Betty Spears needed help with her medication management. She also simply wanted a kind word. She got both from Synchrony Rx@HOME.
“The one thing that seniors want in their life is for people to be nice to them and be kind to them,” says Spears, who receives the service in her long-time apartment in Puritan Senior Living in Louisville, Kentucky. “Our generation has been raised to say ‘Yes ma’am, no ma’am.’ And the young lady who comes here says ‘Yes ma’am, no ma’am.’ When I’m having coffee in the morning time, I think about how wonderful it is to have things like that for us.”
For Spears, the kindness and care in the Synchrony Rx@HOME program stands out. That’s on a personal level, but also on a programmatic one. Synchrony Rx@HOME is a discharge transition program that supplies medication to seniors for 30 days following a discharge from a skilled nursing facility (SNF) or hospital.
Yet it’s also available to non-hospitalized residents, such as Spears, whose doctor connected her with Synchrony Health Services for her own automated, by-mail refills. The program is delivering long-lasting benefits to senior housing operators and residents too.
Inside Synchrony Rx@HOME: How it works and who it serves
Synchrony Health Services launched Synchrony Rx@HOME as a discharge-to-home program working in conjunction with a SNF, helping patients return to their homes. Synchrony checks in with these seniors in the first seven to 10 days after discharge, making sure their medication is correct, and in reach.
“We fill whatever they need to transition home,” says Lance Miller, Chief Operating Officer of Synchrony Pharmacy. “The goal was to make sure that they had enough of the current medications so that they could get back into their community and get settled rather than having to see a physician or go to a retail pharmacy. It was to combat and help with recidivism and support the facilities in that process.”
It has worked. Based on the follow-up phone calls, Synchrony has found that on average, residents who are discharged from the SNF on the Rx@HOME program are 40% less likely to be re-hospitalized compared to the national average. The challenge is immense. A community member who has to leave senior living and be admitted to a hospital or SNF — or, often, both successively — often faces a change in medication. Doctors might add or remove medications. They might increase or decrease dosage.
For a senior living resident, managing medication changes is a load, especially while also dealing with changes in their physical condition, physical transfers between care settings and rest and recuperation.
“Once we developed the program and had success with it from the SNF side, we realized there was a need to support those residents while they were in their community setting or their home,” Miller says. “So we started to proceed with the refills process.”
That connection naturally led to the service expanding from just discharge and transition management to ongoing medication support, such as what Betty Spears receives.
“The program’s wonderful,” Spears says. “It gives you all the information that you need. The people who you talk to can talk to you on your own level and can explain everything to you. It’s just wonderful.”
Top benefits and outcomes, including new program “PackEDGE”
To deliver the outcomes that Spears and so many senior living residents depend on, Synchrony Rx@HOME uses what it calls PackEDGE, a multi-dosed packaging system. Each participant receives their medication in a small pouch with a perforated edge that divides each of their medications. The pouches are labeled with:
- The resident’s name
- The medication type
- The medication dose and time
The packaging is easier for many seniors to open than a pill bottle or even a daily planner box. Traveling is also easier, as a senior can take the small, manageable pouch with them on a weekend trip to see family, for instance.
“Rather than taking the entire bottle or everything in their medicine cabinet, they can take just that supply of medication with them for the specific days and times they are going to be gone,” Miller says.
Overall, the top benefits of SychronyRx@HOME are:
- Convenient, confidential, & temperature-controlled direct delivery
- Automatic refill services
- Pharmacist available 24/7 to answer any clinical questions
- Discounted rates for medications from Synchrony Pharmacy
Those benefits drive the key outcomes: medication adherence, reduced hospitalizations, healthier residents who stay in their community. Spears found the Puritan when her aunt and uncle lived there, and she liked it so much she wanted to move in when she was of age. She did, and has lived there 21 years.
“As you can tell, I don’t like to move,” she says. As a result, she says she is “grateful” to Synchrony Rx@HOME for helping her stay in the home she loves.
“If people don’t know about (the program), they should find out about it,” she says. “They’ll really be happy with the situation. They take all kinds of insurance. And the people are wonderful. That’s what we want: we want people to be kind and polite.”
This article is sponsored by Synchrony Health Services. To learn more about how Synchrony Rx@HOME can help your residents, visit synchronyhs.com.
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