BCBSM’s new initiative aims to help patients with their medications

September 22, 2015

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) is collaborating with the University of Michigan Health System, physician organizations and pharmacists across the state to team up pharmacists with patient care teams as part of a new initiative to help patients manage and comply with their medication plans.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) is collaborating with the University of Michigan Health System, physician organizations and pharmacists across the state to team up pharmacists with patient care teams as part of a new initiative to help patients manage and comply with their medication plans.

Share“We believe this initiative adds value to the team-based care collaborations we are working on here in Michigan,” David Share, MD, MPH, senior vice president, Value Partnerships at Blue Cross, tells Managed Healthcare Executive. “It supports both population management and patient-centered health. Collaboration among all points of care within the health system is vital to improving the health of our members. By bringing pharmacists into the patient-centered medical home care teams, members get additional help in understanding and properly complying with their medication plans-which keeps them healthier.”

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The Michigan Pharmacists Transforming Care and Quality program (MPTCQ) will start with 10 participating physician organizations across the state. Clinical pharmacists will work with Patient-Centered Medical Home practices within these organizations to become part of the medical home team that cares for patients. Blue Cross already has what it calls the largest Patient-Centered Medical Home program of its kind in the country.

Initially, pharmacists will focus on patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

“Participating practices will send clinical data on patients’ risk factors, procedures and outcomes,” Share explains. “Pharmacists and practices will use the data to plan and monitor patients’ medication plans, compliance and outcomes. Pharmacists will work with practices and their patients to help them manage their medications and make sure they are working effectively.”

 

NEXT: Three things to know about the collaboration

 

According to Share there are three important things to remember about this program:

  • This program creates an environment where pharmacists from otherwise competing physician organizations and practice units have a non-competitive forum to collaborate on best practices and share ideas. 

  • A new data registry will be developed where pharmacist transformation champions will enter data about their encounters with patients, in turn allowing for a large and diverse dataset to be created and analyzed at the collaborative meetings.  

  • A strong collaborative relationship between pharmacists and physicians increases physician acceptance of pharmacists’ therapeutic recommendations.  Health plans can leverage this relationship to address many targeted quality measures for HEDIS, STARS, and QRS, especially those that are medication-related. 

Because the program has just recently launched, it will probably take a few months to elicit outcomes, according to Share.

He anticipates that this will serve as a model for other health plans. “Plans can gather providers-both primary care practices and pharmacists-to establish goals and protocols,” he says. “They should have an objective coordinating entity to convene and guide the consortium and use the registry and dialogue among participants to identify and disseminate best practices. In this case, we are using the University of Michigan Health System.”