Pharmacist Collaboration Closes Gaps in Care

Feb 28, 2013
A new collaboration between Express Scripts and community pharmacists is helping close critical medication-related gaps in care.

Combining innovative technology with specially trained community pharmacists, Express Scripts – through its groundbreaking SOCRxATES® program – is playing an even more integral role in helping patients improve adherence to chronic therapies.

The SOCRxATES program addresses several vital aspects of real healthcare reform. It transforms traditional competitors into collaborators; creates a partnership across private business, public employers and local colleges of pharmacy; and leverages advanced pharmacy technology to efficiently identify and effectively close gaps in care for patients who are suffering from chronic and complex conditions – patients who account for 96% of all drug costs and 75% of all medical spending.

The success of this program was recently reported in the American Journal of Managed Care. The 90-day study conducted by Express Scripts and the University of Illinois was based on the pilot program SOCRxATES that brought together the State of Illinois, the Illinois Pharmacists Association, community pharmacies and the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy.

The study sought to determine whether community pharmacists could help patients adhere to their drug regimen and initiate missing essential therapies using a unique prescription-claims computer program developed by Express Scripts. Nearly 2,500 state employees with diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure and heart failure participated in the study, which covered nearly 100 community pharmacies in Illinois. Among the study’s findings:

  • Pharmacists in the program receiving computer alerts from Express Scripts closed nearly 10% more adherence-related gaps in care within 30 days than pharmacists not working with the program.
  • The adherence gaps in care that had been closed by pharmacists offering intervention reopened less frequently than the gaps that had been closed by pharmacists who didn’t receive the alerts.
  • Pharmacists who received computer alerts from Express Scripts were far more successful in initiating essential therapies, closing nearly 143% more of these types of gaps in care than pharmacists who didn’t receive alerts.

Express Scripts aims to improve care for its members with chronic medical conditions whether they use home delivery from the Express Scripts Pharmacy or a partnering community pharmacy. The trained SOCRxATES pharmacists have an important role, and we are proud to support them with the information and technology they need to help these patients.

Since the completion of the pilot initiative in Illinois, Express Scripts has expanded the SOCRxATES program to New Mexico, Florida and Tennessee, as well as with a Medicare Advantage Part D health plan in Pennsylvania. It is these types of innovative initiatives that allow us to act on patient data and offer tailored clinical and behavioral solutions to help patients stay on track with their medications and make better decisions to achieve healthier outcomes.

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