Characterizing the reach of comprehensive medication management in a population health primary care model

J Am Coll Clin Pharm. 2021 Nov;4(11):1410-1419. doi: 10.1002/jac5.1525. Epub 2021 Sep 30.


Introduction: As care teams adopt team-based models of care, it is important to examine the reach of interdisciplinary services, such as pharmacists providing comprehensive medication management (CMM). This study examined the reach of pharmacist-delivered CMM in the first 10 months of a population health-focused primary care transformation (PCT).

Methods: Using electronic health record data, descriptive statistics (counts and percentages, as well as means and standard deviations) were quantified to summarize the patients who received CMM in two PCT pilot clinics pre- and post-PCT.

Results: Patients who had at least one CMM visit increased from 554 during the pre-PCT window to 880 during the post-PCT window. However, when adjusted for the increased pharmacist full-time equivalents (FTE) included as part of the PCT, 462 and 330 patients/FTE were seen in the pre- vs post-PCT periods, respectively. When calculating the percentage of patients who received CMM, this increased from 2.3% of all primary care patients seen in the two pilot clinics before the PCT began to 4.4% after the PCT was implemented. Most patient demographics remained largely the same between the pre- and post-PCT periods. However, CMM patients seen in the post-PCT period had more medication therapy problems across all medication therapy problem categories compared to patients in the pre-PCT period. Additionally, patients receiving CMM had significantly more conditions and medications and higher hospitalizations and emergency department use compared to the general clinic population.

Conclusions: Reach is an important implementation outcome to determine the representativeness of individuals participating in a given service. This study illustrates that pharmacists providing CMM see complex patients with a high propensity for medication therapy problems. However, opportunities exist to improve the reach of CMM and, in turn, enhance team-based care.

Keywords: implementation science; medication therapy management; primary care.