Medication therapy management, or MTM, is a term used to describe, “a broad range of healthcare services provided by pharmacists, the medication experts on the healthcare team.” These services include, but are not limited to: medication therapy reviews, disease state management, immunizations and public health initiatives. The purpose of all of these activities is to help patients benefit the most from their medication regimens, specifically by “identifying, preventing, and resolving medication-related problems.” MTM is performed by pharmacists in almost all healthcare settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, doctor’s offices and onsite at community pharmacies. Health insurance companies provide reimbursement to pharmacies and pharmacists who provide MTM services to patients. Many patients feel that the pharmacist is only responsible for filling prescriptions, but MTM services demonstrates that pharmacists are capable of doing so much more to improve the
health of their patients!
What a Pharmacist Provides
Pharmacists providing MTM services use their knowledge and expertise in drug therapy to positively impact medication usage and the management of diseases. MTM services can be provided in person (i.e., providing one-on-one consultation for medication-related problems, providing a shingles shot, or testing a patient’s blood to determine how well a medicine is working), or sometimes over the phone. Examples of the types of things a pharmacist will do within MTM services are the following:
- Provide patients with tools to improve their adherence to medications (medication non-adherence costs the U.S. upwards of $300 billion annually)
- Contacting physicians to adjust medications to eliminate side effects or reduce cost while still getting the same or even more health benefit
- Helping patients with dietary and lifestyle changes to supplement the benefit of medications in treating diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and many others.
All of these services are provided by pharmacists with the overarching goal to improve patients’ health and reduce healthcare costs.