woman choosing vitamins and supplements for immune system. coronavirus pandemic necessity

Pharmacy Solutions For The PACE Program That Make A Difference In A COVID-19 World And Beyond

Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) is a Medicare and Medicaid program that helps people meet their health care needs in the community instead of going to a nursing home or other care facility. With PACE, you have a team of health care professionals working with you and your family to make sure you get the coordinated care you need. Usually they care for a small number of people, so they really get to know you.

PACE organizations provide care and services in the home, the community, and the PACE center to those 55 and older that need a nursing home-level of care but can still live safely in the community with help. They have contracts with many specialists and other providers in the community to make sure that you get the care you need. Many people in PACE get most of their care from staff employed by the PACE organization in the PACE center. PACE centers meet state and federal safety requirements.

One of the contracts they have is with pharmacies. PACE participants have a wide variety of medication needs the program is increasingly incorporating technology to help with this. One such company is Grane Rx. 

Grane Rx is a high-touch senior care pharmacy and medication management provider. The organization’s end-to-end services include clinical consulting, staff training, on-going staff support, pharmacy transition facilitation, precision medication prescribing, and state-of-the-art pharmacy automation. All solutions are designed to streamline senior care operations, optimize care and manage costs. Grane Rx works closely with their clients to build a collaborative relationship and ensure a smooth pharmacy transition. 

Grane Rx has been leading PACE pharmacy solutions since 2006. They help PACE personnel streamline their operations, maximize their savings, and free-up staff time to focus on participant care. Through at-home medication adherence systems, their Meds2Home program is revolutionizing senior care pharmacy by enabling participants to age safely and comfortably from home. Many of the PACE programs they serve are members of the National PACE Association.

Adherence to medication therapy is a major challenge in the healthcare industry and is recognized as a public health crisis and can lead to significant complications especially in older adults.  Hospitalizations due to poor medication adherence are linked to approximately 125,000 deaths per year and have an estimated cost of $100 billion annually to the healthcare industry. Aging adults not only have challenges adhering to their medications but also managing, understanding, and picking them up.  

Grane Rx solves these issues for PACE programs and their participants in 4 easy steps:

  1. Provide Simplified Packaging – medications are already presorted by date and time of administration in a simple to understand medpacks.  No need to sort or handle medications and the whole packaging process is 100% automated.
  2. Smart-Label Color Coded Boxes – SimplePack medications are shipped directly to the participant’s home in a unique recyclable, color-coded box. Blue boxes are for cycle/routine medications, and Red boxes are for PRN/As Needed medications.  They have found that older adults achieve higher levels of medication adherence when greater levels of understanding are achieved. Grane Rx leads the field in this area with customized packaging labels that include high-resolution images, medication calendar, the reason for administration, and simple directions available in English, Spanish, and French. 
  3. EasyRead Medication Literacy and On-demand Videos: Included with all medication shipments and packaging types are personalized medication calendars, and simplified medication information inserts written at a grade five reading level and translated into 22 additional languages. Medication instructions for participants or families improve medication regimen adherence. Video instruction is another powerful education tool available for seniors with a variety of learning styles and needs for reinforcement.
  4. Convenient Home Delivery: Their team of private couriers provide a concierge level of home delivery service that includes call ahead notification, 3 separate attempts, delivery signatures, and personalize attention.  

Grane Rx has helped in unexpected ways, as well. Through their standard business operations, they have come in contact with situations where a patient was in trouble.  This was discovered at times when doors weren’t answered or calls for help were yelled.  In those instances, they contacted the PACE program, as well as the appropriate authorities to intervene.  In several instances, their timeliness with prescription delivery has impacted their care in far more ways than simple medication dispensing.  

In addition to the pharmacy benefits, PACE includes all other services determined necessary by the health professionals’ team to improve and maintain an individual’s health. PACE programs provide services primarily in an adult day health center and are supplemented by in-home and referral services in accordance with the enrollee’s needs.

Enrollment in the PACE program is voluntary. If an individual meets the eligibility requirements and elects PACE, then an enrollment agreement is signed. Enrollment continues as long as desired by the individual, regardless of change in health status, until voluntary or involuntary disenrollment.