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    Every pharmacist has them — and so does every teacher

     

    The penny drops

    It didn't fully kick in until I started to make some MTM calls. The first patient I got on the phone was a regular. “Gonna make another easy five dollars are you?” he said, and we both chuckled.

    His doctor, who has been adjusting his cholesterol medicine for months now, is one of those physicians who has the annoying habit of just telling the patient the new dose, rather than writing out a new prescription with new instructions, which means that the patient has been showing up on my “appears to be nonadherent” list pretty consistently.

    The first time I called him, I explained the whole MTM ritual, as well as how I was getting paid a little bit from his Medicare Part D plan for my effort.

    “Thanks for checking up on me,” he said, to end the conversation.

    Of course, had that patient's primary language not been English, or had he come from an environment suspicious of traditional western medicine, or had he never been educated as to what cholesterol actually was, or if he were financially unable to afford his co-pay, that five dollars wouldn't have come so easy.

    And with this new contract, the money will be structured not as a reward, but as a penalty for not meeting the numbers handed down from an inflexible, distant paper-pusher.

    David Stanley, RPh
    David Stanley is a pharmacy owner, blogger, and professional writer in northern California. Contact him at [email protected]

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