PROVIDENCE, RI (November 21, 2017) – FAST Network, a Blue Cross Blue Shield Association initiative
focused on government healthcare programs, has awarded Blue Cross & Blue
Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) with the first Best Practices Prize for
BCBSRI’s Patient-Centered Pharmacy Program, which promotes improved medication
practices by better integrating pharmacists into the healthcare delivery
system. Since its launch in 2014, the program has created $15.9 million in
total health care cost savings.
The FAST Network® Best Practices Prize recognizes Blue Plan innovations that
improve quality and value for the members they serve in government business –
Medicare Advantage and Medicaid.
“A pharmacist’s role today goes far beyond
filling and dispensing medication and prescriptions,” said Beth Hebert-Silvia,
BCBSRI’s managing director of pharmacy. “Pharmacists are a core part of the
healthcare delivery team, collaborating with patients and providers around
treatment plans that are often complex and require strict adherence. The
Patient-Centered Pharmacy Program empowers pharmacists to identify and close
gaps in care, improving patient health while creating a more streamlined care
Rhode Island has a higher than average senior
population, making pharmaceutical management an area of opportunity to increase
patient engagement, lower costs, and improve transitions of care and health
outcomes. BCBSRI developed the Patient-Centered Pharmacy Program as an
interdisciplinary team approach – utilizing community pharmacists, telephonic
pharmacists and pharmacists embedded in primary care offices, chiefly
patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs). The program’s goal has been to optimize
medication by addressing medication underuse, medication overuse, drug safety
issues and cost effective alternative therapies.
BCBSRI’s $15.9 million savings estimates are
based on direct costs of reduced or avoided drug costs annualized and on
indirect costs supported by an actuarial model estimating the cost of a medical
intervention (i.e. hospitalization). PCMH pharmacists account for $11.7 million
of the total.
Following the success of BCBSRI’s program,
several Blue plans around the country have implemented similar programs,
including BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, Hawaii Medical Service
Association and Regence BlueCross BlueShield. BCBSRI has also presented the
Patient-Centered Pharmacy Program nationally at the Blue Cross Blue Shield
National Summit, Prime Therapeutics Government Programs Symposium, Take Your
Doc to the Hill, the Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute and the Academy of
Managed Care Pharmacy Annual Meeting.
For more information about BCBSRI’s Medication
Management Therapy Program, please visit https://www.bcbsri.com/medicare/medication-therapy-management-program-2018