Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

An Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience in a Student-Staffed Medication Therapy Management Call Center

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

An Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience in a Student-Staffed Medication Therapy Management Call Center

Article excerpt


Twenty-one percent of adverse drug events are avoidable, and preventable medication-related problems are a concern in the healthcare system. (1) Along with being detrimental to patients' well-being, medication-related problems have an overwhelming financial impact. In the year 2000, the cost of medication-related morbidity and mortality exceeded $177.4 billion. (2) In an attempt to address these issues for Medicare beneficiaries, the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 required Part D Prescription Drug Plan sponsors to provide MTM services to members meeting certain eligibility requirements. (3-5) The goal of MTM is to optimize therapeutic outcomes by improving medication use and reducing the risk of adverse events, including drug-drug interactions. These MTM services may be provided by pharmacists or other qualified providers. (3) With MTM being an opportunity for pharmacists to provide patient-centered care, colleges and schools of pharmacy have a responsibility to produce pharmacists who are prepared and confident in their ability to provide MTM services.

The American College of Clinical Pharmacy and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) promote standards for pharmacy education that incorporate patient-centered experiences to optimize medication therapy, improve outcomes, and promote disease prevention. (6,7) AACP presents its ideals for pharmacy education outcomes under the Center for the Advancement of Pharmaceutical Education (CAPE), the guidelines of which emphasize the importance of using patient-centered pharmaceutical care experiences to develop students' skills in gathering comprehensive patient information, using literature to identify potential drug-related problems, recommending appropriate therapy, and creating a patient-monitoring plan to achieve therapeutic outcomes. (7) Both organizations further suggest that student pharmacists use communication and collaboration with the entire healthcare team. (6,7) Additionally, the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education's curriculum guidelines require that the goals of a college or school of pharmacy include preparation of students who possess the competencies necessary for the provision of pharmacist-delivered patient care, including MTM services. (8) Advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs) in MTM can offer exposure to all of these activities, and many colleges and schools of pharmacy have implemented MTM in their curriculum. By incorporating patient-centered MTM experiences, colleges and schools of pharmacy can provide students with the skill set necessary to perform effective MTM services as independent pharmacy practioners. (9,10)

In response to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) MTM requirements for Medicare Part D plans, WellCare Health Plans, Inc., approached The University of Florida College of Pharmacy about providing MTM services to eligible plan members. The college viewed this as an opportunity to develop a unique practice model to educate fourth-year student pharmacists. Providing the core elements of MTM, as defined by the American Pharmacists Association, would offer students direct patient-care experience and cultivate student self-efficacy in providing MTM services. WellCare and the University of Florida negotiated a 2-year contract, resulting in WellCare funding the MTM Center at a mutually agreeable annual rate. After only 6 months of planning, the first student-staffed MTM Communication and Care Center at the College of Pharmacy campus in Gainesville opened on March 1, 2010. The purpose of this paper is to describe the creation and implementation of an APPE in MTM that provided fourth-year student pharmacists a patient-centered experience using unique technology and introducing exemplary educational opportunities focused on improving student self-efficacy.


In 2010, the college expanded its APPE experiences to include more direct patient care by creating an MTM Communication and Care Center. …

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