CVS Health’s Moriarty: Pharmacy services, clinics can cut Medicaid costs, improve outcomes

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CVS Health’s Moriarty: Pharmacy services, clinics can cut Medicaid costs, improve outcomes

By David Salazar - 06/14/2017

WASHINGTON — At the POLITICO Pro Health Care Briefing on Medicaid as a Driver of Care Innovation in the States Tuesday, CVS Health chief policy and external affairs officer Tom Moriarty shared with attendees CVS Health’s efforts to bring better value for patients to the healthcare system.

From the outset, Moriarty highlighted the role that pharmacists can play in helping reach patients with chronic conditions and improve their adherence through personalized interactions. He pointed to a Health Affairs study that found one-on-one counseling from pharmacists can improve adherence and save $3 for every $1 invested in these efforts.

“Through personalized counseling and clinically-effective interventions, pharmacists are a trusted voice in helping patients with chronic conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease manage their medications,” he said.

Two key efforts that CVS Health uses to reach patients are its Transform Diabetes program — which provides personalized support and one-on-one counseling, as well as MinuteClinic comprehensive diabetes visits, a connected glucometer and access to digital tools — and its Pharmacy Advisor program. However, Moriarty noted that not all Medicaid Quality Programs include adherence and medication management measures in their pharmacy benefits.

He also pointed to the opportunity for affordable care that CVS Health’s MinuteClinic locations offer Medicaid beneficiaries. In fact, Moriarty noted that MinuteClinic is an enrolled Medicaid provider in 31 states and the District of Columbia, and that its availability at more than 1,100 locations can have an impact on patient health and costs.

“Through affiliations with 70 major medical systems, we can facilitate joint clinical programs and real-time integration of electronic health records, enabling coordination across providers,” Moriarty said. “Research shows that patients who use MinuteClinic make fewer ER visits, and overall their health care costs are about 8 percent lower.”

Moriarty also highlighted efforts that CVS Health’s Caremark pharmacy benefits manager makes to deliver lower cost prescription drugs, particularly in Ohio, where CVS Caremark worked with Ohio Medicaid’s managed care plans to control costs.

“As a result, Ohio spent 13.3 percent less — on average — than states without prescription drugs in their managed care system and earned higher average quality scores than the national and state averages,” he said. “These strategies can play a significant role in delivering value, but Medicaid programs need to be structured in a way that reward and incentivize better outcomes.”

He called for a consistent set of quality measures alongside meaningful incentives as a methof to improve health outcomes and drive Medicaid savings — both on the federal and state levels

“We must also recognize the important role that pharmacy management and medication utilization play in health outcomes and the total cost of care, particularly for those with chronic disease,” Moriarty said. “Including pharmacy programs and incentivizing medication adherence ultimately delivers better value to patients and taxpayers through better health outcomes and lower costs.”