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Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2013 Nov;8(11):1988-99. doi: 10.2215/CJN.01420213. Epub 2013 Aug 29.

Medication reconciliation and therapy management in dialysis-dependent patients: need for a systematic approach.

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Department of Pharmacy Practice, ANephRx Albany Nephrology Pharmacy Group, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Albany, New York;, †Reach Medication Therapy Management, Dialysis Clinic, Inc., Albany, New York;, ‡Department of Pharmaceutical Care and Health Systems, College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota;, §US Renal Data System and Chronic Disease Research Group, Minneapolis, Minnesota;, ‖Policy and Government Affairs, American Society of Nephrology, Washington, DC;, ¶Division of Nephrology, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, *Division of Nephrology, Harborview Medical Center and Kidney Research Institute, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.


Patients with ESRD undergoing dialysis have highly complex medication regimens and disproportionately higher total cost of care compared with the general Medicare population. As shown by several studies, dialysis-dependent patients are at especially high risk for medication-related problems. Providing medication reconciliation and therapy management services is critically important to avoid costs associated with medication-related problems, such as adverse drug events and hospitalizations in the ESRD population. The Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 included an unfunded mandate stipulating that medication therapy management be offered to high-risk patients enrolled in Medicare Part D. Medication management services are distinct from the dispensing of medications and involve a complete medication review for all disease states. The dialysis facility is a logical coordination center for medication management services, like medication therapy management, and it is likely the first health care facility that a patient will present to after a care transition. A dedicated and adequately trained clinician, such as a pharmacist, is needed to provide consistent, high-quality medication management services. Medication reconciliation and medication management services that could consistently and systematically identify and resolve medication-related problems would be likely to improve ESRD patient outcomes and reduce total cost of care. Herein, this work provides a review of available evidence and recommendations for optimal delivery of medication management services to ESRD patients in a dialysis facility-centered model.

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