Improving Patient Health through Medication Management

More than 3.5 billion prescriptions are written annually in the United States, and four out of five patients who visit a physician leave with at least one prescription. Medications are involved in 80 percent of all treatments and impact every aspect of a patient’s life. The two most commonly identified drug therapy problems in patients receiving comprehensive medication management services are: (1) The patient requires additional drug therapy for prevention, synergistic, or palliative care; and (2) The drug dosages need to be titrated to achieve therapeutic levels that reach the intended therapy goals.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), adherence to therapy for chronic diseases in developed countries averages 50 percent, and the major consequences of poor adherence to therapies are poor health outcomes and increased health care costs. Drug therapy problems occur every day and add substantial costs to the health care system. Drug-related morbidity and mortality costs exceed $200 billion annually in the U.S., exceeding the amount spent on the medications themselves.

This resource guide was developed to provide a framework for integrating comprehensive medication management within the medical home as part of the practice redesign that needs to occur when individual and group practices transform into the medical home. This guide also reinforces the need for payment reform to support the medical home to include payment for comprehensive medication management as an essential professional activity for effective integrated care.

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