Publication | BRG

Pharmacy Adding Value to an ACO

Jay Martinez and Rick Knudson

April 2023

Pharmacy is a space to augment your ACO:

A survey of ambulatory care programs (ACOs) found that only 57 percent had directly hired at least one clinical pharmacist to provide their patients with care.

Pharmacy involvement in your ACO delivers a fiscal impact:

Clinical pharmacists resolving medication-therapy problems for 290 patients resulted in an estimated cost savings of over $1.1 million.

Pharmacist management of ACO patients resulted in a decrease of $554 per patient per month in the total cost, with medication costs decreasing by $192 per patient per month.

Pharmacist-associated ten-year ACO cost savings at one health system have been estimated at over $2.9 million, or $86 per encounter.

Incorporating pharmacists with your ACO makes sense:

Clinical pharmacists serve as an untapped primary care resource for ACOs, resulting in greater patient and provider satisfaction.

Bryan Health Connect – optimizing pharmacy involvement in an ACO:

Bryan Health Pharmacy has grown from 1 to 5 FTE pharmacists dedicated to supporting ambulatory care and impacting the ACO. Given the various Bryan Health entities, their pharmacists are embedded within Bryan Physician Network offices to work as provider extenders and to impact the outcomes associated with value-based contracts with the ACO.

A positive correlation with improved patient outcomes was seen when pharmacist referrals increased in ambulatory diabetes care.

Provider (physician) support and improved patient outcomes have been driving forces for expanded pharmacy ACO involvement at Bryan Health.

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Rick Knudson

Associate Director