Impact of Comprehensive Medication Management on Hospital Readmission Rates

Popul Health Manag. 2018 Oct;21(5):395-400. doi: 10.1089/pop.2017.0167. Epub 2018 Feb 13.


In 2012, the Fairview Health System implemented a formal care transitions process that included referrals to outpatient services provided by medication therapy management (MTM) pharmacists, among other clinical services. This analysis evaluates the impact of the MTM-provided comprehensive medication management (CMM) service on readmission rates. Retrospective electronic medical record (EMR) data were used to identify hospital admissions between December 1, 2012, and July 31, 2015. Thirty- and 60-day readmission rates were calculated in both a CMM and comparator cohort. Readmission rates also were stratified by readmission risk category. A total of 43,711 patients, contributing 57,673 hospitalizations, were included in the analysis. Of those, 1291 hospitalizations had a CMM visit within 30 days of discharge (median 6 days) and were considered the CMM cohort. Patients who received a CMM visit had a significantly lower rate of 30-day readmissions (8.6% vs. 12.8%, P < 0.001). The 60-day readmission rate remained lower among CMM patients but did not reach statistical significance (15.6% vs. 17.6%; P = 0.0528). When patients in each cohort were stratified by readmission risk category, the CMM cohort had a statistically significant lower rate of 30-day readmission in the highest risk groups (Average: 7.1% vs. 9.5%, P = 0.025; Elevated: 9.9% vs. 21.4%, P < 0.001; High: 18.3% vs. 35.9%, P < 0.001; Extreme: 36.4% vs. 77.7%, P = 0.006). CMM performed by an MTM pharmacist reduces the rate of readmission at 30 days post discharge and may have the largest impact among patients at highest risk of readmission.

Keywords: drug use; evidence-based care; population health; quality measures; risk stratification.

MeSH terms

  • Comprehensive Health Care
  • Humans
  • Medication Therapy Management / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Readmission / statistics & numerical data*
  • Population Health
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment