An Intervention to Address Gaps in Care

Oct 1, 2012

Identification of and Intervention to Address Therapeutic Gaps in Care. Published in American Journal of Managed Care.

Objectives: To determine if therapeutic gap identification, notification of community pharmacists, and intervention results in increased gap closure, reduced gap closure time, and fewer adherence gaps reopening.

Study Design: Prospective, controlled, cluster randomized study.

Methods: State of Illinois employees and beneficiaries of State health plans filling prescriptions at independently owned community pharmacies were included. For selected chronic conditions and medications, gaps in medication adherence and omitted essential therapies were identified from prescription claims and sent as alerts for resolution with the patient and/or physician. Adherence and omission gap closure at 90 days were analyzed with Kaplan-Meier (KM) survival curve approach and Cox proportional hazards models including covariates.

Results: A total of 1433 intervention and 1181 control adherence gaps were identified, while 677 intervention and 534 control omission gaps were generated. Pharmacists intervened on 639 (44.6%) adherence and 506 (74.7%) omission gaps. Gaps were closed more often in intervention than control at 30 days (55.5% in intervention vs 50.6% in control), 45 days (61.1% vs 58.4%, respectively), 60 days (66.1% vs 65.2%, respectively), and 90 days (73.0% vs 72.9%, respectively; adjusted hazard ratio [HR] = 1.242; P = .022; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.115-1.385). Adherence gaps reopened less frequently in the intervention group (HR = 0.863; P = .012; 95% CI 0.769-0.968). A total of 89 (13.1%) intervention and 29 (5.4%) control omission gaps closed within 90 days (adjusted HR = 1.770; P = .005; 95% CI 1.182-2.653).

Conclusions: Independent community pharmacists reduced gaps in care and had fewer reopened adherence gaps, suggesting improvement in adherence. A continuation study will examine the impact of the program on long-term adherence.