WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — Walgreens’ winning of an award for its MTM services came right before it joined the Care Continuum Alliance — a group of more than 200 stakeholders that provide such services as wellness and prevention programs and management of chronic conditions — of which CVS Caremark already was a member.
(THE NEWS: Walgreens takes top honors for MTM services. For the full story, click here)
On top of that, the National Community Pharmacists Association and National Association of Chain Drug Stores have expressed support for a bill going through Congress that would allow any Medicare Part D beneficiary with a chronic condition to qualify for MTM services.
One trend taking place amid all of this: the rapid development of mobile health technologies, as evidenced by the number of companies that showed up at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January. A patient with diabetes, for example, can perform a glucose test and then upload the results to a health information service, such as Google Health or Microsoft HealthVault. Then a pharmacist can review the information to help ensure that the patient is adhering to prescribed treatments.
MTM can save lives and money by making sure that patients take their drugs properly and on time, and the combination of increased access to MTM services and development of technologies that can help streamline those services will help drive further adoption of them in the future.