Provision of annual wellness visits with comprehensive medication management by a clinical pharmacist practitioner

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Abstract

Purpose

The effectiveness and financial benefit of pharmacist-led annual wellness visits (AWVs) in conjunction with comprehensive medication management (CMM) for older, high-risk patients were examined.

Methods

Eligible patients were 65 years of age or older with three or more chronic medical conditions, taking five or more long-term prescription or nonprescription medications and receiving primary care in a retirement community clinic. The intervention involved two components, an AWV and CMM. The AWV included all Medicare-required components. All participants saw a clinical pharmacist practitioner for an AWV with CMM and additional CMM visits at three and six months. Outcomes included completion of required AWV components, prevalence of medication-related problems (MRPs), classic return on investment, patient satisfaction, and change in rate of hospitalization.

Results

Of the 60 eligible patients contacted, 53 (88%) agreed to participate. Patients' mean ± S.D. age was 82.1 ± 5.5 years, and patients used a median of 12 medications (range, 5–27) at baseline. The pharmacist identified at least 1 MRP in 90.6% of patients at the AWV; all patients had at least 1 MRP identified over six months. A total of 278 MRPs were identified: suboptimal drug (32.7%), insufficient therapeutic monitoring (25.2%), undertreatment of chronic condition (16.9%), and suboptimal dose, frequency, or administration (15.8%). Revenue generated by the pharmacist exceeded costs by 38.1%. The rate of hospitalizations did not significantly change after the intervention.

Conclusion

Pharmacists played a beneficial role in the provision of both AWVs and CMM, facilitating the completion of wellness visits and identifying and addressing MRPs in an older, high-risk population.

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