Leveraging Technology and Evidence to Support Primary Care Providers

Primary care providers can be responsible for everything from first line dermatology to behavioral health to musculoskeletal injuries. In a world of rapidly changing technologies, and in which new therapies can cure or alter diseases that only a few years ago would have never been thought possible, the basics still matter. As a clinician, I’ve practiced internal medicine and psychiatry, and still have the opportunity to work with a FQHC in building integrated care. Those experiences and my national view of utilization and prescribing patterns highlight the need for provider support to care for persons with mental health conditions, including opioid use and abuse.

It is often challenging to translate new medical knowledge to the clinic setting. How does a provider care for the individual on a potentially lethal combination of opioids, benzodiazepines, and muscle relaxants? Or, how does one address the young child who has been placed on a combination of psychotropic medications.

In our current health system, primary care providers are in the best place to begin patient care journey or change the course of an already established treatment plan. An effective solution for supporting providers in delivering high quality care is in the form of provider support, especially through programs that involve data analytics, followed by one on one academic detailing. PBMs are in a unique position, having the ability to assist providers in working with patients on complex behavioral health or opioid regimens. PBMs have access to data that allows for identifying outlier member and provider behavior and finding patients who are at risk for adverse outcomes. While PBMs don’t have access to prescription drug monitoring programs, they can see what prescriptions are filled, where there is overlap, and where there are multiple providers interacting with a patient.

Magellan Rx developed the Live Vibrantly: Whole Health program to address those outlier providers and members, with the goal of achieving higher quality care. This program uses evidence-based algorithms to find members who may be at risk for adverse outcomes, and targets prescribers who may be over-prescribing. We become the provider’s go-to source for translating the evidence to the bedside through assistance with difficult issues, such as withdrawing an individual from high dose opioids. Through taking an approach to support providers in delivering high quality care, we’ve been able to truly partner in leading our members to leading more healthy vibrant lives.

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