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Medication Therapy Management

Christian Worstell by Christian Worstell    |    Published Nov 26, 2019    |    Reviewed by John Krahnert

As you get older and your medical needs increase, it becomes significantly more important to understand how to properly administer and manage medications.

Mismanaged medications can lead to more medical problems, hospitalization and in some cases, death.

To ensure your safety and overall well-being, learn more about taking medications correctly and how Medicare help you. 

Medication Errors

Each year, medication errors injure more than 1.5 million people and cost billions of dollars in extra medical costs.

Seniors are particularly susceptible to harmful mistakes, because most have more complex medical conditions that require a number of different medications. In fact, an average older adult takes roughly seven medications a day.

Here’s how to ensure your medications are being taken safely and correctly.

Tips For Managing Medications

It can be difficult to remember and keep track of a bunch of different medications. To ensure effective and safe use of medications and good quality of life:

  • Read new medication instructions carefully, and always follow the directions

  • Fill all of your prescriptions at the same pharmacy

  • Keep a detailed list of your medications on hand at all times, and always ask your pharmacist to check for possible drug interactions

  • If something doesn’t seem to be working, or is causing unintended side effects, consult your physician before changing dosages or ceasing to take the medication

  • Keep your medications in their original containers (do not mix them up), and keep record of which ones you’ve taken, and when

Getting Help

Medication therapy management (MTM) programs are designed to help you, your doctor and your pharmacist ensure that your medications are working to improve your health and quality of life.

Core components to MTM programs include:

  • Collecting patient-specific data to formulate a drug plan that is specific to your individual needs and conditions

  • Comprehensive medication records (usually in the form of checklists) to keep track of all the medications and supplements you take

  • Safe self-management/action plan that allows you to track your progress for achieving specific health goals while on your medications, and assess whether or not the medications you’re taking are working.

  • Direct interaction between your pharmacist and prescribing physician in order to determine if you need additional monitoring, patient education and return visits to the doctor

  • Complete records of patient care steps and history of medications, updated periodically (usually when changes to patient care steps or prescriptions are made)

Your Medicare Coverage

If you have a Medicare drug plan (Medicare Part D), you may be eligible for free MTM services. To see if you qualify, contact your drug plan directly.

You can compare Part D plans available where you live and enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan online when you visit MyRxPlans.com.

If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plan, check with your plan provider to see if there are similar resources available to you.

Find a Medicare Supplement Plan That Helps Cover Your Medicare Costs

If you receive medication or treatment that is covered by Medicare, you may likely face out-of-pocket Medicare costs such as deductibles, coinsurance and copayments.

A Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) plan can help cover some of these costs.

For example, each of the 10 standardized Medigap plans that are available in most states provide at least partial coverage for the Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayments you might face when you receive covered outpatient treatments.

A licensed agent can help you decide on a Medicare option that works for you. Call today to speak with a licensed agent and compare the Medigap plans that are available where you live.

 

Find Medigap plans in your area.

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Christian Worstell is a health care and policy writer for MedicareSupplement.com. He has written hundreds of articles helping people better understand their Medicare coverage options.

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