Missouri Behavioral Pharmacy Management Program Receives 2008 SAMHSA Science and Service Award

December 17, 2008

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo., Dec. 17 /PRNewswire/ — The Missouri Behavioral
Pharmacy Management Program (BPM) has been selected by the Substance Abuse and
Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to receive one of their
prestigious 2008 Science and Service Awards. These awards “recognize
exemplary implementation of evidence-based interventions that have been shown
to prevent and/or treat mental illnesses and substance abuse”(1).

The program is a partnership between the Missouri Department of Mental
Health, the Missouri Department of Social Services – MO HealthNet Division,
and Comprehensive NeuroScience, Inc. (CNS). Eli Lilly and Company provided
funding for the initial pilot project. John Docherty, M.D., founder and CEO
of CNS, a national clinical research company, remarked, “We are pleased that
SAMHSA has recognized this program as innovative and a sound practice in the
treatment of mental illness.”

For the past five years, the BPM has been improving the psychiatric
medication prescribing practices of thousands of Missouri physicians. Using
extensive pharmacy data mining and the application of rigorously developed
Quality Indicators(TM), the BPM focuses on prescribers who practice outside of
evidence-based or best practice standards including areas such as prescribing
multiple medications from the same therapeutic class, prescribing above or
below recommended dosing levels, or premature or rapid switching from one
medication to another. In addition, providers are also alerted to instances
of duplicative prescribing of medication by other doctors for their patients,
and failure of their patients to fill their prescriptions in a timely fashion.

John Docherty of CNS explains the design of the program: “A data-rich
educational mailing aims to impart knowledge of best practices in
pharmacotherapy for mental and behavioral health disorders. It offers
prescribers clear, simple suggestions for improving the quality of treatment,
as well as carefully crafted Clinical Considerations based on published
literature or consensus expert opinion.” Physicians who continue to experience
the same issues over time are offered a peer consultation to discuss
prescribing practices.

A voluntary program, the BPM protects patient-physician autonomy in making
individual clinical decisions, and it avoids unintended consequences of other
more intrusive or aggressive cost-containment strategies(2) while still
showing a positive impact on not just costs but on quality of care. As a
result, Missouri has realized better treatment adherence, reduced
inappropriate medication usage, and reduced hospitalizations for many
thousands of patients, resulting in millions of dollars saved in healthcare

“This is a model on how states can increase the quality of care that
Medicaid residents with severe mental illnesses receive while encouraging more
efficient use of taxpayer dollars,” said Joseph Parks, M.D., Medical Director
of Missouri’s Department of Mental Health. “Through this project, many
opportunities for coordination of care have been identified, resulting in
improved quality of care and enhanced quality of life for persons with mental

George Oestreich, Pharm.D., MPA, Deputy Director of MO HealthNet, agrees:
“You really have to look at the total healthcare impact to understand what a
difference improving quality can make. We know that educating physicians on
prescribing patterns for drugs that treat mental illness is an excellent way
to improve the overall quality of mental health treatment within our Medicaid

The Missouri BPM averages 1,900 adult and child prescriber interventions
and 7,400 patients touched per month. In addition, based on the Missouri
model and results, BPM is now operating in 22 state Medicaid agencies and has
also been expanded to Medicare and commercial markets.

(1) SAMHSA Announces 2008 Science and Service Award Winners, October 22,
News Release. http://www.samhsa.gov/newsroom/advisories/0810222125.aspx.

(2) Ning A, Dubin WR, Parks JJ. Pharmacy costs: Finding a role for
quality. Psychiatric Services, 2005; 56:909-11.

SOURCE The Missouri Behavioral Pharmacy Management Program

Source: newswire

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