Medication Use Practices: An ACO Success Story
ACO success is most prominent in the optimization of medication use practices. As CMS shifts to non-monetary evaluations, medication adherence is a common metric utilized to track progress. Recent reports have confirmed that ACO achievements are strong in this area. Some examples are:
- increase in patient education
- integration with pharmacy systems,
- increased appropriate use of generic medications
- the development of better systems to track preventative care gaps
- an increase in electronic transmission of prescriptions
- the creation of better systems for potential adverse-events notifications(4)
Because ACOs are created with an emphasis on collaboration, streamlining many aspects of medication use is a logical first step.
Although they are largely successful with these substantial improvements, ACOs still lag in a few areas. For instance, pharmacy notifications for cancelled prescriptions are slow. In addition, ACOs continue to encounter problems with delivery of discontinued prescription notifications to care providers. Much of these delays in implementation can be attributed to technological barriers, reimbursement methods, and reporting difficulties.(4) In other words, medication use practices are changing for the better, but there is still room for improvement.