CVS Caremark, Dovetail Health partner to develop hospital readmission prevention program
WOONSOCKET, R.I., and NEEDHAM, Mass. — To curb avoidable hospital readmissions among seniors, CVS Caremark has teamed up with a provider of transitional care services to help these patients better manage and understand their medication regimens.
CVS Caremark said that its hospital readmission prevention program, codeveloped with Dovetail Health, will use risk stratification and predictive modeling to identify patients at greatest risk for hospital readmission. For patients that are deemed "high risk," a clinical pharmacist will visit them post-discharge to offer an in-home consultation which includes a comprehensive drug therapy review, care plan development to mitigate the greatest readmission risk factors such as chronic illness management, health coaching and care coordination with the patient’s healthcare provider. CVS Caremark and Dovetail Health said that these patients will receive ongoing counseling support for up to 90 days to continue to monitor progress and encourage active participation in their treatment and adherence to their prescribed medication regimen.
Meanwhile, those patients identified to be at "moderate risk" will be targeted for a 90-day telephonic program that will include an initial comprehensive medication review by a pharmacist and ongoing care coordination with other healthcare providers.
CVS Caremark and Dovetail Health plan to initiate a pilot program in early 2012 and will make this offering available to CVS Caremark PBM clients later next year.
"Dovetail Health will help CVS Caremark clients deal with the high prevalence of hospital readmissions, which are costly and have a negative impact on members’ health outcomes," CVS Caremark EVP and chief medical officer Troyen Brennan said. "Very often these patients are taking multiple medications and are trying to navigate a variety of treatment guidelines provided by their primary care physician and the hospital discharge team, all of which can complicate medication safety and adherence. Our research shows that the intervention of a clinical pharmacist helps patients better understand their medications and avoid potential barriers to recovery after coming home from the hospital."
According to industry research, 1-in-5 seniors are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of discharge, and nearly 70% of adverse health events that take place after hospital discharge are related to medication management issues.
Keeping tradition alive: AMG Medical continues to honor veterans with annual national program
ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Sam’s Club locations this year once again will host “Hugo Salutes Our Veterans,” a national program that will provide 36,000 Hugo folding canes free of charge to U.S. military veterans in need of mobility assistance.
The Hugo folding canes, which retail for $29.99, will be distributed at all Sam’s Clubs nationwide on Nov. 9, 10 and 11. The program was started several years ago by Alpharetta, Ga.-based company AMG Medical in tribute to its employees who served in the military.
“For all of us at AMG Medical, Hugo Salutes Our Veterans is a way to express our deepest appreciation to all Veterans for their selfless contributions to our country,” AMG Medical global president Philip delBuey said. “Our company’s mission is all about helping people stay active and connected to family, friends and their community. With this year’s program, we will have given out more than 100,000 canes. We hope that many Veterans will benefit from Hugo Salutes this year.”
The Hugo folding cane has multiple settings to accommodate people between 5 ft. and 6 ft., 3 in. in height. The cane automatically unfolds and locks into place for use. To store, the cane conveniently folds into four sections, AMG Medical said.
Study: No cognitive benefit with tight blood-glucose control
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Intensive control of blood-sugar levels beyond standard targets provides no additional protection against cognitive decline in older people with diabetes than standard treatment, according to a national study coordinated by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center that was published online in the The Lancet Neurology.
"We know that people with Type 2 diabetes have a much higher risk of dementia and memory loss than people without diabetes," stated Jeff Williamson, chief of the Department of Geriatrics and Gerontology and principal investigator of the study’s coordinating center at Wake Forest Baptist. "What we didn’t know was, if you intensively control blood-sugar levels in people who have had a history of trouble controlling them, does the added cost and effort to control blood sugar result in a slowed rate of memory loss? After conducting this study, there remains no evidence that it does," he said.
"We also learned, however, that the intensive blood-sugar control does preserve brain volume," Williamson added. "What that means for the long term preservation of cognitive function of these patients, we’re still trying to figure out."
The ACCORD-MIND trial is a national study sponsored by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute — part of the National Institutes of Health — designed to examine the effects of different glucose-lowering strategies on the risk for cardiovascular disease.
"While these findings do not support the use of intensive therapy to reduce the possible effects of diabetes on the brains of older people, it remains important for older adults with Type 2 diabetes to continue well-established regimens to keep their blood-glucose levels under control," noted lead author Lenore Launer, of the National Institute on Aging. "Cognitive health is of particular concern in Type 2 diabetes. We will continue to investigate how managing blood sugar levels might be employed to protect people with diabetes from increased risk of cognitive decline as they age."