Seven states team up to showcase MTM services

June 5, 2006

The pharmacy associations and pharmacy schools in seven ruralstates have signed up for a two-phase demonstration project toshowcase the ability of pharmacists to deliver medication therapymanagement (MTM) services to Medicare patients.

The pharmacy associations and pharmacy schools in seven rural states have signed up for a two-phase demonstration project to showcase the ability of pharmacists to deliver medication therapy management (MTM) services to Medicare patients.

The first phase of the regional MTM project got under way last month with recruitment of pharmacists willing to participate in a phase two demonstration project, according to project director William Doucette, Ph.D., associate professor-pharmaceutical socioeconomics and director of the Center for Improving Medication Use in the Community, University of Iowa College of Pharmacy. He added that funding for phase one was provided by the Community Pharmacy Foundation. He anticipates it will take about a year to get the network in place, which gives him time to lock up funding for phase two, during which the pharmacists will provide MTM services.

"We're hoping the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will participate in phase two with some funding or providing Medicare data access," Doucette told Drug Topics. "So far in our discussions, CMS has been supportive and interested, but there's nothing definite yet. Medicare patients are the driver behind MTM. We think CMS has a lot of questions it needs to answer, and this creates the best opportunity to do that."

Recruiting the 75 to 100 pharmacists needed for the project is being helped along by the associations and colleges of pharmacy in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. That sweep of territory encompasses a Part D region.

The project's backers share "a vision for the delivery of cognitive services by pharmacists," said Patricia Hill, executive VP-North Dakota Pharmacists Association. One goal is to produce credible data to show CMS how R.Ph.s can improve patient care.