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APhA CEO Blog

Visiting the University of Florida MTM call center

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November 08, 2011

As I’ve visited and talked with pharmacists all over America, I’ve learned that there are many delivery models for medication therapy management (MTM). I visited one novel operation on October 26 in Gainesville, FL, where the University of Florida College Of Pharmacy operates a freestanding business and simultaneously trains students to deliver comprehensive medication reviews under contract with a major benefits manager. (Pharmacy Today profiled the program in February 2011.)

Dean Bill Riffee and David Angaran, Director, Medication Therapy Management Call Center, hosted me. I met with the MTM team, including Heather Hardin, Teresa Roane, Anna Hall, and Michele Lawson. I also heard from Karen Whalen, Vinita Patel, and Kim Barimo (a student and veteran of the program).

Students from the University of Florida rotate through the call center on 10-week rotations, with the first 2 weeks spent in training and the remaining 8 weeks spent telephonically conducting approximately 80 comprehensive 45-minute medication reviews with patients referred to them by their health plan client. Students are monitored and supervised by pharmacists and faculty, and numerous techniques are employed to ensure effective oversight and excellent service. The supervising pharmacist can be summoned by the student through various “channels” that allow everything from a back-channel “chat” to the pharmacist taking over the call if issues arise beyond the student’s capabilities.

These intense interviews teach many aspects of patient care, while establishing a relationship between the student and the patient. At the same time, early results suggest great outcomes in working with the most complex patients in the plan’s program. I look forward to hearing more as results get published.