By: Shivani Shah, PharmD Candidate c/o 2021
Medication therapy management (MTM) is a service provided by pharmacists to eligible patients who participate in a Medicare drug plan, namely part D. The geriatric population, which is included among the aforementioned eligible patients, is prone to taking numerous medications as they tend to have multiple disease states which lead to a plethora of medication-related problems. The goal of MTM is to optimize the therapeutic outcomes of an individual patient as well as detect and prevent costly medication related adverse events.1 Through a comprehensive review of all medications including their potential side effects, financial barriers, and how well a specific medication is working, pharmacists can help their patients come up with action plans to ensure they are getting the most out of their prescriptions. Pharmacists also often collaborate with their patients’ healthcare providers to optimize medication use for improved health outcomes.
Medication-related adverse events are a major public health issue in the United States. The inappropriate use of drugs contributes to more than 1.5 million preventable, medication-related adverse events each year and accounts for an excess of one hundred and seventy seven billion dollars in morbidity and mortality.2 MTM services help contribute to medication error prevention and enable patients to actively self-manage their therapy plans while simultaneously giving them the opportunity to be more knowledgeable about their health and medication use. Hence, pharmacists not only help patients reach their health outcome goals by optimizing therapy, they also empower them to be more responsible for their health.
The MTM core elements service model consists of five components which pharmacists use to deliver medication management services.2 The first core element is medication therapy review, in which pharmacists collect patient-specific information and assess patient therapy to identify any discrepancies. The purpose of this step is to make a prioritized list of medication-related adverse events and create a plan to resolve them. The next two core elements – personal medication record and medication-related action plan – enable the pharmacist to create a list of all the patient’s medications including supplements, over the counter products, and herbal products for the purpose of creating a list of actions the patient can personally take to track their progress. If there is a serious discrepancy or the pharmacist feels their patient needs consulting services, core element four, intervention and/or referral, can be acted upon. The last and most important core element is documentation and follow up. A summary of the MTM service is communicated effectively to the patient and prescriber, and a follow-up MTM visit may be scheduled.2
Patients and health-care systems alike greatly benefit from MTM services due to the overall reduction in health care costs. The risk of patients misusing or abusing their medications is greatly reduced as a result of pharmacists being able to catch discrepancies via the five core elements provided through MTM. Pharmacists play a significant role in making sure effective therapy is delivered to patients so that they can progress towards successfully being able to manage their disease states.
- McBane S, Dopp A, Abe A, et al. Collaborative drug therapy management and comprehensive medication management. American College of Clinical Pharmacy. https://www.accp.com/docs/govt/advocacy/Leadership%20for%20Medication%20Management%20-%20MTM%20101.pdf. Published 01/29/2015.
- Bluml BM. Definition of medication therapy management: Development of profession wide consensus. J Am Pharm Assoc. 2005; 45:566–72.