208259 Medical Practices' Awareness and Perceptions of the UMWA Health and Retirement Funds' MineRx Program

Sunday, November 8, 2009

M. Paige Powell, PhD , Department of Health Services Administration, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Eric P. Jack, PhD , School of Business, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Jeroan J. Allison, MD, MPH , Quantitative Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA
Kenneth G. Saag, MD , Division of Immunology and Rheumatology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Hugh Tilson, MD, DrPH , School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Patrick Irvine, MD , UMWA Health and Retirement Funds, Washington, DC
William H. Campbell, PhD , Health Policy and Management, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Joel Kavet, MPH, ScD , UMWA Health and Retirement Funds, Washington, DC
Norman W. Weissman, PhD , Department of Health Services Administration, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Program: The UMWA Health and Retirement Funds developed the MineRx Program to support primary care physicians (PCPs) in their efforts to enhance the quality and effectiveness of drug therapy provided to frail elderly patients. The core of the Program is a Patient Medication List (PML) delivered quarterly to participating practitioners for each Funds beneficiary in their practice. The PML apprises the PCP of every medication prescription filled for the beneficiary in the preceding four months, including the identity of the prescriber. The Program developed and provided to participating PCPs a list of 26 Target Drugs and Drug Patterns (TDP List) known to pose risks for the elderly and a TDP Handbook, which describes the TDPs and offers strategies for managing the risks associated with these medications. A Drug Resource Center is available to PCPs as a resource for drug-specific information and consultations or as a portal for referring patients into care coordination addressing medication-related issues.

Methods: We designed and administered a survey to all participating practices (n=275). We solicited feedback from the practices concerning their awareness of the program and the usefulness of the information and tools provided, using a 7-point Likert-type scale. We received 150 completed surveys (54% response rate). We used factor analysis to group responses based on questions concerning use of and satisfaction with the Program and compared responses for selected items.

Results: We identified seven key factors: Awareness of the Program, usefulness of resources, helpfulness of staff, engagement with services, engagement with clinical tools, effectiveness of and satisfaction with the Program), explaining 75% of the variability in the data. Over 85% of respondents were generally aware of key features of the Program (μ=5.85). Respondents believed the services were helpful (μ=4.71), and 82% rated the clinical tools as moderately to extremely useful in caring for their patients (μ=5.22). Respondents judged the MineRx Program very effective in helping to meet the needs of their clinically complex patients (μ=5.44) and were satisfied overall (μ=5.67) with the services provided.

Conclusions: Although the MineRx Program was relatively new, participants were aware of the Program's components and using clinical tools that they believed were effective in treating their patients. Practices appeared satisfied with and used the MineRx Program to manage patient-specific drug risks. Pharmacy Benefit Managers and Medicare Part D plans should explore using similar materials and approaches to increase use of their materials and satisfaction with their services.

Learning Objectives:
To assess participating practicesí awareness and perceptions of the MineRx Program, an innovative feature of the Fundsí pharmacy benefit management program.

Keywords: Primary Care, Intervention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a PhD in Health Policy and Administration and served as Co-PI on this evaluation project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.