Checking refill status, answering questions, placing follow-up calls... and then, what begins as a routine moment in pharmacy, can quickly turn into an extraordinary chance to make a real difference in a patient's life. This is one story of whole-person health and connected pharmacy care, as provided by compassionate pharmacists like Tia Francis, Pharm.D. at the CarelonRx Clinical Pharmacy Care Center (CPCC).


Asking questions and taking action


At the CPCC, more than 400 pharmacists and technicians are working to answer questions from our members in real time, provide education on medications and more. Each day, Tia calls up to 80 Medicare members, hoping they will pick up the phone so she can perform a medication review and make sure members are adhering to their treatments.

"I work to treat every member like they are a family member," Tia said, as she focuses on taking her time to listen to a member's worries and patiently answer any medication questions.

Recently, she spoke to a member who hadn't filled their seven medications. Tia started her call just as she does each time, by asking if she could walk through their medications and talk through any challenges she may be able to help with.

The member said, "yes, absolutely." As Tia asked the member to verify their address, they began to tell Tia that they were lacking secure housing. That's why they couldn’t pick up their medications. Tia looked over the list of the member’s medications which treated chronic conditions. She knew the member's health would be in severe risk soon and could likely result in hospitalization if they didn't resume treatments.


The price of nonadherence


According to a 2018 study, The Permanente Journal revealed medication nonadherence for those with chronic diseases is thought to cause at least 100,000 preventable deaths and $100 billion in preventable medical costs each year.

Following their call, Tia quickly mobilized her available resources and emailed colleagues. A few hours later, she and her team of colleagues successfully secured temporary housing for her member. Because of Tia's passion for whole health and health equity, that member is back on their medications.

"I felt very proud that our team had the same urgency as I had to help our member and make sure that [they were] safe and able to get [them] closer to being adherent. I can definitely sleep better at night knowing our member is cared for and heard."

The CPCC is one of the myriad ways CarelonRx provides deep pharmacy expertise to help improve outcomes, control costs, and enhance each member's whole-health journey through connected care.

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