• SeniorNews

A Quick and Easy Way to Manage Your Meds

By Becky Streeter

Prescription medication. We all take meds at some point in our lives, whether short- or long-term, and the more we get on in age, the more it seems the doctors prescribe. However, it may or may not surprise you that at least 50% of adults older than 65 take medication that is not completely necessary (1). Seem like a large percentage? There are some factors at play here:

1. Some medications (i.e. Coumadin) need to be regulated per person per day. Everyone has a different body chemistry, and they body can respond differently to drugs on a daily basis depending on what is going on in the patient’s life (foods eaten, amount of sleep, exercise, or water one drinks, etc.).

2. Some medications cause inadvertent side effects and many doctors prescribe other medications to combat the side effects of the first prescription. It can be cyclical.

3. Most insurance companies cover phone consultations with pharmacists, but rarely face-to-face services. That means the person on the other side of the line cannot see or observe you, they just have to take your word for it.

This is where Medication Therapy Management (MTM) can help. MTM consists of a group of services in which a healthcare professional—usually a pharmacist—provides a one-on-one review of a person’s medications to prevent and solve medication-related problems. This professional not only looks at prescribed medications, but over the counter medicines and dietary supplements as well.

If your health care plan covers MTM services, you can receive one comprehensive medication review for free each year. If your health care plan does not cover MTM, the average out-of-pocket is around $60 per hour. Not a bad price for a life-changing service!

During the session, the health care professional will review the following:

- Drug interaction to ensure non-combating medications

- Unnecessarily prescribed medications

- Multiple medications used that have similar or overlapping affects

- Correct dosage and administration

- Roadblocks to receiving the treatment you need (i.e. price of medications or lack of transportation)

- Provide information or referrals to other services as needed

The MTM healthcare professional will work with you and/or your caregivers to make sure you have a plan of action and a regimen that fits your specific needs.

The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) reevaluate patient eligibility for MTM services each year and make changes to the criteria based on the results of their studies. Currently, some states that offer only Medicaid might not be able to cover MTM services. Alternatively, if a person with Medicare falls under a specific set of criteria, MTM services are actually required.

Call your health insurer today to find out if you qualify for MTM services. This could be the answer you are looking for in order to live an easier, healthier life.

1. Information for the article obtained from 2.

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