BetterMyMeds — What’s in it for YOU?

Betty Chaffee/ February 14, 2021/ Dietary Supplements, Inhalers, Medication Management, Medication Therapy Management, Taking medicine as prescribed/ 7 comments

You've been reading these blog posts for some time now. Thank you! But many of you don't really know exactly what BetterMyMeds is. Why I, as a pharmacist, founded this business, or what value it adds to health care. Your health care, specifically.

What does "BetterMyMeds" mean?

My husband, Bruce, also a pharmacist, actually came up with that name. And it's perfect. So many of us take medications to improve our health - nearly three-quarters of adults, and lots of kids, too. We know medications improve quality of life and keep people with chronic diseases healthier and more active.  But taking medications every day can be a bother. And as we get older, the number of medications we take can grow until we find ourselves overwhelmed. At the same time, bodies age, lifestyles change, and information about disease changes. So sometimes, medications we've taken for many years just aren't right for us anymore.

We all want to make sure that the medications we take are the best ones for us. We should expect to discuss medications and make them better each time we have a health evaluation. So BetterMyMeds is the perfect name for a pharmacy practice that strives to improve medication therapy for every patient.

Why is BetterMyMeds a pharmacy practice and not a medical practice?

Here's where I toot the horn of the pharmacy profession. Don't get me wrong, I have the utmost respect and admiration for physicians, physician assistants, nurses and nurse practitioners, and all other professions within health care. Each profession has its area of expertise. For pharmacists, it's medications. Pharmacists spend years learning about how and why medications work, how they interact (for good or bad) with each other, how doses need to change as the body changes and other diseases develop. When pharmacists are included in the health care team, patients get better care, stay healthier, and spend less money overall on their health care.

Over the years, though, pharmacists have found themselves required to spend almost all their time simply filling prescriptions. Why? Because while other health care professionals are reimbursed for time spent on care and counseling, pharmacists are paid only for the prescriptions they fill. And even then not always enough to cover what they paid for it. In the end, community pharmacists often have little time to help patients "better their meds". So, BetterMyMeds was founded to put pharmacists back in the business of helping patients get the best value from their medications.

How can BetterMyMeds help you?

Well, first, we use our expertise to give you information. That's what these blog articles are all about. We listen to your questions about health and medications. Then we post articles that'll help you make decisions about vaccines, dietary supplements, nonprescription medicines, and more. We always welcome your comments and questions, because insight or curiosity you have will likely benefit other folks, too.

But second, the business part of BetterMyMeds is very real. We provide a variety of medication counseling services (aka
"medication management") to help you get better value from your medicines.
With BetterMyMeds you get a pharmacist who can spend time listening to you. Who can answer your questions and even identify problems you didn't know were there. And we can continue to work with you to make sure your meds keep getting better! Meeting regularly with your pharmacist will help you get the best possible value and health outcomes from your medications.

You may find that your prescription insurance will cover the cost of counseling. But even if it doesn't, you'll find that the value of expert medication counseling is more than worth the out-of-pocket cost.

What medication-related problems can BetterMyMeds help with?

The list of different problems is as long and varied as the number of people who take medications. But there are some that are quite common.

Adherence

Adherence refers to taking  a medication exactly the way it was prescribed. No one's perfect - everyone forgets or gets too busy now and then. But sometimes we take meds incorrectly because the instructions weren't clear to begin with. Other times we may simply choose not to take a medication because of cost or concern about side effects. Whatever the reason, medications that aren't taken as prescribed don't provide intended health benefits. Pharmacists can get to the root of the concerns and find options to resolve the problem.

Medication Delivery Devices

We've also talked about medications that are delivered using a device. Inhalers and injectables are in this group, and can be  complicated to use correctly. Ideally, if you use a device, your pharmacist should be asking about your technique regularly. It's easy to get less attentive to details as time passes. Making sure you're getting the full dose of medication from your device will help you get the maximum benefit.

Dietary Supplements

We've talked a lot about dietary supplements in these pages. There's lots of advertising for dietary supplements, but very little objective information to help you choose a safe product. Or take an effective dose. Or, for that matter, figure out whether it's improving your health. Questions about these products are quite common, and pharmacists are in the best position to help you find the answers that are right for you.

Communication with Prescribers

A common question I hear is, "Do I really need to keep taking this medicine?" You might have wondered this same thing at some point. And it almost always stems from inadequate communication between prescriber and patient. During counseling, we'll provide you with ideas of what questions to ask your doctor to get the answers you need. Or, at your request and with your permission, we can contact your prescriber on your behalf.

Get help from a medication expert!

If you're taking medications for chronic health concerns, the ongoing support of a team of health care providers is key to getting the best health outcomes. That should always include a pharmacist who has the time to listen to you and answer your questions. Whether you're in your 30's or 40's and just starting a new medication, or in your 70's or 80's and using several that you've been on for years. The time and expertise of a caring pharmacist can make a big difference in your health. Contact us at BetterMyMeds to arrange your appointment today!

 

 

Betty Chaffee, PharmD, is owner and sole proprietor of BetterMyMeds, a Medication Management service devoted to helping people get the maximum benefit from their medications.
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7 Comments

  1. As always, you represent our profession of pharmacy (and overall health care, for that matter) so well. Very patient-centered, personable, and professional. Thank you, Betty!

    1. Thanks Alan, your support and encouragement mean a lot.

  2. Is tele-health an option for your services? Can someone call or get in a Zoom session with you for help without a face to face visit?

    1. I’m glad you asked, Tony. The goal of BetterMyMeds is to meet the individual needs of each patient. At this time, appointments can be held in person (with appropriate safety measures) for those who prefer that. Appointments are also commonly held by telephone or video chat. Zoom is everyone’s friend these days! I let patients decide which format will work best for them.

      1. Thanks, Betty. Sadly, many audiologists have not gotten on the bandwagon of providing remote services. Some have claimed that insurances haven’t updated codes for reimbursement. Sounds fishy to me

        1. Tony-
          The profession of pharmacy has made a lot of mistakes in the last few decades by not finding ways to make sure we could be reimbursed for counseling services. BUT when COVID hit our profession got busy and advocated for their patients. We were granted the ability to do a lot of things we couldn’t otherwise do by state or federal law. Loosening of restrictions on providing counseling services by telehealth was one. Interestingly we still can’t bill most payors for those services, but at least we’re allowed to provide the service!

  3. Pingback: Deprescribing - An Important Part of Healthcare - BetterMyMeds

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