The National Medication Management Initiative (NMMI) is a ground-breaking program. It is the first nationwide effort with a goal of fostering good health through enhanced medication intake compliance, while simultaneously reducing problematic medication-related occurrences. The platform is a powerful combination of the nation’s premier health care providers and state-of-the-art, medication-assistive technology.
The NMMI’s key strategy is to enable physicians to complete the medication continuum. More specifically, patients have always looked to their physician for prescriptions. However, historically, physicians have not supplied patients with a tool for prescription management. The NMMI is now filling that critical void. Further, the benevolence of the program enables patients to obtain the technology and support free of charge.
Individuals frequently take multiple medications, thus complicating the medication management process. NMMI participating physicians believe the time has come for physicians to provide their patients more guidance and support than simply the directions on a pill bottle. Therefore, as the NMMI expands and its platform continues to grow, a new industry dynamic is rapidly taking shape: Patients are starting to expect physicians to provide prescriptions AND a method to manage them.
The NMMI program’s novel platform is the key to its tremendous acceptance. The effectiveness is based three distinct items. They are:
Personal Medication Management Technology
The technology utilized in the NMMI program truly sets the industry standard for personal medication management. The system is feature-laden, powerful and easy to use. Its robust design even enables those with no computer skills or mobile technology proficiency to enhance their medication administration.
A distinguishing component of the technology is its Support Team feature. This exceptionally unique characteristic enables any individual with a vested interest in the well being of a patient to help the patient with their medication management. Support Team members, who are most often a patient’s family members, do not have to be local, nor do they need to have a medical background to make a big difference with intake compliance.
The Support Team feature has proven to be especially helpful for seniors and their families. Whereas the system can be programmed in many configurations, an example of a basic system structure for a senior could be as follows:
1) The system makes a phone call to the patient at the medication’s predetermined intake time and conveys the both the name and quantity of the medication to consume;
2) If the system does not receive confirmation of the patient’s medication consumption within 30 minutes, the system then notifies a Support Team member (typically a family member) of the missed intake. The notification can be delivered in multiple forms, and thus provides an opportunity for the Support Team member to determine the reason behind the missed consumption and to validate the patient’s safety and well being.
Although the system has a wealth of features, two are very distinctive. The first is the system’s direct link to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) medication database. The second is its medication interaction database. Both of these dynamic tools truly provide the patient with an unparalleled level of safety for their medication administration.
The physicians at the core of the NMMI are visionaries. They know medication compliance is a material challenge faced by patients.
The NMMI-participating physicians are doing something about this industry-wide problem. The coalition of NMMI physicians are not only writing prescriptions, but they are also providing their patients an unparalleled method to manage them. Simply stated, the “full circle” of medication supply combined with medication administration is making a significant difference in patient outcomes and health.
Each physician in the NMMI proudly distributes a practice-labeled, personal medication management system to his or her patients: There is no cost to the patient. Both the web-based system and the mobile platform proudly display the physician’s name and/or practice name to their patients. This makes for a very professional method of patient engagement and ongoing practice promotion.
NMMI-participating physicians also enjoy the creation of an entirely new income stream for their practice. The revenue stream is generated through the discreet and tasteful banner advertising that appears on the physician’s medication management system. The sponsors promote dignified items of interest to the physician’s patients. At no time is advertising accepted from sources that receive any type of referral business from the physician.
There is no cost of participation to the NMMI’s physicians.
Strategic Alliance Partners
Home Care: Whereas physicians are at the core of the NMMI, other health care providers also play an important role in the organization. This is very evident by the involvement of the home care industry.
The home care industry understands the challenges patients, especially seniors, face in the daily administration of medication. Hence, the industry has become an extremely important resource in promoting the NMMI’s mission. A material segment of current NMMI physicians joined the organizations due to the introductory efforts of local home care agencies.
Strategic alliance home care agencies enjoy tremendous benefits from their participation in the NMMI. One of them is the ability to distinguish their agency from others in the eyes of referring physicians. Since home care is commonly viewed as a commodity, the ability for an agency to introduce their referring physicians to the NMMI is very rewarding. After a physician enrolls in the NMMI, no other home care agency can establish that connection. The resulting bond generated between the introducing agency and the physician is considerable and fosters the relationship between the parties.
Another benefit for the NMMI’s strategic alliance home care agencies is their ability to become a Support Team member for a physician’s patients. In this situation, an agency that receives a home care order from an NMMI physician is capable of being directly linked to the patient through the physician’s electronic medication management platform. This significantly enhances the patient’s care continuum, while also providing the agency a solid position for future care opportunities.
Independent Physician Associations: Today, Independent Physician Associations (IPAs) deliver much more to their physician members than simply negotiating managed care contracts. They provide a wide range of practice-fostering tools. Items such as office operational assistance, compliance-related guidance, case management systems and revenue generating vehicles are a few of the common benefits enjoyed by IPA member physicians.
When an IPA becomes an alliance partner with the NMMI, it creates significant opportunities for the IPA’s physicians: two stand out. First, the union provides each physician member, at no charge, the ability to essentially add a “patient medication management” department to their practice. The NMMI’s prolific technology and support staff acts as an extension of a practice, and delivers a material advancement to positive patient outcomes.
Second, the ancillary component of revenue also looms large. The NMMI’s sponsor-driven business model, which is both OIG and HIPAA compliant, creates an entirely new revenue stream for a practice.
The IPA/NMMI alliance presents both healthier patients and advanced fiscal positioning for both the IPA and its member physicians. The association between the two entities is a powerful asset in the highly-competitive health care industry.
Hospitals: The hospital industry also plays a prominent role in promulgating the NMMI. This is especially evident in those hospital systems that have affiliated primary care physicians (PCPs).
Hospital-affiliated PCPs act as an extension of their hospital. They frequently provide post-hospital-discharge care to their patients. The NMMI platform, and its corresponding medication management platform, plays a key role in mitigating one of a hospital’s biggest challenges: preventable readmissions.
Adverse medication occurrences, especially within the senior population, are one of the most common causes of a preventable readmission. Therefore, hospitals, through enrollment of their PCPs in the NMMI, have a positive impact on patient outcomes, while also improving hospital profitability.
Yet another hospital benefit is the co-branding found on the PCPs’ medication management system. Unaffiliated PCPs typically have their system branded with their name or the name of their practice. Whereas this is also the case for a hospital’s PCPs, the affiliated PCPs also brand their system with name of their hospital system. This co-branding situation generates exceptional goodwill for the hospital and provides a platform for ongoing hospital promotion.
Accountable Care Organizations: Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) were created by the Affordable Care Act as a vehicle to improve patient outcomes. Further, a material component of their mission is to lower costs in the delivery of health care to their patients. When they are successful in mitigating delivery expenditures, the providers are rewarded financially through CMS’ Shared Savings Program.
ACOs employ a multitude of tools to lower health care costs: provider participation in the NMMI is one of those tools. This is because medication non-compliance or adverse drug reactions represent a significant component of health care expenditures. Therefore, the implementation of an ongoing and effective medication management system reduces avoidable medication-related problems and the costs of care associated therewith.
The NMMI’s platform contains hearty and interactive technological features. This, coupled with the initiative’s emphasis on multi-person support environment to assist with a patient’s medication management, creates a vehicle that makes the NMMI one of the most effective cost-containment resources an ACO can employ.
The NMMI is truly a program for the “greater good.” It is underwritten and funded by Averlent Corporation. For more information, please use this email contact form.