A Partnership to Optimize Medications, Create Value and Transform Practice

March 31, 2020

“Slice of PIE” is not just a triangular wedge of crusted fruit filling. For 13 Minnesota community pharmacy organizations, “Slice of PIE” is also the name of a learning collaborative, which comprises one of two novel strategies in a project supporting community pharmacist efforts to improve medication use in chronic care management. The Slice of PIE initiative is a collaborative effort between HealthPartners (HP), the University of Minnesota (UMN), the University of North Carolina (UNC), and the Alliance for Integrated Medication Management (AIMM) to improve and increase delivery of medication therapy management (MTM) within the HealthPartners MTM provider network. It takes its name from HealthPartners’ “Partners in Excellence” (PIE) program, a health plan-wide program to recognize and reward outstanding contributions to beneficiary health. The Slice of PIE initiative is driving impact on care delivery by merging a facilitated community of learning structure around a performance-based payment model for MTM services.

In providing care to HealthPartners beneficiaries, pharmacists at participating pharmacies deliver MTM services consistent with the Comprehensive Medication Management (CMM) patient care process to prevent, identify and resolve medication therapy problems based upon each patient’s preferences, goals and needs. In return, the value-based payment approach rewards practice excellence recognized via achievement of clinical metrics and patient engagement targets.

In an effort to overcome barriers and obstacles limiting pharmacist engagement in service delivery and participation in the PIE program, the Slice of PIE initiative utilizes several implementation strategies around integrating MTM practice into the community pharmacy workflow. Highly trained and accessible coaches are assigned to each pharmacy team to support and challenge them to meet their PIE program goals through regular meetings and coaching calls. Monthly pacing event webinars are conducted by the research team to help set the stage for the upcoming month of work and activities that will need to be completed. Additional supports are offered to help pharmacists and pharmacy teams, such as “Getting to Goal” webinars which provide updates on pharmacotherapy and other relevant topics. These calls also provide a forum for the practitioners to share information, discuss common issues (such as billing and documentation), develop best practices, and celebrate successes as a group.

In addition to supporting and facilitating change in pharmacy practice, Slice of PIE will investigate a number of research questions that are defined into three separate study aims. First, the initiative will evaluate the effectiveness of the learning collaborative as an implementation strategy to drive the adoption and sustainability of CMM delivery in the HealthPartners MTM Network. The second aim will be to rigorously evaluate the implementation inputs and outcomes of initiating the PIE program in community pharmacies. Third, the research team will determine the clinical effectiveness and economic outcomes of the services delivered by Slice of PIE participants.

This initiative has the opportunity to change the trajectory of community pharmacist engagement and related value-based programs nationally, thereby allowing patients across the country access to enhanced care and better health outcomes. Please stay tuned, we will provide Slice of PIE news and updates regularly on this site.

For more information or if you have questions about Slice of PIE, please contact Lindsay Sorge, Slice of PIE project coordinator, at sorg0011@umn.edu.

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