Medication therapy management (MTM) services optimize therapeutic outcomes for patients. This is achieved through screening programs for disease states and other medication-related issues.
Medication therapy management includes comprehensive medication reviews (CMR) and targeted medication reviews (TMR). These services identify, prioritize, and resolve current or potential problems with a patient’s medications.
Prevents Adverse Events
The Clinical Pharmacy points out that medication therapy management services can prevent medication errors by improving drug-taking behavior, identifying and resolving drug-related problems, and monitoring patients for adverse reactions.
Medication therapy management, or MTM, involves reviewing and evaluating an individual’s current medications to identify problems. These issues may be due to side effects, drug interactions, or the wrong doses.
MTM also helps to reduce the number of medication-related issues by focusing on a patient’s specific needs. By providing education and counseling, MTM can increase adherence, reduce the number of medication-related problems and improve a patient’s overall health.
In addition to preventing medication errors, MTM can save a patient money. By reviewing an individual’s prescription, over-the-counter, and supplement/herbal medications, MTM can find lower-cost alternatives that still provide the same benefit to the patient.
Most Medicare plans offer MTM free to members who meet specific requirements. The MTM program usually involves a discussion between the pharmacist and the member to review all the medications they are taking and why. This review is an excellent way for the member to learn more about their medications, ask questions and receive support. The pharmacist can also provide any educational materials that the member may need, including a pillbox to help them keep track of their medications.
Prevents Medication Errors
In addition to promoting the safe use of medications, medication therapy management services help reduce medical errors. This service involves a pharmacist who meets with you to review your current medications (prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements) and recommends improving your regimen’s effectiveness and reducing side effects.
Medical error is the third leading cause of death, behind heart disease and cancer. Many of these errors are preventable. Whether due to hand-washing protocols, standardized patient identification, checking a patient’s weight, or simply labeling correctly when passing medications between clinicians, hospitals can significantly decrease the number of medical errors in the hospital setting.
The key to reducing medical errors is preventing them before they occur. This can be done by creating systems and protocols that promote patient safety, such as ensuring the proper identification of patients, double-checking labels on medication syringes, requiring a pause before surgery to verify the correct body part is being operated on, using equipment alarms for safety checks, and encouraging a culture of personal accountability.
To eliminate medical errors, healthcare professionals must report all errors and near-misses. Having a culture of support and removing the stigma of blame can be the greatest obstacle to reporting. The most effective way to reduce mistakes is through a collaborative approach in which the institution and all providers work together.
For those with mental health issues, taking medication on time and in the proper dosage can be challenging. Medication therapy management can ensure they get the appropriate medication at the correct time to help them overcome their mental illness or substance use disorder.
During an MTM consultation, a trained pharmacist or nurse reviews all your prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, and herbal medications. They look for possible side effects, negative interactions, and unnecessary dosages. They’ll work with your doctor to make beneficial medication changes if necessary. MTM is accessible to some Medicare members who meet specific criteria.
MTM may help reduce medication-related problems and improve health outcomes, but the evidence is inconsistent. It’s also difficult to attribute changes to MTM alone because they are often accompanied by secular trends in related quality-improvement initiatives and patient safety programs (e.g., drug-related interventions, physician and pharmacy reimbursement incentives for using electronic health records).
Register online or contact a counselor to reserve your spot. The Medication Therapy Management Services certificate training program includes pre-seminar exercises and a live interactive seminar with an instructor. Attendees will review a complete medication history and develop a medication-related action plan for three patients. Registrants who complete the program will receive a certificate of achievement.
Patients are increasingly concerned about costs as the healthcare landscape continues to change. Whether they are individuals without third-party insurance looking to avoid the Medicare coverage gap (known as the “donut hole”) or people with private health plans paying for prescriptions, they want to ensure they are getting value for their money.
Medication therapy management can help address these concerns. By focusing on optimizing the use of all medications, MTM can reduce medication waste. It can also identify incompatible medicines that could cause complications. And by encouraging adherence, MTM can lessen the need for costly ER visits and hospitalizations.
Lastly, MTM can help save payors by tempering the utilization component of the drug cost trend. MTM engages prescribers and patients in reviewing drug therapy to minimize inappropriate and legacy treatment. This could lower drug costs while promoting patient-centered care, improving health outcomes, and providing an excellent return on investment for all stakeholders.
MTM has proven to be an essential tool for pharmacists and their patients. The profession needs to continue to support its expansion, including ensuring appropriate MTM reimbursement through CPT codes and allowing pharmacies to work directly with payers to facilitate programs. Until then, local pharmacists can continue to empower patients to use their medicine properly by offering free MTM services and leveraging the resources of their communities.