Managing Polypharmacy: Key to Predicting and Preventing Hospital Readmissions?

According to a recent Kaiser Health News report, 20% of Medicare patients hospitalized with one of five conditions (heart failure, heart attack, pneumonia, chronic lung problems or elective hip or knee replacements) return to the hospital within a month of discharge.1  Medicare penalizes hospitals if they have higher 30-day readmission rates than predicted by a […] read more

On February 22nd, 2016, posted in: Polypharmacy by

Medication Adherence: Starts With The Right Therapeutic Regimen

ActualMeds CEO Patricia Meisner discusses how reducing complexity and risk of medication regimens in older adults is a fundamentally different approach to improving adherence. In order to do this care teams must be aware of a patient’s medication history to guide therapy and interventions at the point of care.  Listen to the entire podcast at: http://www.relentlesshealthvalue.com/48 read more

Medication Non-Adherence : MTM is Working to Solve A $290 Billion Problem

We wholeheartedly endorse the Triple Tree Blog posting April 7th 2015 which describes that “an effective [Medication Therapy Management] MTM program can dramatically improve adherence…”.1 While pharmacists have long been personally delivering patient care services in a variety of settings, it is true as the blog states that market drivers such as the 2003 Medicare […] read more

On April 8th, 2015, posted in: Uncategorized by

Simplifying Medication Regimens: Add a Pharmacist to Your Care Team!

More than a decade ago, World Health Organization (WHO) identified medication non-adherence a problem of great importance. In a 2003 white paper, WHO states that the medication non-adherence rate for patients with chronic diseases in developed countries is a full 50%.1  George, et al. performed a systematic review in 2008 and determined complex medication regimens […] read more

On March 24th, 2015, posted in: Adherence, Comprehensive Medication Review, Older Adults by

Reducing Antipsychotic Medications for Patients with Dementia: Are Ambulatory Patients Being Left Behind?

March 9, 2015. The literature is replete with warnings of medication related problems, adverse drug events, and all-cause mortality related to use of antipsychotic medications for patients with dementia.1  As a large portion of the nursing home population have a dementia diagnosis and have historically had a high prevalence of antipsychotic medication use, the US […] read more

On March 9th, 2015, posted in: Dementia, High Risk Medications by

Rx-To-OTC Trends Heating Up: Teamwork and Technology A Must

February 24, 2015 A recent on-line article in Pharmacy Times1 has reported that the Rx to OTC movement is generating increasing momentum.  The author states that in 2010 alone over 240 million Americans spent approximately $23 billion on OTC medications.  With a reported 6:1 return on investment (ROI) in avoided health care system costs, this […] read more

On February 24th, 2015, posted in: Drug Interactions, Older Adults, OTCs, Self Medication, Uncategorized by

Benzodiazepines and the Older Adult: What Part of “NO” Do We Not Understand?

February 19, 2015 As a brand new Consultant Pharmacist many years ago, I welcomed the newly-published CMS regulations for nursing home practice that began to restrict the usage of harmful medications for frail elderly nursing home patients. The medication classes most keenly focused on were anticholinergics, anti-psychotics, and benzodiazepines. While the use of these medications […] read more

On February 19th, 2015, posted in: Dementia, High Risk Medications, Older Adults by

Medication Adherence: Why Is It So Hard, What Is It Worth, What Does It Cost?

February 15, 2015 A recent study published by Hutchins et al. in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes is causing a buzz on news sites and blogs.  Paraphrasing some of the headlines we have seen: “Many prefer an early death to pill taking” and “Some patients willing to pay almost $1500 to avoid taking […] read more

On February 15th, 2015, posted in: Adherence, Self Medication by

OTCs: It’s Not Just What, It’s When. Timing is Everything.

February 9, 2015 Levothyroxine (Synthroid, Levoxyl and generics) is the most commonly prescribed drug in the US. Osteoporosis is a common co-morbid condition with hypothyroidism among older females, who also often exhibit iron-deficiency anemia as well.  So what happens in the real world when patients are also medicating with calcium and iron supplements? A 2015 […] read more

On February 10th, 2015, posted in: OTCs, Self Medication by

Anticholinergic Medications and Dementia: Enough Already. it’s Time We Draw the Line!

February 4, 2015 A new study recently published online in JAMA Internal Medicine “Cumulative Use of Strong Anticholinergics and Incident Dementia-A Prospective Cohort Study” has raised the bar on confirming the link between anticholinergic medication use by older adults and all-cause dementia.  In an accompanying editorial, Noll L. Campbell PharmD of Purdue University College of Pharmacy called […] read more

On February 4th, 2015, posted in: Dementia, Older Adults by