<p><strong>Arlington</strong><strong>, Va.</strong><strong> &ndash; </strong>The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Foundation today announced that the University of Nebraska Medical Center has been awarded one of three research grants to evaluate the potential impact on patient health by incorporating community pharmacy-provided medication management strategies into existing patient-centered care teams, such as medical homes and accountable care organizations (ACOs).</p>
<p>"Coordinated patient-centered models are promising forums to drive quality and improve patient outcomes while also reducing public health costs," said Kathleen Jaeger, president of the NACDS Foundation. &ldquo;The primary medical intervention for most patients is medication therapy.&nbsp; Thus, by incorporating medication management strategies into emerging care models, we hope to optimize therapies and evaluate patient outcomes.&rdquo;</p>
<p>&nbsp;"We are pleased to award this research grant to the University of Nebraska Medical Center in alliance with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE), their medical homes, and community pharmacy Walgreen Co.&nbsp; This research will examine the impact on patient care by incorporating community medication management strategies into BCBSNE&rsquo;s medical homes&rdquo; said Jaeger.&nbsp; &ldquo;Specifically, this research will study the effect on patients with hypertension and type-2 diabetes across multiple Nebraska communities for a two year period.&nbsp;&nbsp; This project also will utilize the Nebraska Health Information Initiative, a statewide bilateral information sharing portal which will allow physicians and community pharmacists to easily share data across clinical settings.&rdquo;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p>
<p>&ldquo;This research seeks to improve the health and wellness of Nebraskans by better coordinating care between pharmacists and physicians,&rdquo; added lead researcher Donald Klepser, Ph.D.,M.B.A., chair of the Innovation in Community Pharmacy Practice Network and assistant professor of pharmacy practice at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. &ldquo;Research shows that when pharmacists and physicians team up, better care is delivered at lower cost. We believe this project will lead to major improvements in the way care is delivered in communities throughout the state.&rdquo;</p>
<p>In addition to helping to improve patient health, medication management programs can in fact reduce overall healthcare spending.&nbsp; A <em>Health Affairs</em> study found that greater adherence to diabetes drugs is linked to less hospital use and could save nearly $5 billion annually. </p>
<p>"The NACDS Foundation is committed to advancing patient health through innovative research, education and charitable initiatives that advance and improve patient care through community pharmacy," said Jaeger.&nbsp; "We look forward to seeing the outcomes of this important research and assessing its impact on patient care.&rdquo;</p>
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<p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">NACDS Foundation Research Grant Background and Approval Process</span></p>
<p>The North Dakota State University and the University of Iowa join the University of Nebraska Medical Center as the three grant recipients that will each evaluate the impact on patient outcomes of innovative medication management strategies in existing medical homes and ACOs.</p>
<p>As part of their research proposals, each of the three academic institutions partnered with key healthcare entities to engage in a collaboration and coordination of medication management patient care services.&nbsp; Each research project will be funded by the NACDS Foundation for a two-year period, and each project will be conducted by a physician-led coordinated care team that incorporates community pharmacy as a partner. </p>
<p>The NACDS Foundation released a request for proposals in early 2012 seeking proposals from research and academic institutions active in leading the evolution in healthcare delivery.&nbsp; More than 40 high-caliber proposals were received and reviewed by an independent review committee which was comprised of experts in the fields of public health, health policy, academic research and industry.&nbsp; Each proposal was evaluated based on the rigors and breadth of its community pharmacy-provided medication management strategy and approach to coordination of care.</p>