The effort will seek to reduce hospital readmissions within 30 days, he said, and payments to the drug store chain for the new medication management service could be tied to a drop in readmissions. Walgreens is in talks with hospitals for contracts that could give the pharmacy giant a share of what hospitals save by avoiding Medicare penalties tied to higher 30-day readmission rates, he said. Medicare on Oct. 1 launched an initiative to penalize hospitals based on heart failure, heart attack and pneumonia patients' 30-day readmission rates.
Other contracts pay Walgreens on a fee-for-service basis for pharmaceutical management, he said. The services include reconciling drugs for patients when they arrive and before they leave the hospital; drug delivery at the hospital; and scheduled telephone calls and pharmacy support once patients leave the hospital, the company said.
Participating hospitals include Sarasota (Fla.) Memorial Health Care System, Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park, Md., and Marion (Ind.) General Hospital.
It's the not the first time the drug store chain has reached a care-management agreement with a provider. In June 2011, the company and Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group said they would target pharmacy counseling and intervention to Walgreens and Northwestern Memorial Hospital employees with hypertension, diabetes, asthma and high cholesterol who were patients of NMPG.
Walgreens declined to comment on estimated annual revenue from its new hospital pharmacy case-management contracts.