Insurer placing pharmacists in patient-centered medical homes

January 4, 2016

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM), in collaboration with the University of Michigan Health System, is placing pharmacists in patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs) throughout the state.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM), in collaboration with the University of Michigan Health System, is placing pharmacists in patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs) throughout the state.

The effort is part of the Michigan Pharmacists Transforming Care and Quality program and is designed to improve medication adherence. Initially, clinical pharmacists will work with PCMHs at 10 physician organizations in Michigan.

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“This initiative aims to broaden the relationships between physicians and pharmacists, creating additional care coordination for the patient,” David Share, MD, MPH, senior vice president of Value Partnerships at Blue Cross, stated in a release.  “We’ll be developing effective care models.  It extends the team caring for patients, and extends the reach of our Value Partnerships umbrella to include additional care providers such as pharmacists.”

The pharmacists will review medication plans, collaborate with physicians to make medication changes and adjustments, and educate patients on the proper use of medications.

“Initially, pharmacists will focus on patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol,” said Hae Mi Choe, PharmD, director, pharmacy innovations and partnerships, faculty group practice, University of Michigan Health System. “Participating pharmacists will work with patients to address their medication concerns, identify any barriers to treatment, and empower them to carry out their medication plan.”

BCBSM has 46 physician organizations within its PCMH's program. All are expected to become part of the pharmacist-intervention program within four years.

 

Laurie Wesolowicz, director of BCBSM’s pharmacy services, placing pharmacists in practice settings is a win for both patients and physicians.

“The real intent is to change the way that healthcare works in our state, where we transform the care not just for Blue Cross members but, potentially, for all people that live in the state of Michigan,” Wesolowicz told ASHP.

“Pharmacists know drug therapy better than any other practitioner. They have the skill set to really talk about the really important quality measures like medication adherence, drug safety, [and] drug interactions,” Wesolowicz added.