A new study focuses on how medication management interventions in a post-acute care setting can help reduce avoidable hospital readmissions.
Amedisys and Purdue University, in partnership with HealthStatRx, conducted a study from January 2012 through April 2012. Results showed that the patients in one of the study’s medication therapy management intervention groups had a reduced readmission rate of eight percentage points over the patients in the control group.
The medication therapy management study focused on:
- Risk-stratifying of patient population and modeling the probability of hospitalization during the home health episode of care.
- Engaging a pharmacist to review patient charts for any possible triggers; with the pharmacist proactively notifying theAmedisys care team including the physician and home health caregivers if any issues were identified.
- Having the pharmacist directly engage the patient via a phone call immediately upon admission to home health to educate them on their evaluation of their medication/s and also conducting follow-up calls directly with the patient between day seven and day 30.
- Collaboration between the pharmacist, physician, patient and the Amedisys care team to resolve any identified problems.
“Our findings indicate that patients in risk level 1, who can take medications independently and have fairly good functional health, benefit from this type of intervention,” stated Dr. Alan J. Zillich, PharmD, Associate Professor of Pharmacy at Purdue University and lead investigator on this study.
“This study also shows that a strong relationship exists between the probability of hospitalization, the patient risk score and the total number of medications a patient is on,” stated Julie Lewis Sutherland, vice president of research and development for Amedisys. “Just as we hypothesized, post-acute care interventions can make a positive impact on preventing issues the elderly may have with their complicated medication regimes; ultimately resulting in lower readmissions.”
More than 40% of people over the age of 65 take five or more medications, and each year, about one-third of them experience a serious, adverse drug event, like a bone-breaking fall, disorientation, inability to urinate or even heart failure.