At BIDCO, a 'pharmacy first' approach to population health is driving promising results

Beth Israel Deaconess Care Organization (BIDCO), a value-based physician and hospital network and accountable care organization in Massachusetts, has sought to give pharmacists a larger role in preventive care to provide more intense medication management, with the goal of achieving improved outcomes more quickly.

Beth Israel Deaconess Care Organization (BIDCO), a value-based physician and hospital network and accountable care organization in Massachusetts, has sought to give pharmacists a larger role in preventive care to provide more intense medication management, with the goal of achieving improved outcomes more quickly. Beginning in 2017, BIDCO leaders deployed a "pharmacy-first" approach to its Rising Risk Management program with a focus on five chronic diseases. The program entails pharmacists engaging patients for 6–8 weeks and working with the patients' primary care physicians to monitor complex medication regimens to ensure patients' adherence. Pharmacists also screen patients' medications, results, and reactions to reduce ineffective medicines and avoid risky combinations. In addition, the pharmacists proactively analyze and evaluate patient prescription habits and use that data to work with physicians on making recommended adjustments to medication regimens that can have an immediate positive impact on patients' quality of life and care, says BIDCO program manager Jennifer Perlitch. In 2017, the program enrolled approximately 100 patients over a 6-month period. As a result of this approach, BIDCO program leaders have been able to affect patient outcomes rapidly. For example, Perlitch says that 89% of diabetes patients enrolled in the program last year achieved a reduction in their blood-glucose levels, and 47% of that group achieved blood-glucose levels below BIDCO's value-based contract threshold.