Fascinating UConn medication management conference

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UConn’s School of Pharmacy invited some stellar speakers to yesterday’s 2012 Hewitt Symposium on Medication Management. Medication management is an important new tool to both lower health care costs and improve care. The tool pairs patients with complex conditions and many medications with a pharmacist to ensure they are taking the right medications, eliminate conflicts, address side effects, prevent errors, and help them adhere to the care plan. Speakers came from successful programs in Boston, Pittsburg, Minneapolis, North Carolina, Iowa, and Connecticut. A CT Medicaid program, highlighted in Health Affairs, saved $1,123 per patient per year in medication costs and $472 in medical care – saving $2.50 for every dollar spent on the program. Another CT program serving Cambodian refugees saved even more — $3,032.44 per patient per year – returning $5.60 for every dollar of program spending. The speakers shared important lessons learned. Opportunities to both save money and improve care are rare — every CT payer should be looking at medication management.