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CHICAGO — The American Hospital Association earlier this week announced its exclusive endorsement of Walgreens WellTransitions, recognizing the program for medication adherence. The coordinated care program aimed at improving medication adherence has demonstrated reductions in hospital readmission rates by helping patients better understand prescription therapies during and after discharge.
“The Walgreens WellTransitions program will serve as another tool for hospitals seeking to reduce readmissions and support overall community wellness,” stated Anthony Burke, president and CEO of AHA Solutions. “We have endorsed this program for the broad scope of services that are provided through Walgreens extensive network of pharmacies and pharmacy services. Walgreens has consistently demonstrated its long-term commitment to supporting hospitals’ efforts to extend patient care further into their communities.”
“Through WellTransitions, Walgreens pharmacy staff works closely with the hospital team to improve the transition of patients to their homes by educating and encouraging them to take their medications as prescribed,” said Joel Wright, Walgreens group VP enterprise specialty. “Medication nonadherence is a significant contributor to preventable readmissions, and by providing this level of personalized care, we can play an important role in helping more people get, stay and live well.”
Early results indicate that WellTransitions has been instrumental in helping to reduce patient readmissions. Within the first six months after the program’s implementation at five hospitals, WellTransitions patients had a 9.4% unadjusted rate of 30-day readmission, compared to a 14.3% 30-day readmission rate for patients eligible for but not participating in the program.
A formal research study is planned to systematically evaluate the program’s effect on hospital readmissions rates.
WellTransitions takes a comprehensive approach to reducing readmission rates by working with patients from the time they are admitted to the hospital through their discharge and return home. The program supports patient recovery through several hospital-to-home transition steps designed to improve wellness and reduce readmission rates while increasing patient satisfaction and lowering overall care costs.
To date, more than 15 hospitals have implemented the WellTransitions program since its inception in 2012. It is currently being rolled out at a growing number of other facilities throughout the United States, including a growing number of the more than 170 hospitals where Walgreens operates an outpatient pharmacy.