Aetna Targets Readmissions With Pharmacy Pilot

Margaret Dick Tocknell, August 28, 2013

Aetna members considered to be at high or moderate risk for hospital readmission within 30 days of discharge will receive support from a pharmacist in the form of in-home medication reviews or telephone consultations.

Aetna is kicking off a pilot program to provide one-on-one medication management support services to members at risk for hospital readmissions.

The Hartford-based insurer is teaming with CVS Caremark and Dovetail Health, a Massachusetts-based care management company, for a 6-month trial. The program will be offered in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Caremark and Dovetail say they will dedicate specific pharmacists to the pilot.

The program is expected to help members manage their health through personal support from a pharmacist including in-home consultations. It will focus on members who take multiple medications and have recently been discharged from a hospital, nursing home or rehabilitation facility.

Reducing hospital readmissions is on everyone's to-do list thanks to quality and outcome measures and incentives introduced through healthcare reform. Medication management issues are linked to more than 60% of "post-discharge adverse events," according to an Aetna spokesperson.

Each year about 3.5 million discharged hospital patients who make medication mistakes end up back in the hospital. Medication non-adherence contributes about $15.2 billion to the nation's annual healthcare costs, according to research cited by Aetna.

Margaret Dick Tocknell Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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