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WASHINGTON — A bill that would expand the pool of patients who qualify for medication therapy management under Medicare was introduced to the House of Representatives Thursday with broad industry support.
Health policy research group NEHI cites that only 50% of patients take their medications properly as prescribed by their doctor, which costs the nation more than $290 billion annually in avoidable health spending annually.
“We all acknowledge the tremendous advancements that have been made in medicine, but more than half of all patients do not take their medications correctly — and seniors are particularly vulnerable,” stated McMorris Rodgers. “These health risks and the exorbitant costs associated with them can be substantially reduced if MTM is expanded," she said. "This bill will reduce costs and promote overall health for seniors … all across America.”
"This bill can help patients understand the importance of taking their medications as prescribed,” stated Steven Anderson, president and CEO of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. “Innovative pharmacy services such as MTM help to improve patient health and healthcare affordability, especially for those suffering from chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma and other conditions.”
“Allowing more Medicare beneficiaries to receive one-on-one medication counseling from their trusted pharmacist will ensure that more seniors are taking their medication properly," added Douglas Hoey, CEO of the National Community Pharmacists Association.
In November the Congressional Budget Office released a report finding that after a review of recent research, CBO estimated that for each 1% increase in overall prescription drug utilization, an overall decrease of $1.7 billion in overall healthcare costs, or a savings of $5.76 for every person in the United States, would be realized. And NCPA cited research in Minnesota indicating that the cost savings from MTM can be as high as a 12-to-1 return-on-investment for MTM. In North Carolina, Kerr Drug reported that MTM programs there helped seniors realize a 13-to-1 return, the association noted.