How MLTSS Changes the Game in Long term Care Pharmacy

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.]]>

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