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Community Pharmacies Receive Support To Pioneer ACO-MTM Model

Key Partners Come Together to Support Community Pharmacists in ACO model.
The Iowa Pharmacy Association has played an integral part to engage community pharmacy in discussions on innovative practice models across the state. Since 2011, IPA has been working with UnityPoint Health, previously the Iowa Health System, to integrate pharmacist services within their pioneer ACO model. Support from the Community Pharmacy Foundation and McKesson was critical to the early development of this initiative and the inclusion of community pharmacists within UnityPoint's Trinity Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model over an eight-county region in Central Iowa.

Under the Pioneer ACO Model, CMS provides incentives for participating health care providers who form an organization to coordinate care for patients. Providers who band together through this model are required to meet quality standards based upon, among other measures, patient outcomes and care coordination among the provider team.
Meetings throughout 2011-2012 progressed into opportunities to develop and help shape the model for community pharmacists within UnityPoint's Trinity Pioneer ACO. In 2013, additional funding was secured through the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Foundation to compensate community pharmacists for services provided within the ACO model. The services provided by pharmacists to targeted Trinity Pioneer ACO patients include consultations for newly diagnosed chronic conditions, post-discharge medication reconciliation and ongoing medication management to address issues of non-adherence.

“IPA is excited to engage community pharmacists within a project so integral to defining the future of the profession as coordination of care and patient safety is essential in emerging health care models,” said Kate Gainer, executive vice president and CEO of the Iowa Pharmacy Association. “IPA is supportive of pharmacists within the community as a necessary partner in achieving the goals of the ACO model.”

With support by Community Pharmacy Foundation, McKesson, NACDS Foundation and strategic partnerships with OutcomesMTM and The University of Iowa, IPA continues to promote the impact of community pharmacist-delivered MTM services on hospital readmission rates, incidence of adverse drug events and healthcare costs for ACO patients.

Through this project, IPA provides pharmacists and pharmacy technicians working in the eight-county region in Central Iowa the opportunity to further their professional development and involvement in the ACO MTM study. With monthly pharmacy support meetings, continuing education sessions, and open discussions, IPA along with the Collaborative Education Institute (CEI), has helped to inform and engage pharmacy professionals into their emerging role within an ACO model.

Nearly 10,000 Medicare beneficiaries of Trinity Pioneer ACO will be eligible for MTM services, and approximately 25 local pharmacists will deliver MTM services for the study. The program is scheduled to continue through August 2015. Findings will be distributed via reports to all stakeholder groups, presentations at national meetings and conferences, and various scholarly publications.

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