Ready to save money? New PACE pharmacy services may not get your attention, but the ways they can lower your costs will. From the way meds are filled and delivered to technology and data solutions, new PACE pharmacy services can impact your bottom line.

Meds2Home Streamlines Your PACE Pharmacy Needs

Meds2Home is the future of PACE pharmacy, and the future is here. Keep reading to learn how your center can benefit.

New Pharmacy Services Include Consulting and Testing

Pharmacy consults traditionally respond reactively to address issues a participant is having with medication. Early or proactive pharmacy consults look at a participant’s medications before there is a problem. That’s where Grane Rx’s Medications Insights program powered by YouScript™ comes in. We use a patented technology to help mitigate polypharmacy issues and identify and make medication changes before there is a need to invest in high cost lab tests. Our software enables prescribers to quickly identify more medication interactions and offer alternative medications both within the same medication class and for the same medication. Read more about the benefits of early pharmacy consults related to polypharmacy in the elderly.

Pharmacogenetic testing goes even deeper to assess the effectiveness of particular drugs for particular patients. Consider that 75 percent of all patients have some genetic variations in their medication metabolism enzymes, which may affect how they metabolize, process and react to treatments. Pharmacogenetic testing is beginning to explain the variances that have been seen between patient reaction to particular doses of particular medications.

This tool provides information to improve medication management by enabling providers to select the most appropriate medication at the most appropriate dose for a patient based on how their body will metabolize a medication. This has the potential to reduce the number of medications given to reduce side effects of other medications. That reduction can bring real cost savings as well as positive clinical outcomes.

A great pharmacy partner is always looking for ways to save you money, whether it’s creating a formulary for your organization or exchanging inefficient practices for more streamlined effective ones. Your pharmacy solution may be working, but checking out new pharmacy services may bring cost savings you can’t afford to pass up. 

Medication nonadherence is a common issue in the United States, contributing to as much as $300 billion in avoidable health-related costs each year. Because seniors often take multiple medications, they are at high risk for nonadherence and hospital readmissions, making this an area of emphasis for both PACE pharmacy and long-term care pharmacy. While residents are cared for in a Skilled Nursing Facility, their medication needs are overseen by medical and pharmacy providers. However, issues can arise during care transition, as these residents are transitioned to the home environment. Fortunately, there is a solution. Grane Rx offers a program called Meds2Home™ that dispenses and ships patients’ medications to their homes. Meds2Home is offered for both SNF residents following discharge and PACE participants. Let’s take a look at five ways that Meds2Home can benefit your long-term care organization.

Meds2Home Benefit 1: Increases Referral Opportunities From Hospitals

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is placing particular emphasis on reducing rehospitalizations among long-term care residents. This emphasis can be clearly seen in the inclusion of multiple quality standards related to hospitalization. Hospitals are also dinged when patients are rehospitalized. Because of this, hospitals are increasingly looking to refer patients to long-term care organizations with clear plans for keeping patients out of the hospital. Meds2Home helps to improve medication adherence among these patients, which in turn, lowers the risk of rehospitalization. This would make facilities using Meds2Home more attractive to hospitals for patient referral.

Meds2Home Benefit 2: Provides an Additional Layer of Care for Patients

While in a Skilled Nursing Facility, residents aren’t responsible for managing their own medication regimens. Due to the complexity of those regimens, many find them easily confusing after discharge. Meds2Home can help ease the transition for these patients—and also provides PACE participants with access to their medications without needing to leave their homes. [Tweet “5 ways the Grane Rx Meds2Home program positively impacts #longtermcare providers”]

Meds2Home Benefit 3: Improves Patient Satisfaction

More than anything, patients want to feel valued and like their needs are understood. Meds2Home helps bridge the gap when it comes to prescription medications. Medications are delivered to a patient’s home in organized packaging, with easy-to-understand labels that identify exactly when medications should be taken. This helps give peace of mind to patients, which improves their satisfaction with the services they’ve received.

Meds2Home Benefit 4: Offers a Smoother Care Transition

Beyond the benefits for SNF residents as they transition to home, the Skilled Nursing Facility also benefits from a smoother care transition. SNF staff can feel assured that their discharged residents will receive the medications they need—and that they’ll understand how and why to take them. In addition, a Grane Rx care coordinator provides an extra layer of support, checking in with patients about their medications on a regular basis and then reporting back to the long-term care provider.

