences and costly.
According to Priority Health, there are about 1.5 million preventable accidents annually in the US. Each year, more than 200,000 people die from preventable medical errors, according to recent a U.S. News & World Report article.
Not only is it a major health problem, it is costly.
The Michigan Pharmacists Association estimates the state spends $12 billion a year on medication-related problems that could be avoided. The errors include administering the wrong drug, the wrong dosage or an inaccurate combination that could lead to death.
Priority Health’s Medical Therapy Management (MTM) program is designed to provide a buffer (and deterrent) against such practices by creating a bridge between the patient and the pharmacist. Priority Health says it is the first health plan in the state to expand the program to both its Medicare and employer-sponsored health plans.
The company will add $2 million to expand the program and an additional $1 million within physician practices across the state.
Michiganders can expect more assistance through the program. Priority Health is offering MTM programs in pharmacies including Meijer, Walgreens, Spartan Stores, Rite Aid, CVS, Wal-Mart and several local pharmacies.
The purpose is for the patient to have a more meaningful dialogue with pharmacists in an effort to provide personal service, answers to additional questions, and above all, to prevent medication errors.
It also helps to control out-of-pock costs and educate patients about their prescription drugs. In effect, the collaboration starts with the patients and their physician then moves to the pharmacist, who will, says Priority Health, “evaluate the patient’s prescription drug use and identify potentially dangerous and costly medication errors.”
MTM is free to the patient and has accounted for a savings of about $60 per member per month over a one-year period. Priority Health is the only plan in Michigan to offer this free service.
Joan Budden, president and CEO of Priority Health, calls MTM another example of plan’s continuous effort to look for new ways to make monumental and measurable changes to the way health care is delivered for its members.
Members interested in learning more about Medication Therapy Management services can call Priority Health at 800-942-0954.