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Carilion to begin medication management program

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Carilion Clinic will use a $4.1 million federal grant to launch a three year program aimed at improving the management of patients’ medications in rural Virginia.

The grant from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation is part of its Health Care Innovation Challenge, a $1 billion fund to support initiatives that have the potential to improve care and lower the overall cost of health care.

The Carilion Clinic project will focus on improving the management of medications for patient in 23 rural counties served by Carilion New River Valley Medical Center (CNRV), five community hospitals and 17 primary care practices.

“We’ve already seen promising results with chronically ill patients in our Patient Centered Medical Home practices,” Carilion President and CEO Nancy Howell Agee said in a statement. “This award will make it possible to expand our reach further into our rural communities.”

The program, which will be based at CNRV, will involve partnerships with Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy, Aetna Healthcare and CVS/Caremark.

CNRV will train more than 30 pharmacists in advanced care and chronic disease management protocols. Through care coordination and shared access to electronic medical records, the pharmacists will work directly with patients to help them manage their medications, resulting in better health, reduced hospitalizations and emergency room visits, and fewer adverse drug events.

The program will be available to patients in the rural counties served by CNRV, Carilion Giles Community Hospital and Carilion Tazewell Community Hospital during the first year of the program. It will be expanded to Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital, Carilion Stonewall Jackson Hospital and Bedford Memorial Hospital in the second year.

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