Objective: To evaluate the effect transition of care follow-up and counseling performed by a pharmacist, within a physician's practice, can have on 30-day hospital readmissions among Medicare patients when compared to the current standard of care
Methods: A pharmacist telephonically contacted patients ≥65 years with Medicare insurance following hospital discharge to perform medication reconciliation, review discharge instructions, and schedule a follow-up appointment (n = 34). At this follow-up appointment, the pharmacist reviewed the patient's electronic medical record (EMR) and communicated recommendations to the physician. The current standard of care, which does not involve a pharmacist, at a similar local physician practice was used as a comparative group (n = 45) RESULTS: The difference in 30-day readmission rates did not reach statistical significance (P = .27); however, there was a trending decrease in the percentage of patients readmitted between the control and the intervention groups (26.7% vs 14.7%). Additionally, there was nearly a statistically significant decrease in readmission rates for those patients who interacted with the pharmacist face to face versus only telephonically (P = .05) CONCLUSIONS: These results impact the decision to continue and expand the pilot program and demonstrate that pharmacists in the ambulatory setting based within a patient-centered medical home have a potential role in decreasing 30-day hospital readmissions.
Keywords: clinical pharmacists; hospital readmissions; medication reconciliation; patient-centered medical home; transition of care.
© The Author(s) 2015.