Meds2Home Benefit 5: Provides an Adherence Tool for Patients

In addition to clearly labeled medication packaging, patients also receive educational information about each medication they take. Patients who understand what their medications are for are more likely to continue taking them as prescribed. The Grane Rx EasyRead Pharmacy Solution provides them with this information by including an image of each medication along with the medication name, a description of the tablet or capsule, and the indication for use of the medication. The Grane Rx Meds2Home program is only one facet of what makes our post-acute care pharmacy services different. To get started, call (866) 824-MEDS (6337). ]]>

In less than a year, Pennsylvania will join the ranks of states offering managed care for long term services through their state Medicaid program. As we prepare for the roll-out, the question emerges: How will Community HealthChoices, Pennsylvania’s MLTSS program, impact long term care pharmacy services? Over the past decade, we’ve seen managed care carve out a significant footprint among state Medicaid programs. While not all states offer managed care programs, an increasing number do — a total of 40 states. In addition, MLTSS specifically is gaining ground. At its roots, managed care is designed to promote community-based care, meaning LTC pharmacy services must adapt to providing medications and other care for the home environment. In that way, Grane Rx is ahead of the curve, and we’re focused on the aspects of care needed for optimal at-home medication adherence. Let’s take at those areas of focus:

MLTSS & Long term Care Pharmacy Focus: Adherence

Under managed care, there’s an emphasis on care coordination. Managed care organizations have incentives to keep people healthy and in their home, largely seeking to avoid long-stay care in a Skilled Nursing Facility, hospital admissions, and emergency room visits. Medication adherence will play a significant role in helping keep people healthy and in the home. Because of this, it’s important for long term care pharmacy providers to not only dispense medications, but also work to improve adherence with medication regimens. Medication non-adherence is a significant issue in the United States, contributing to up to $300 billion in avoidable health costs each year. Non-adherence has a variety of causes, ranging from lacking access to necessary medications to not understanding the medication regimen. Grane Rx offers a comprehensive approach to improving medication adherence. For one, the Grane Rx Meds2Home™ program eliminates the need to travel to a pharmacy to obtain medications. Through the program, medications are delivered directly to the home. For residents being discharged from an SNF, Grane Rx pharmacy providers ensure they’re set up with the medications they need — and that they understand how to properly take those medications. In addition, we follow up with patients to see if they’re getting the medications they need, and if they’re not, communicate that information to the patient’s care team so that they can also follow up. This helps eliminate patients falling through the cracks after discharge. [Tweet “With MLTSS implementation in PA, there will be 2 key areas of focus for #longtermcarepharmacy.”]

MLTSS & Long term Care Pharmacy Focus: Education

Many Americans lack the basic health literacy necessary to process and understand health information, including that related to their medications. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, only 12 percent of adults in the United States have proficient health literacy. The problem is particularly profound among the senior population, with only 5 percent at a proficient health literacy level. Overcoming that challenge and promoting medication adherence requires long term care pharmacies to provide careful and thorough educational resources. For Grane Rx, these resources begin within the medication’s packaging. Because we recognize that every person takes in information differently, our packaging uses a combination of words, colors, numbers and symbols. The packaging is paired with LearnRx medication summaries that provide easy-to-understand information about each medication. When people understand why they’re taking each medication, they’re more likely to adhere to their medication regimens. The Grane Rx EasyRead Pharmacy Solution pairs an image of each medication with the medication’s name, a description of the tablet or capsule, and the indication for use of the medication. Through thorough educational efforts, we work to improve medication adherence while decreasing the risk of rehospitalization and improving quality of life. The Grane Rx team strives to stay ahead of changes to the long term care pharmacy landscape, including the implementation of MLTSS. To learn how your organization could benefit, call (866) 824-MEDS (6337) or fill out this quick form.]]>

The medication packaging used in long term care pharmacy has evolved over the past few decades, with rapid changes occurring just a few years ago. Most LTC pharmacy services providers today utilize medication punch cards to dispense medications to SNF residents or PACE participants. Medication punch cards were first used in the 1970s, when pharmacies began packaging together 30-day or larger supplies of medications. Current usage of punch cards can be traced back to 2009 when the Congressional Budget Office determined that medication waste in long term care would cost Medicare more than $5.5 billion by 2019. As a result of those findings, rules were issued in the next few years mandating that prescription medications in long term care pharmacies be dispensed in no greater than two-week increments. This drive to reduce medication waste led to the advent of punch cards for 7- or 14-day periods, rather than 30-day periods as they were previously. But when it comes to medication management, there’s a better kind of packaging than medication punch cards. Let’s take a look.  

