Objectives: To evaluate the association between a system of medication management services provided by specially trained hospital and community pharmacists (Pharm2Pharm) and rates and costs of medication-related hospitalization in older adults.
Design: Quasi-experimental interrupted time series design comparing intervention and nonintervention hospitals using a mixed-effects analysis that modeled the intervention as a time-dependent variable.
Setting: Sequential implementation of Pharm2Pharm at six general nonfederal acute care hospitals in Hawaii with more than 50 beds in 2013 and 2014. All five other such hospitals served as a contemporaneous comparison group.
Participants: Adult inpatients who met criteria for being at risk for medication problems (N = 2,083), 62% of whom were aged 65 or older.
Intervention: A state-wide system of medication management services provided by specially trained hospital and community pharmacists serving high-risk individuals from hospitalization through transition to home and for up to 1 year after discharge.
Measurements: Medication-related hospitalization rate per 1,000 admissions of individuals aged 65 and older, adjusted for case mix; estimate of costs of hospitalizations and actual costs of pharmacist services.
Results: The predicted, case mix-adjusted medication-related hospitalization rate of individuals aged 65 and older was 36.5% lower in the Pharm2Pharm hospitals after implementation than in the nonintervention hospitals (P = .01). The estimated annualized cost of avoided admissions was $6.6 million. The annual cost of the pharmacist services for all Pharm2Pharm participants was $1.8 million.
Conclusion: The Pharm2Pharm model was associated with an estimated 36% reduction in the medication-related hospitalization rate for older adults and a 2.6:1 return on investment, highlighting the value of pharmacists as drug therapy experts in geriatric care.
Keywords: cost avoidance; geriatric care model; medication management; medication-related hospitalization; pharmacist.
© 2016 The Authors. The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The American Geriatrics Society.