medication therapy management benefits and cost savings

High-risk patients taking multiple medications and with chronic conditions were referred for MTM services in primary care safety-net clinics in Maryland from October 1, 2009, to September 30, 2013. Medication-related problems (MRPs) were identified and pharmacists’ costs determined to evaluate the estimated cost savings and return on investment (ROI). A range of potential economic outcomes for each MRP identified was assigned to a cost avoidance for outpatient visit, urgent care visit, emergency department visit, and/or hospitalization

Over 4 years, 246 patients received MTM, nearly 2,100 medications were reviewed, and 814 MRPs were identified. The most common MRPs identified were subtherapeutic doses, nonadherence, and untreated indications, with respective prevalences of 38%, 19%, and 16%. The corresponding costs of medical services were estimated at $115,220-$614,570 for all MRPs identified, yielding a mean of $141.55-$755.00 per identified MRP. Pharmacists’ expenses for encounters were calculated at a total expenditure of $57,307.50 for 16,965 minutes. ROI based on the time spent during billable face-to-face encounters ranged from 1:5 to 1:25.

Pharmacist-provided MTM in safety-net clinics yielded potential economic benefits to the organization. The Primary Care Coalition of Montgomery County plans to expand MTM services to additional clinics to improve patient care and increase cost savings through preventable medical services.