Financial reimbursement and productivity metrics for pharmacist-led chronic care management services in rural practice settings. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: The implementation of chronic care management (CCM) services has often been hindered by issues with reimbursement, raising concerns about sustainability. To date, little if any literature has examined the financial feasibility and sustainability of CCM services in rural practice settings. OBJECTIVE: Assess financial reimbursement and productivity metrics for pharmacist-led CCM services at a rural, medically underserved family medicine clinic. METHODS: This study retrospectively examined data from the clinic's CCM program from October 2020 through May 2021 and included total clinical encounters, minutes of pharmacist time spent on calls, CCM claims, work relative value units (wRVU), financial reimbursement, and overall personnel costs. RESULTS: Over an 8-month period, 46 patients were enrolled in CCM services. Of the 49 CCM calls placed during this time, 31 (63.3%) were billable, though only 20 (64.5% of billable calls) were ultimately reimbursed. Approximately 37% of pharmacist "time-on-task" was not billable. Compared to the $643 required to cover pharmacist time on CCM calls, $822 of reimbursement was collected. This $179 profit, or 27.8% return-on-investment, is similar to results from more urbanized practices. Furthermore, services were "net productive" in wRVU generation, which may appeal to physician stakeholders interested in such targets. CONCLUSIONS: Concerns about profitability and sustainability have prevented more widespread CCM implementation. In the present study, pharmacist-led CCM services achieved a 27.8% return-on-investment. Though rural-based CCM services may never attain significant profit margins, this data suggests they can still be financially self-sustaining and "net productive," all while providing high-quality patient care.

published proceedings

  • Res Social Adm Pharm

altmetric score

  • 1.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Tenpas, A., Dietrich, E., Fitzgerald, B., & DeRemer, C.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Tenpas, Andrew||Dietrich, Eric||Fitzgerald, Brian||DeRemer, Christina

publication date

  • May 2023