Mary Kay Owens is Executive Director of the Institute for Healthcare Innovation Strategies and President and CEO of Intelligent Health Analytics and Southeastern Consultants.
It is a great honor to continue to serve the AIMM organization in a new leadership role. As President, I will focus my efforts on continuing the mission to support wide-spread adoption of team-based medication management services into the care of high-risk patients suffering from multiple chronic health conditions and to demonstrate the value of these services.
Care coordination requires the integration of medication management with care management and provider teams to facilitate treatment goals, while creating system-wide efficiencies. As we move to implement value-based models of care and reimbursement, it becomes critical to optimally utilize every member of the health care team. Adding a pharmacist to the team based care model can be significant. Pharmacists are uniquely qualified and trained to optimize medication use. Improvement in adherence and appropriate use of medications correlates to reducing avoidable hospitalization, ED and other costs, as well as improving quality of care and clinical outcomes. This is critical as payers and providers are continuing to assume more financial risk while striving to improve quality and clinical outcomes
Pharmacists providing medication management services are integral to coordination of care with multiple prescribers and treating providers, especially in those patients with chronic conditions. Uncoordinated care costs the US healthcare system over $240B each year. The findings from a recent program that utilized pharmacists, case managers, and providers working together to reduce avoidable hospital, ED and duplicative services by coordinating care and improving medication use, achieved a savings of approximately $500 per member per month.
The cornerstone of the program involved the application of analytical methods using claims data to identify and stratify patients with uncoordinated care which was contributing to unnecessary hospital, ED and other costs for the plan. A targeted approach allowed for maximizing personnel resources and greater savings for the plan. Pharmacists conducted interventions with patients and prescribers to optimize drug therapy, improve adherence and achieve improved care coordination resulting in overall savings validated by rigorous claims analysis.
It was very rewarding to be a part of designing and implementing this program and it solidified for me that as pharmacists providing medication management services, we must be able to demonstrate both the economic and clinical value of those services to payers and providers.
As AIMM President, I am excited to support the organization’s initiatives. AIMM’s partnerships with stakeholders and organizations promote and teach team based care delivery systems how to effectively streamline medication management into primary health care services. AIMM provides organizations with performance improvement resources, one-on-one coaching and effective leadership skills to implement processes and build systems to manage medically complex patient populations.
Mary Kay Owens, RPh
 The Health Care Imperative: Lowering Costs and Improving Outcomes. The Institute of Medicine. 2010. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. Owens, MK. Inefficiently Delivered Services, Costs of Uncoordinated Care, pgs 131-138. http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12750&page=131