Key informant perspectives about telephonic comprehensive medication review services in the United States

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Journal of the American Pharmacists Association


Background: Comprehensive medication reviews (CMRs) are provided by providers such as pharmacists to eligible beneficiaries. Although CMRs have been shown to provide value to patients, little is known about the service uniformity, quality, and content of CMRs. Objective: This study aimed to characterize the current state of CMR services from diverse stakeholder perspectives and describe variation in responses to content and delivery of telephonic CMR services. Methods: Semistructured interviews were conducted with 10 key informants. The interview guide contained 6 key questions with additional probing questions. Transcripts were analyzed using the inductive saturation model and phenomenological approach to code emergent themes, which were iteratively refined until saturation was achieved. Results: Key informants included CMR payers (n = 3), providers (n = 5), and standards-setting organizations (n = 2). Ten themes about CMRs emerged from qualitative analysis: (1) definition, (2) organizational goals, (3) content, (4) eligibility, (5) frequency, (6) acceptance and completion, (7) process and personnel, (8) quality assurance, (9) preparation, and (10) future directions. CMR content descriptions were consistent across perspectives. Key informants described scenarios appropriate for expanded CMR eligibility criteria, although none were consistently reported. Providers emphasized patient CMR acceptance rates whereas payers and standard-setting organizations emphasized completion rates. Completion rates and adherence to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services standards were characterized as core organizational goals (n = 8), whereas patient satisfaction was less frequently identified (n = 4). A lack of incentive for CMR providers to follow-up with patients was a barrier to expanded services. Overall, key informants were dissatisfied with the CMR completion rate measure and would prefer measures focused on service quality and outcomes. Conclusions: CMR services largely met perceived guidelines, with variation in value-added services. Key informants desired adoption of an actionable measure that is focused on quality rather than completion rate. To inform a quality measure, future research should analyze completed CMRs to determine the extent of variation in content and delivery.

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