Improving lives — and business — with adherence

Christian Tadrus, PharmD, who has been a pharmacist at Sam’s Health Mart Pharmacies in Moberly, Mo., since 1997, is a believer in using patient adherence strategies to help boost pharmacy operations. And with the implementation of health reform, adherence will be a key differentiator between pharmacies — a measurable indicator of quality of care.

Tadrus’ pharmacies are members of McKesson’s Sponsored Clinical Services pharmacy network and participate in a number of SCS adherence support programs, including its Pharmacy Intervention Program, in which pharmacists provide behavioral coaching to patients, and StudyLink, which provides pharmacies and patients with the opportunity to participate in local clinical studies.

There’s been much written recently about adherence and its $290 billion drag on healthcare costs. That’s at the macro level. Tadrus helps bring it home at the micro level, in the local communities where Health Mart owners like him live and work. “We are making more and more contact with the patient personally to review how their medications are working for them or if there have been any changes in the last month,” Tadrus told DSN. “We’re looking through our database to see where people are missing refills, just to make sure that they haven’t accidentally fallen off the map and forgotten to order something.”

And, at the end of the day, there is money in it. Improving adherence in one patient generally leads to additional fills and other purchases, and can result in a $750 lift in revenue per patient per year in some cases, Tadrus said.

“When you’re connected to the patient, in addition to improving care, you’re going to discover opportunities to drive revenue almost immediately,” Tadrus said. “I might pick up four to five scripts per month out of that visit....”

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