Medication Management: Medication Punch Cards vs. SimplePacks

While punch cards, or bingo cards as they’re sometimes called, seem like a good method of dispensing medications, they can actually make the process quite tedious and cost-prohibitive. For one, punch cards make medication passes less orderly for nurses. They have to search through a stack of punch cards to locate a resident’s medications, which can make it difficult to quickly and accurately find things. With SimplePacks, nurses have more efficient access to medications. Grane Rx technology uses automation to package medications together that are taken at the same time of day, including morning, noon, evening and bedtime, as well as on an as-needed basis. Because the medications are presorted and come packaged in secure, easy-to-separate packets, they make medication passes easier for nurses. These same benefits extend to PACE participants and their caregivers through Grane Rx’s PACE Pharmacy services. PACE participants and caregivers are able to quickly ascertain what medication is needed at a given time, without accessing medications they don’t need. Dispensing medications in SimplePacks also reduces waste. The packs are dispensed in short day supply, 3 days or 4 days, rather than the longer durations typically seen with punch cards, like a 7, 14 or 30 day supply. This short cycle packaging is especially beneficial to the post acute care industry.  When medications are discontinued from a resident’s medication regimen when using punch cards, you could see waste of more than a week’s worth of medication. With SimplePacks, a smaller amount of medication is dispensed, yielding less waste. [Tweet “When it comes to #medicationmanagement, bingo cards aren’t your best option. #LTCpharmacy”]

Medication Management: An Enhanced Layer of Safety

SimplePacks also offer additional layers of security. Only medications that can be taken safely together are packaged together, helping avoid adverse drug interactions. Additionally, Grane Rx offers an added layer of security not offered by many pharmacies.  Before being dispensed, all SimplePacks are sent through imaging technology, which checks for multiple indices, including size, shape and color, among other factors. This process is crucial for accuracy and safety. Finally, for PACE programs and members of our Meds2Home™ program, the packaging itself features both written and visual information, designed for optimal clarity and safety. This includes written details about the medication along with a visual depiction of what the medications look like. These details are paired with EasyRead medication literacy materials that explain the medication’s purpose, dosing and other pertinent information. Interested in learning more about the long term care pharmacy solutions Grane Rx can provide for your Skilled Nursing Facility or PACE program? Call (866) 244-MEDS (6337) or reach out to us here.]]>

Nursing Home Pharmacy Services Improve Med Adherence Medication adherence means taking the right dose of the right medication at the right time—always. Patients are at risk of problems if they:  

  Grane Rx Meds2Home™ program can help. SimplePacks, prepackaged daily doses help people take the all of the right medications, every day. Multi-checkpoint systems in the packaging process mimic checkpoints in the medication administration process and reduce errors. Clear labeling helps people know what they are taking and how to take it. SimplePacks make safe and effective medication taking easy for people at home.  

Nursing Home Pharmacy Services Provide Oversight

With many elderly people on multiple meds, polypharmacy is a significant risk factor. While polypharmacy itself isn’t a problem, multiple medications increases the risk of medication interactions, missing medications, or taking medication incorrectly.   Pharmacists identify potentially contraindicated medications. They know which medications are of concern in aging bodies that process drugs differently. They also advise on ways to streamline pill load, which is yet another way to help with medication adherence. Grane Rx solutions allow people living at home with simple packaging and easy to read labels. [Tweet “Elderly patients need better #pharmacy services at home”]

Nursing Home Pharmacy Services Reduce Rehospitalization

Better medication adherence and reduced adverse drug events aren’t just numbers. They’re important factors in both quality of life and keeping people healthy at home. Medication mismanagement is the number one reason for hospital readmissions. Having medications delivered home through the Grane Rx Meds2Home program is a big step to reducing reducing medication mismanagement and thus lowering hospital readmissions. Patients don’t have to stop at the local drug store to pick up medications — they often leave the Skilled Nursing Facility with medications in hand. This has a clear impact on the elderly served. It also has a significant impact on managing costs for your center. There are many factors that go into successful outcomes for people living at home. Pharmacy is one of them. Bringing the best of nursing home pharmacy services home can be the difference between staying at home and rehospitalization for the elderly in a PACE program or those needing meds after a stay in a skilled nursing facility.]]>