A unique pharmacy model customized to the needs of those living with behavioral health and addiction issues made its debut in San Diego County on Tuesday. Genoa Healthcare opened an on-site pharmacy within Mental Health System’s Escondido center, which serves over 700 people with serious and persistence mental illness and substance use disorders through four distinct programs.
The pharmacy model has proven to help patients stay on their medications at a rate of more than 90 percent, compared to an average rate of about 50 percent with a traditional approach. A study published in a peer-reviewed journal found that this type of integrated pharmacy also reduces emergency room visits by 18 percent, hospitalizations by 40 percent and significantly reduces the total cost of care.*
In California, one in six adults suffer from some form of mental illness, and one in 20 adults (one in 13 children) have a severe mental illness that makes it difficult to perform daily activities.
“Mental Health Systems has been serving the community of Escondido for 41 years by providing services to low income/no-income clients in the areas of mental health, substance use disorders, supportive housing and employment readiness,” said Escondido Mayor Paul McNamara. “We are pleased to applaud the grand opening of their new integrated pharmacy. This addition is intended to reduce hospitalizations thus resulting in increased patient care.”
Mental Health Systems patients will be able to pick up their medications at the on-site pharmacy, while receiving personalized care and education on the best way to manage their medications.
“Having an on-site pharmacy improves both the patient experience and medication access, which we know leads to better health outcomes for our clients,” said James Callaghan, CEO of Mental Health Systems.
Making it easier to get prescriptions will improve the health of more San Diego residents managing mental health and substance use issues, said Mark Peterson, Genoa Healthcare’s chief executive officer.
Genoa Healthcare pharmacies provide enhanced pharmacy services, including medication synchronization, interdisciplinary care team participation, pre-filled pill organizers to keep patients on track, prior authorization support for the clinic and online tools that enable the pharmacist to identify patients needing additional support and outreach.
Although Genoa Healthcare is a nationwide company, its pharmacies offer the personalized services and atmosphere of a neighborhood pharmacy. Being on site, Genoa pharmacists and technicians work closely with prescribers, nurses, and caseworkers, providing the best possible care for each individual consumer.
While Genoa Healthcare specializes in behavioral health, its pharmacies have the capacity to fill all medications. Genoa Healthcare pharmacies are also able to bill Medi-Cal, Medicare and private insurers.
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*Integrated Pharmacies at Community Mental Health Centers: Medication Adherence and Outcomes; W. Abel Wright, MS; Jack M. Gorman, MD; Melissa Odorzynski, PharmD, MPH; Mark J. Peterson, RPh; and Carol Clayton, PhD; J Manag Care Spec Pharm. 2016;22(11):1330-36.