Medicare Beneficiary Feedback on Information Provided by Pharmacists During Consultive Services

Document Type


Conference Title

American Public Health Association Annual Meeting


American Public Health Association (APHA)


Boston, MA

Conference Dates

November 2-6, 2013

Date of Presentation



Background: Optimal medication use is contingent upon comprehensive medication consultation. Purpose: To examine factors that impact information provided during a pharmacist consultation in an ambulatory Medicare population. Methods: Twelve community health fairs targeting Medicare beneficiaries were held in cities across Central/Northern California during the 2013 Medicare open enrollment period. Beneficiaries were asked which critical elements of a consultation were typically discussed by their community pharmacist. Demographic, socioeconomic and health-related data were collected and differences in information reported during a consultation were examined as a function of these variables. Results: Of the 647 beneficiaries who were offered Medication Therapy Management services, 532 completed survey questions regarding pharmacist consultation. Respondents stated a typical consultation included the following: 378 (71%) medicine name and indication; 361 (67.7%) how and when to take the medication and for how long; 307 (58%) side effects; 257 (48%) what to do if a dose is missed; and 245 (46%) if it is safe to take with other medication. Subsidy-recipients and those who spoke a language other than English were less likely to be counseled on drug name and indication (p<0.008) or side effects (p<0.006). Health conditions including benign prostatic hypertrophy (p=0.01), cancer (p=0.03), dementia (p=0.03) and incontinence (p=0.01) were associated with missing elements during the consultation. Conclusions: Critical elements of medication consultation were omitted between 29% and 52% of the time. Socioeconomic and demographic factors impacted whether a comprehensive consultation was provided. Additionally, certain health conditions may be more difficult to discuss in the community pharmacy setting.

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