Cardinal Health opens its Retail Business Conference with an emphasis on medication adherence

Recent purchase of an MTM company adds to offerings for independent pharmacies

At its annual summer gathering for independent pharmacy customers (Las Vegas, July 22-25), Cardinal Health is promoting its Adherence Advantage program, which brings together new and existing solutions to help retail pharmacies improve adherence. The week before, the company announced the acquisition of OutcomesMTM (Des Moines, IA), a 60-person consulting firm that coordinates medication-therapy management programs for payers, retailers and healthcare systems. The acquisition, for an undisclosed price, adds to an MTM program developed internally at Cardinal over the past year.

MTM—which incorporates adherence programs as well as other services to benefit health outcomes—has been around for years, but is getting a higher profile in value-based reimbursement systems for providers. CMS has been expanding attention to MTM for Medicare Part D patients; but as of last year, only 1% of those patients were benefitting directly. For pharmacists, MTM offers some reimbursement for something they have been doing voluntarily for years—reviewing patient conditions and guiding them in therapy regimens.

Cardinal’s Adherence Advantage program includes a smartphone app, Pharmacy Health Connect, to expedite communications between pharmacists and clients; a pair of packaging solutions for dispensing multiple doses; personal adherence products like tablet crushers and cutters; and a reimbursement consulting service, which provides, via a computer screen, a dashboard overview of patient care opportunities.

“An important criterion for pharmacies to be included in health plan networks is the ability to drive medication adherence among their patients,” said Myles Hoover, VP of marketing and cusomter solutions at Cardinal. “This expanded suite of services helps us work seamlessly with community pharmacists to help them ensure patients are on the right medications, using them the right way and achieving the desired results.”