<p style="text-align: center;"><em>150,000 patients eligible for medication management services in North Dakota</em><strong></strong></p>
<p><strong>Arlington</strong><strong>, Va. &ndash; </strong>The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Foundation today announced that North Dakota State University, Fargo, N.D., has been selected as one of three recipients of research grants to evaluate the impact on patient care by the integration of community pharmacy-provided medication management strategies into existing patient-centered care teams, such as medical homes and accountable care organizations (ACOs).</p>
<p>North Dakota State University (NDSU) is working with a team of prestigious partners across the state including Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, Thrifty White Pharmacy, Prime Therapeutics, and OutcomesMTM to provide innovative, coordinated care to patients in this research project.&nbsp; The research will analyze advanced medication management strategies integrated within a statewide patient-centered medical home in North Dakota, the MediQHome project.&nbsp; More than 70 percent of North Dakota physicians participate in this Blue Cross Blue Shield-developed medical home program, and over 150,000 North Dakotans are eligible for the interventions in the study occurring over a two-year period.</p>
<p>"Although a vast majority of patients receive medications as part of their health care treatment, community pharmacist-provided medication management strategies have yet to be meaningfully analyzed in emerging care models," said Kathleen Jaeger, NACDS Foundation president.</p>
<p>&ldquo;This research project will position North Dakota as a pioneer in the movement to better coordinate care between pharmacists and physicians,&rdquo; added David Scott, PhD, the lead researcher on the study, and a professor at NDSU. &ldquo;Research shows that when pharmacists and physicians work together, better care is delivered at lower cost. We believe this project will lead to major improvements in the health and wellness of communities throughout this state.&rdquo;</p>
<p>ACOs and medical homes seek to improve patient health outcomes, and they can also help reduce public health costs.&nbsp; The key to this savings is medication adherence – patients taking their medications as prescribed.&nbsp; Health policy research group NEHI cites that as few as 50 percent of patients take their medications properly as prescribed by their doctor, which costs the nation more than $290 billion in needless health spending a year.&nbsp; Additionally, a recent study suggests that a typical ACO with 10,000 Medicare beneficiaries might be able save up to $1.1 million annually in emergency department and hospital costs alone by improving adherence among patients with diabetes.</p>
<p>"Integrated delivery of care, such as that provided in a medical home or ACO is the future of healthcare delivery.&nbsp; Patients in these programs receive better care through improved coordination – physicians and other healthcare professionals working together to improve patient outcomes," said Jaeger. "We are delighted to award a grant to such a prestigious academic institution as North Dakota State University."&nbsp; </p>
<p>"The NACDS Foundation is committed to advancing patient health outcomes 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 University of Nebraska Medical Center and the University of Iowa join the North Dakota State University 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 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>