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MTM Medication Therapy Management
Medication Therapy Management
Medication Therapy Management is a new addition to many health and prescription medication plans. After years of trying to tell insurance providers that their patients would benefit from proper prescription management - the benefit managers have finally come to the realization that pharmacists were correct with their advice! This has come to be realized so much that MTM services are now automatically an integral part of most Medicare Part-D prescription plans.
An array of medications
What is MTM?
To understand MTM you first need to realize that medical treatment utilizes many different forms of therapy - treatment with pharmaceuticals (drugs) is only one of them. Management of medical conditions may involve physical therapy, psychotherapy, social therapy as well as or in place of pharmaceutical therapies. MTM approaches the patient's condition acknowledging that other therapies may be involved in the care plan of a patient. Through the process of MTM - the trained pharmacist first reviews the patient's medical conditions and other known therapies before evaluating the patient's medication therapy. With basic information in hand the pharmacist specialist now turns to the issues of medications.
Are all the medications in the patient's history appropriate for the patient's conditions, age, gender and health assessment? Are generic medications being utilized for the maximum benefit of patient health care dollars? Are the medications prescribed in the proper dose and frequency? Are any medications being duplicated and if so - why? May medications be eliminated that are no longer necessary? Are there any potential conflicts between any of the medications? What about potential for side effects and can they be managed or do they have the potential for serious issues?
In addition are there other issues to be addressed? Considering the patient's history and age are there therapies that should be recommended? Are immunizations up to date and are there any new recommendation from the CDC for updates and new immunizations?
These issues constitue the basics of MTM - but is not meant to be all inclusive. Patients are individuals and not everybody will need to be treated exactly like everyone else. An MTM pharmacist always remembers first - they are dealing with an individual and as such it is one patient - one issue at a time as they go through the process.
Seniors Benefit From MTM
As we age, all of us will lose some or all of certain abilities. Visual loss is probably the most common loss with onset of loss even at very early age. Hearing is another very common loss. As seniors age, memory losses tend to creep into their lives. One very common problem with seniors is remembering what conditions the medications are being used to treat and when to take their medications. Confusion between brand name and long generic names adds to the issues. Forgetting to order refills on prescriptions is another issue seniors have to cope with.
An MTM pharmacist can meet with these patients and go over their entire list of medications - dosing schedules - when to reorder - and all other issues brought forth in an MTM interview. Suggesting medication reminders and weekly medication management devices and systems will help to organize, remind and increase adherence to proper dosing. Giving the senior patient printed handouts and teaching them how to use modern reminder systems will also help them manage their therapy. In the instances where the senior is too confused to cope with their medication issues, the MTM pharmacist can provide this assistance to family members or other caregivers. In all this MTM has one goal - helping to make the lives of their patients better with proper management of especially complex therapy and better outcomes for an enhanced quality of life.
MTM for Everyone
Just because seniors pose special concerns with MTM does not mean that they are the only ones who will benefit from MTM services. Anyone from infants through seniors who take any medication on a regular basis - especially those who are on multiple pharmaceutical agents - may benefit. Even a person taking one medication, even for a short period of time, may benefit from MTM. The goal for everyone is better outcomes with positive effects on the quality of life. Proper use of prescription and non-prescription medications is very important to gain the maximum benefit while minimizing side effects and other medication issues.