Pharmacists provide seniors with needed resources

During the onset of the pandemic, there were days – and then weeks – that went by without Humana seeing needed medication fills from many of our members.

Humana employees knew that action was needed, so the Bold Goal team collaborated with the Humana Pharmacy Quality team to investigate and discover why.  

Pharmacists began reaching out to the members for one-on-one conversations to understand if any health-related social barriers were affecting them as well as uncover what was preventing them from getting their medications filled.  

Among the hundreds of recipients of those calls was a 64-year-old member who experiences a chronic condition. In speaking with her pharmacist, she explained she hadn’t been taking her medication as prescribed, but that wasn’t all. 

“I'm able to focus on taking my medicine because I now have food to eat while taking my medicine, and I don’t forget to take it."

The pharmacist used the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Accountable Health Communities social determinant of health screening questions to identify that the member experienced food insecurity and concerns with her utility expenses. Based on the identified social needs, the pharmacist provided her a referral to local social network support resources. A month later, when the pharmacist followed up with the member, she was able to report she had received help. The local resource assisted her with food, helped to pay her utilities, and alleviated the mental strain these needs were causing. 

“I gave (the agency) a call and now they deliver food to me every week,” the Humana member said. “It’s awesome work. It’s something you would never expect from people. They were super friendly.” 

When asked if she was taking her medication since receiving help, she said she’s no longer missing any doses. The pharmacist counseled her on the importance of taking medications every day and explained the benefits that her medications can provide.  

The member said the food provisions are healthy and easy to prepare, and she reported that she’s taking care of herself better, as well.