Genoa said Tuesday that a peer-reviewed study published in the Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy also found lower rates of hospitalization and less use of emergency rooms for patients visiting its onsite pharmacies.
Specializing in behavioral health pharmacy services, Genoa operates more than 300 pharmacy locations in 44 states and the District of Columbia and has annual sales of $1.1 billion.
“Millions of individuals with mental illness do not take their medications as prescribed, limiting their ability to overcome often debilitating symptoms and leading to higher healthcare costs,” explained study co-author Mark Peterson, chief commercial officer at Genoa. “This study shows that centralizing clinical and pharmaceutical care for mental illness results in higher rates of medication adherence, which helps people live productive lives and reduces health care spending.”
From a pool of more than 2,500 patients of two community mental health centers (CMHCs) in Michigan, the study compared the medication adherence and outcomes data of patients who used Genoa pharmacies and those who used community pharmacies.
Genoa patients had a 96% medication adherence rate across all patient groups, compared with 82% for community pharmacy patients, according to the study. In addition, Genoa patients had a 40% lower rate of behavioral health-related hospitalizations and an 18% lower rate of behavioral health-related emergency room visits.
Based on costs for hospitalizations and emergency department visits, cost avoidance estimates for Genoa patients were about $58 per member per month, resulting in a total estimated savings of $230,000 for the 1,378 Genoa patients studied during the 13-month period.
“Genoa pharmacists and technicians work closely with prescribers, nurses and case managers at behavioral health clinics to provide compassionate, personalized care for each consumer. Genoa pharmacies are just steps away from the prescribing doctor, which makes it easier for people to pick up their medication,” Peterson noted. “The 40% lower rate of psychiatric hospitalizations demonstrates how our integrated pharmacy model can add significant incremental total cost of care savings within CMHCs that are designed to take care of complex behavioral health patients, while improving the quality of care for these individuals.
“The study looked at a very small subset of the total population Genoa serves, but if these outcomes are consistent across the population of over 500,000 consumers we serve nationally, the Genoa model theoretically represents hundreds of millions of dollars of cost savings to the health care system,” he added.
Reported national averages for medication adherence have ranged from 20% to 70%, and a recent study by Rand Corp. cited 50% adherence for antipsychotic medications, according to Genoa, which has an average adherence rate of 93% for people on antipsychotic medications.
Along with personalized care, Genoa provides such solutions as convenient adherence packaging, which features a color-coded system developed specifically for people living with severe and persistent mental illness. The system organizes medicine by day and time and helps patients and their caregivers keep track of the medication regimen.
“We have been measuring our own adherence rates for years and have consistently demonstrated medication adherence rates above 90%. This study published in the Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy provides further validation of our impact on consumers’ lives and is important information for payors and public policy officials as they evaluate reimbursement rates for specialized pharmacy services delivered through unique models like Genoa,” stated Genoa chief executive officer John Figueroa. “Together with our community mental health center partners, we are improving the quality of peoples’ lives and saving the health care system millions of dollars.”
Overall, Genoa provides pharmacy and telepsychiatry services to more than 500,000 people and dispenses over 10 million prescriptions each year.