Cardinal Health blog: Value of MTM isn't being realized

3/26/2015


DUBLIN, Ohio, — When a new solution benefits everyone in the healthcare system, yet still is not being widely adopted, it's appropriate to start asking why. Such is the case with medication therapy management — which has been established as mutually beneficial for payers, patients and pharmacies — yet has experienced a slower-than-expected adoption rate.  


 


In a new blog post on Cardinal Health's thought leadership site, Essential Insights, Brad Tice, medication therapy management product leader at Cardinal Health, reported that a main reason underlying the relatively slow adoption of MTM is that it can be difficult to measure and understand the total return on investment that these services deliver. He also shares his perspective on what's needed to understand the full value and benefits of MTM.


 


"I believe that one explanation for slow MTM adoption is that the complexity of the healthcare system can obscure MTM's proven value," he wrote. "Timing issues, cost allocations and financial incentives are a few obstacles that impact how MTM programs are measured. Failing to measure the full impact of MTM programs is difficult to do, yet doing so is a fatal analytical error."


 


Tice explains that health plans that focus on MTM's return on investment will gain an essential competitive advantage in the marketplace. He contends that although MTM services can generate immediate cost savings and health benefits for patients, these services can generate an even greater return in the later years, as patients remain healthy. Furthermore, most MTM savings appear outside the pharmacy benefit via fewer hospital readmissions, drops in emergency room visits, improvements in how physicians are utilized, etc. — all cost savings that can be difficult to fully measure.

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