Saturday, August 14, 2004

UK to expand pharmacy service statewide



The Associated Press

LEXINGTON - Plans to expand a University of Kentucky pharmacy service around the state could save the state's Medicaid program $8 million.

The service gives one-on-one counseling to people with expensive chronic illnesses and teaches family doctors how to more effectively manage those conditions.

The idea is to get doctors to prescribe the most effective and least costly drugs and to make sure that preventable chronic problems are addressed early, university officials said.

"It's a huge need, and not a lot of people are doing this and doing it well," said Robert Littrell, director of the Research & Data Management Center at UK's College of Pharmacy. "There's a lot of opportunity for cost containment."

Without access to a system for analyzing current data, the Medicaid program has struggled with individual case management, Littrell said.

UK will get a $3.9 million state contract to expand its program, said Dr. James Holsinger, secretary of the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services. It also has $2 million in federal funding.




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