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By: Amber Ray

The Center for Medication Optimization (CMO) has received more than $600,000 in grant funding from the Eshelman Institute for Innovation to pursue new ideas spanning value-based care and population health. This June, the Eshelman Institute for Innovation (EII) awarded $3.5 million across 24 projects to support research and education initiatives at UNC, three of which were awarded to CMO.

Earlier this year, CMO and EII partnered with other sponsors to hold the Medication Optimization Collaboration Summit, which served as the catalyst for many of these big ideas. For information about the summit, click here.

Pharmacists are accessible, trusted, but underutilized and these grants will elevate the role of pharmacists by integrating comprehensive medication management (CMM) into various pharmacy settings. The three grants buttress CMO’s efforts to advance the role of pharmacists in telepharmacy, pay-for-performance reimbursement models, and specialty pharmacy.

The first project, “Driving Quality and Engagement Across a Comprehensive Medication Management Provider Network via a Novel Pay-for-Performance Strategy,” will foster pharmacist and patient engagement in a community pharmacy-based medication management program. “Finally, community and ambulatory care pharmacy will become innovation destinations for the creation of new businesses, new technologies and new partnerships to shape healthcare for years to come,” says lead principle investigator, Carrie Blanchard.

The second, “Optimizing medications for complex patients: Scaling CMM to specialty clinics,” will integrate comprehensive medication management (CMM) into specialty clinics. This project will use pharmacists to help manage one of the most expensive resources for many clinics – specialty medications.

Lastly, the project entitled “Evaluating a CMM telepharmacy model: A new frontier for providers and patients in rural communities,” will bring together a team of health care providers and pharmacists to deliver telepharmacy services to complex patients with diabetes in rural primary care clinics.

Spearheading these projects are UNC Faculty leads Drs. Carrie Blanchard and Melanie Livet. They are joined by an accomplished group of experts from the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy and University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

These innovative projects contribute to the broader mission of CMO – to solidify the role of pharmacy practice within new, value-based healthcare payment and care delivery models – as well as reinforce CMOs position as an important convener of healthcare stakeholders.

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