RX Map Helping to Avoid Costly Hospital Readmissions

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By John Chamberlin

Nearly 12 months ago, the Hometown Pharmacy chain began offering a revolutionary concept of customized packaging for patient prescriptions.  Hometown Pharmacy’s RXMap medication packaging systems allows for patients, who are receiving multiple daily doses and/or multiple medications per day to have their prescriptions packaged in the same bubble packaging and marked for the day and time of day the prescriptions are to be taken.  The MAP stands for “Medication Adherence Packaging”.

But RXMap hasn’t stopped at a single mission. The company is now intimately involved in helping personal care and long-term skill nursing facilities reduce costly re-admissions of their patients to local hospitals.  According to Shawn Nairn, RPh “The reason we developed RXMap is that, now, more than ever, patient’s compliance to medication is part of the healthcare paradigm.  To reduce re-admissions and, and subsequently healthcare costs, we need to help patients to be more compliant with their medications so that they stay healthier and stay out of the hospital.  We look at our RXMap system as a way of assisting long-term care providers with their tasks. Ultimately, it will improve patient outcomes which benefits the patients, there families and also the healthcare facility.”

For example, the Manor Care facilities in the Pittsburgh area been working with RXMap for approximately a year.  Amanda Skerlak-Laporte, Regional Director of Operations at Manor Care states, “Our patients have found  RXMap beneficial to them in that, at the time of discharge, they are able to eliminate an additional stop at the pharmacy due to Hometown Pharmacy delivering the RXMap medication system to them at the skilled nursing facility prior to discharge or at their home once they get there.  In addition, the added features and benefits to this program are, most importantly, assisting them in maintaining their medication compliance, as well as the increased communication between the pharmacy and the patients PCP and the convenience of routine delivery of medications to their home post discharge.”

A previous article here in Healthcare News stated, “On a national level, patients who are discharged from hospitals with a clear understanding of their after-care hospital instructions, including how to take medications, are 30 percent less likely to be readmitted or revisit the emergency room than patients who lack this information.”

To further substantiate the issue, a recent article from the Health Affairs blog states, “The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services calls avoidable readmissions one of the leading problems facing the U.S. health care system, and in an effort to turn things around is now penalizing hospitals with high rates of readmissions for patients with certain conditions.

The numbers are disturbing and disappointingly familiar. According to the federal government, one in five elderly patients winds up back in the hospital within 30 days of leaving. The cost is troubling, too. The readmission of Medicare patients alone costs $26 billion annually, $17 billion of which is spent on return trips that wouldn’t need to happen if patients received proper care during their first visit.”

And that’s where RXMap plays a vital role.  The RX Map program allows people to take multiple doses of multiple medications without opening all of the pill bottles every time or, helps coordinate multiple doses of multiple medications for the caregivers in long-term care facilities, therefore making them more efficient and proficient. It eliminates the need for the staff to spend time coordinating medication dosages.

As Nairn states, “We work with hospitals when they discharge patients to help ensure that these patients have the best chance at a healthy recovery and to try to avoid the chance that the patient ends up re-admitted.  So while we are helping patients with the RXMap system, we are also helping our contractual partners be efficient.

Skerlak-Laporte, agrees, “This partnership has been an exciting service for the patients of our HCR ManorCare facilities and has provided them with another opportunity to assist in preventing a re-hospitalization post discharge.”

For more information on RX Map, visit, www.myrxmap.com or call 1-877-RXMaps.