The University of Iowa College of Pharmacy has obtained a grant to evaluate medication usage by patients in central Iowa. The goal: Improve the rate at which patients take drugs as prescribed.
According to the nonprofit, independent New England Health Institute, only half of all patients take their medications properly as prescribed, which costs the nation more than $290 billion annually.
One idea to improve the medication-usage rate is through accountable care organizations, also known as ACOs. In this model, hospitals, physicians, and other partners in the healthcare delivery system seek to improve quality and reduce cost of care.
The UI will partner with Trinity Pioneer ACO, which includes Trimark Physicians Group, Trinity Regional Medical Center, Berryhill Center for Mental Health and Iowa Health Home Care, OutcomesMTM, the Iowa Pharmacy Association and 25 pharmacies to analyze the impact of integrating community pharmacy and advanced medication management strategies within an existing Pioneer ACO in central Iowa. Trinity Pioneer ACO serves approximately 7,700 Medicare beneficiaries. The project will operate for two years in these counties: Buena Vista, Calhoun, Hamilton, Humboldt, Pocahontas, Sac, Webster, and Wright.
“The research will create a meaningful link between community pharmacists and physicians in the Trinity Pioneer ACO that we hope will improve the health outcomes of Iowans through more coordinated care,” says William Doucette, professor in the College of Pharmacy and the lead researcher on the grant. “When health care providers work as a team, patients benefit and costs decrease, and that is exactly what we aim to see in this study.”
The $302,000 grant comes from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation. Two other institutions, the University of Nebraska and North Dakota State University, received grants, announced this week by the foundation.