An insurer-led care transition program led by pharmacists and focusing on medication reconciliation reduced the risk of 30-day hospital readmissions by 50 percent and saved $2 for every $1 spent for a total mean savings of $1,347 per member, according to a study published in Health Affairs.
Adverse drug events contribute to up to two-thirds of 30-day readmissions, the study noted. Most care transition and medication reconciliation programs are managed by hospitals and other providers. One program in California, for example, found that 79 percent of patients discharged over a six-month period required reconciliation of their medication lists, and 53 percent needed some sort of change or intervention to their therapies.
The study provided evidence that “an insurer-supported program, independent of provider programs, can reduce both readmission rates and the costs of care,” the researchers concluded.
The unidentified insurer and its pharmacy benefit manager, CVS Health, identified members at high risk for readmission. Pharmacists reconciled members’ medication, provided personalized adherence education and shared patient care plans with providers, according to the study.
Program participants had a 50 percent reduced relative risk of readmission within 30 days of discharge, and an absolute risk reduction of about 11 percent.
- see the study abstract