Pharmacist-Led Program Reduced Hospital Readmissions Through Improved Medication Adherence Interview with:

Jennifer Polinski, Senior Director Enterprise Evaluation and Population Health Analytics CVS Health Woonsocket, Rhode Island

Jennifer Polinski

Jennifer Polinski, Senior Director
Enterprise Evaluation and Population Health Analytics
CVS Health
Woonsocket, Rhode Island What is the background for this study?

Response: Unnecessary and often preventable hospital readmissions are a growing and costly issue. An estimated one in seven patients discharged from a hospital is readmitted within 30 days, and startlingly, readmissions are associated with more than $41 billion in additional health care costs per year. In addition, evidence suggests that approximately 66 percent of hospital readmissions are the result of adverse health events related to medication non-adherence. What are the main findings?

Response: Researchers from the CVS Health Research Institute evaluated how a pharmacist-led medication reconciliation program, in which pharmacists review patients’ medication regimens and provide adherence counseling during the patient’s transition from hospital to home, could reduce risk for hospital readmission.

The findings showed that for those enrolled in the program, hospital readmissions at 30 days was reduced by 50 percent, reducing overall risk of hospital readmission from 22 percent 11 percent. Additionally, the health insurer whose members were enrolled in the program saved $2 for every $1 spent on the program, resulting in a total savings of more than $1300 per member. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Historically, health insurers have had little control over direct efforts to reduce hospital readmission rates for their members. These results provide evidence of an opportunity for payers to consider adopting programs that provide pharmacist support and counseling by phone as a cost-efficient way to help improve medication adherence and health outcomes for their members while reducing health care costs. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


An Insurer’s Care Transition Program Emphasizes Medication Reconciliation, Reduces Readmissions And Costs
Jennifer M. Polinski, Janice M. Moore, Pavlo Kyrychenko, Michael Gagnon, Olga S. Matlin, Joshua W. Fredell, Troyen A. Brennan, and William H. Shrank
Health Aff July 2016 35:71222-1229; doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2015.0648

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Last Updated on July 13, 2016 by Marie Benz MD FAAD