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Care Coordination Solutions Following the IMPACT Act

October 23, 2018 | Community

The United States will undergo a population shift over the next several decades, as the number of Americans who are 65 and older increases. In fact, this group will reach 98 million by 2060, accounting for nearly one quarter of the population. This population change is particularly significant for the baby boomer generation, which is expected to fuel an increase of up to 75 percent in the number of seniors who require nursing home care (about 2.3 million by 2030).

As the population evolves, there is much that can be done to mitigate the associated impact on health care costs. Omnicare, the leading provider of pharmacy care services to senior communities, long-term care facilities and assisted living facilities, is uniquely positioned to help address the needs of our country’s aging population across the spectrum of senior care.

IMPACT Act Implementation

To improve the quality of health care for millions of older Americans, lawmakers passed the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act of 2014. The IMPACT Act provides consumers and the government with information regarding outcomes and the cost of care. The IMPACT Act standardizes assessments for critical care issues among post-acute care providers and helps ensure that patient care is delivered holistically, based on what the patient truly needs.

A key component of the IMPACT Act involves changes to the requirements around Drug Regimen Reviews (DRRs). Beginning on October 1, 2018, data from three DRR-related items must be collected, to ensure that all long-term care or skilled nursing facilities are meeting the same standard. Medication reviews following acute care, such as hospital stays, are important because they can identify medication issues. The new requirements reduce the amount of time a post-acute care facility has to conduct these reviews, reducing the likelihood that a patient experiences medication issues, and standardizes the way those issues are communicated to the patient’s prescriber and how they are addressed.

Improving Coordination of Care

To help the long-term care and skilled nursing facilities that Omnicare provides services for, we have developed education materials and tools to help these facilities meet the new DRR requirements.

Omnicare pharmacists will now complete admission reviews within 72-hours (or an agreed upon time frame) of a patient’s admission or readmission. The reviews will identify clinically significant medication issues, as well as evaluate dosing and work to reduce polypharmacy. The DRRs will also focus on optimizing care in the areas of diabetes, pain management, COPD, antibiotic stewardship, heart failure and other areas. Lastly, the reviews will include cost management strategies such as ensuring the appropriate stop dates for antibiotics and post-operative medications.

These enhanced DRR offerings will help the facilities ensure they are meeting IMPACT Act requirements, as well as optimize medication use and improve health outcomes for patients.