Hamilton, NJ, June 21, 2018 – The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) today launches the Community Management of Medication Complexity Innovation Lab, a multi-site demonstration that will identify and test community-based strategies to improve medication-related outcomes for people with complex health and social needs. This national initiative, made possible with support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and led by CHCS, will work with five competitively selected organizations to expand and enhance existing community-based medication management programs.

Across the United States, improper or insufficient management of prescription medications results in an estimated 119,000 deaths annually, and adverse drug events cause more than one million emergency department visits and 280,000 hospitalizations each year.  These numbers represent critical opportunities to address medication complexity, a concept that encompasses the number of medications an individual is prescribed, challenges adhering to drug instructions, risk of medication errors, and avoidable complications caused by drug interventions, among others.

“Individuals with multiple chronic conditions are often prescribed very complicated medication regimens including numerous drugs taken on different schedules, prescribed by different providers,” said Allison Hamblin, MSPH, senior vice president, CHCS. “These complicated regimens are even more difficult to manage for individuals with complex social needs like homelessness. The strategies tested in this project focus on helping people who are dealing with medication complexity more safely and confidently manage their medications.”

The five competitively selected sites represent a diverse range of populations and settings. The sites are each piloting unique community-based approaches focused on improving medication management in the community for low-income populations, particularly those with complex health and social needs. The sites will receive funding and participate in a 14-month Innovation Lab where they will vet new approaches, exchange best practices, and advance practical strategies for implementing and enhancing community-based medication management programs. The pilot sites and regions they serve are:

  • Northwestern University Health Literacy & Learning Program (HeLP) Lab, Chicago, IL
  • Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
  • ThedaCare Health System, Appleton, WI
  • Towncrest Pharmacy, Iowa City, IA
  • University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy and Fairview Health Services, Minneapolis, MN

“We are delighted to work with CHCS and these five innovators to advance critical enhancements in medication management for high-need populations,” said Julie Lawrence, program officer, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. “We look forward to sharing findings to further the efforts of providers, health systems, and policymakers across the country.”

Over the 14-month initiative, the sites will receive expert technical assistance, including evaluation support, and participate in a peer learning collaborative to exchange and accelerate solutions for effective community-based medication management. As the program progresses, CHCS will share operational and policy lessons and tools and lessons from the sites’ experience. Look for more information at www.chcs.org.

About the Center for Health Care Strategies

The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) is a nonprofit policy center dedicated to improving the health of low-income Americans, especially for individuals with complex, high-cost needs. CHCS works with state and federal agencies, health plans, providers, and community-based organizations to advance innovative and cost-effective models for organizing, financing, and delivering health care services. For more information, visit www.chcs.org.

About the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation fosters path-breaking scientific discovery, environmental conservation, patient care improvements and the preservation of the special character of the Bay Area. Visit Moore.org and follow @MooreFound.