Moving the needle in Ohio: CDC-funded MTM pilot expanding at FQHCs

Partners in project include Ohio Department of Health, Ohio Pharmacists Association, and the state's seven colleges of pharmacy

Pharmacists at three Ohio federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) have helped patients with diabetes and hypertension attain better health through disease state management.

“Much like you see in an inpatient care setting, at Health Partners of Western Ohio, the pharmacist is a member of the team that works collaboratively to support the needs of the patient during their medical visits,” said Jennifer Clark, PharmD, director of pharmacy services at Health Partners of Western Ohio, an FQHC in Lima, OH.

Health Partners of Western Ohio is part of a project spearheaded by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). With a CDC grant, ODH partnered with three FQHC sites that already had established models with pharmacists on the care team. In March of 2014, the team began tracking patients’ blood pressure and glycosylated hemoglobin (A1C) after pharmacists provided medication therapy management (MTM) counseling sessions.

Based on data from more than 500 patients who received MTM from pharmacists within a 6-month period, the FQHC sites saw patients with diabetes in control increase from 0% to 44.8%. Patients with hypertension in control went from 0% to 68.6%.

From five to seven additional FQHCs in Ohio are expected to come on board in early 2016 as the project moves into phase two. Some sites will have newly hired pharmacists on staff. With the help of another CDC-funded grant, MTM will expand to some primary care physician practices in Montgomery County, OH, who are partnering with a community pharmacy to develop additional MTM models. 

Ohio’s seven colleges of pharmacy and the Ohio Pharmacists Association also had a stake in setting up the project. These partners have formed the state’s first MTM Consortium not only to coordinate more MTM activities and projects, but also to engage Ohio’s five Medicaid managed care plans in support of MTM for patients with hypertension and diabetes.