BACKGROUND

Patients with chronic medical conditions face many serious challenges after being released from hospital care. Often, patients are discharged with many new medications and complex dosing requirements. Sometimes, patients receive conflicting advice. Out-of-pocket cost dramatically increases. These factors make it difficult for patients to remain adherent to treatment plans, and ultimately many patients end up back in the hospital. APC’s pharmacist-driven care coordination services help patients better manage the transition from hospital to home, significantly reducing both rehospitalization rates and out-of-pocket medication cost. In a recent study of 800 patients in Illinois, each with 2 or more chronic conditions, each taking 5 or more medications, APC achieved a 98% medication adherence rate over the 5 years observed.

CHALLENGE

Chronic care patients within a single Illinois hospital system, living independently and in assisted living facilities, exhibited high rates of hospital readmission, and high out-of-pocket medication cost. Adherence was a critical problem. Many patients were taking their medications incorrectly, or not taking them at all. Many patients were prescribed new medications without taking into consideration existing prescriptions. Existing retail pharmacies offered medication delivery, but delivery alone was not a solution. Patients needed a clinical champion to reconcile all medications and lifestyle factors, then provide an easier way to manage complex regimens while also reducing cost.

SOLUTION

APC clinicians began by meeting with each patient, one-on-one, to conduct a comprehensive reconciliation that took into account all current medications, health conditions and lifestyle factors. APC pharmacists served as advocates for each patient, bringing together all providers to ensure each patient’s needs came first. This exceptional reconciliation resolved issues with conflicting medications, and often reduced the number of medications patients were prescribed, all while helping patients remain adherent to the medications they need.

APC’s advanced robotic medication packaging system eliminated the need for hand-sorted pill boxes. The robotic packaging significantly reduced errors. Since each dose is pre-sorted and individually packaged by time of day, APC’s solution made it easy to maintain the required dosing schedule. In time, APC provided full-service Medication Therapy Management to the hospital system. High-touch personal care concierge support and monitoring helped patients stay on track with medication plans.

Case Study Summary:

  • 800 Patients over 5 years
  • Single hospital system in Illinois
  • Each patient had at least 2 chronic conditions, taking 5 or more medications
  • Comprehensive medication reconciliation
  • Medication therapy management
  • Personal care concierge support
  • 98% medication adherence rate
  • Reduction in medications by 2 per person, per year
  • Reduction in out-of-pocket cost by $1,500 per person, per year
  • Improved patient health
    and satisfaction

RESULTS

Out of 800 patients monitored over a five-year period, APC achieved a medication adherence rate of 98%.

Higher adherence rates are shown to result in lower rates of rehospitalization. The one-on-one medication reconciliation reduced the number of medications by an average of 2 per person. This reduction, along with more effective use of generic medications saved on average $1,500 per patient, per year in out-of-pocket drug costs. Copays went down as a result. Patients are now taking the right pills at the right times and using robotically packaged pill packs. By placing each patient’s individual needs first, and developing a deeper understanding of the person’s conditions and treatment, APC helped patients live healthier lives at home, all while reducing cost.