Illinois pharmacists to make house calls

December 2, 2016

The Illinois Department on Aging has begun sending pharmacist-led healthcare teams on home visits to seniors.

In an effort to help seniors manage multiple prescriptions, the Illinois Department on Aging (IDA) has started sending pharmacist-led healthcare teams on home visits to seniors to conduct medication reconciliations and reviews.

Jean BohnhoffThe state hopes its one-year campaign will help reduce the rate of readmissions to hospitals and long-term care facilities for older adults with multiple chronic illnesses attributed to poor medication adherence. The program started this December.

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The state is working with APC LLC, a pharmacist-driven care coordination service, in selecting healthcare groups to conduct the in-home visits. The process will include gathering case manager records, patient-reported information, and clinical assessments, and reviewing patient insurance information.

"Older adults in Illinois are especially susceptible to nursing home and emergency room admissions due to overly complicated medication plans," said IDA Director Jean Bohnhoff. "With this demonstration, we have an opportunity to reduce those admissions and help improve the quality of life for our participants."

Various studies have shown that older patients with multiple prescriptions and complex dosing regimens have lower rates of medication adherence.

 

"We are thrilled to be working with the Department of Aging on this project. Under the Department’s direction, we will work together to improve the overall care for participants served," said Michele Arling, APC’s president.

"We will be working closely with nurses, caregivers, and physicians to enhance care coordination and ensure the individual’s medication plan is clear and concise. We are confident this project will improve the quality of care for these patients," Arling said.

The program hopes to enroll at least 1,000 participants but not more than 2,000. A six-month review will examine medication adherence, reduction in the number of medications taken, reduction in cost of medication error rates, reduction in readmission to long-term care facilities, hospitals and emergency rooms, participant satisfaction with services, and quality of life improvement.

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