Strategies for community-based medication management services in value-based health plans

Res Social Adm Pharm. 2017 Jan-Feb;13(1):48-62. doi: 10.1016/j.sapharm.2016.01.005. Epub 2016 Jan 21.


Background: Health plans are moving away from a volume-driven payment structure toward value-driven and risk-based contracts. There is very limited information on commercial payers' perspectives on coverage of medication management services (MMS) in value-based alternative payment models. While some health plans have experience with Medicare Part D Medication Therapy Management (MTM) programs, this experience does not promote the integration of pharmacists as health care team members.

Objectives: The study objectives were to: (1) understand the evaluation process that health plan executives would use to determine benefit coverage for pharmacist-provided MMS in value-based health plans, (2) identify the facilitators and barriers that affect pharmacist-provided MTM services at the community pharmacy level, and (3) propose strategies for pharmacist-provided MMS in value-based health plans.

Methods: This study used qualitative research methods that involved structured key informant interviews with commercial health plan executives and focus groups with community pharmacists who had experience providing MTM services.

Results: Health plan executives agreed conceptually that MMS could be a valuable program and recognized its potential. However, the most substantial barriers that health plan executives expressed were funding MMS in today's fee-for-service payment models; lack of physician infrastructure to implement and manage MMS; and difficulty in collecting timely, accurate data to execute and assess MMS programs. Community pharmacists identified the most serious barrier to altering health outcomes through MTM as the current lack of integration of MTM with a coordinated health care team. MTM services are conducted as a separate program by pharmacists who do not have access to patient health records, are time-constrained, and poorly incentivized.

Conclusions: The findings can inform the development of successful strategies for pharmacist-provided MMS that align with emerging value-based health plans and alternative provider payment models. Current MTM program barriers and facilitators are identified that could be addressed in future Part D MTM program policy changes.

Keywords: Alternative payment models; MTM; Medication management services; Payers; Pharmacists; Primary care; Value-based health plans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Community Pharmacy Services / economics
  • Community Pharmacy Services / organization & administration*
  • Fee-for-Service Plans
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health / economics
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Medicare Part D
  • Medication Therapy Management / economics
  • Medication Therapy Management / organization & administration*
  • Patient Care Team / economics
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration*
  • Pharmacists / economics
  • Pharmacists / organization & administration*
  • Professional Role
  • United States