The apothecary


0214 LAUNCHHood River company MTMCare manages medications for eligible Medicare clients.

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0214 LAUNCH
 MTMCare co-owner Randee Bowder
// Photo by Jason Kaplan

Randee Bowder was working at Walgreens as a pharmacist, feeling a bit dehumanized. “I so did not enjoy working for retail,” she says. Lack of autonomy was one problem. Retail pharmacists are also pressed for time, Bowder says, making it difficult to develop meaningful relationships with patients. So this past January, Bowder, 38, struck out on her own, launching MTMCare, a company that dispenses advice about medications to eligible Medicare clients. MTMCare’s four full-time and nine contract pharmacists are given a blueprint for what needs to be done, Bowder says. “But how they communicate with patients, how they organize their day, is all up to them.” Although most of the company’s 11,157 clients are served by phone, starting in 2014, MTMCare will pilot a face-to-face project at the Columbia Gorge Family Medicine clinic; the company is also working on a similar initiative in Bend. To help grow business, MTMCare subcontracts with large medication-management companies. An aging population is driving expansion, as is health care reform, which places a premium on prevention. Dispensing medication is often a Band-Aid on a much larger problem, Bowder says. But medication management, which focuses more on lifestyle, is rooted in prevention and its associated benefits. Says Bowder: “Providing these services saves lives, and it saves money for patients, insurance companies and health care services.”

Company: MTMCare

Service: Medication management

Co-owners: Randee Bowder & Nicole Schrankel

Headquarters: Hood River

Launched in 2013

Executive Perks
“For a long time, I felt like I was hired for my license,” Bowder says. “Now I can express who I am as an individual. I love change; I’m constantly moving forward and don’t like to be in the same place. So this job as entrepreneur feeds me in a number of ways.” 

Senior Surge
There are approximately 7.5 million Medicare patients eligible for medication therapy management services, paid for by their insurance plan. But in 2010, only 8% of patients actually received services. Medicare is shooting for 25%, and MTMCare aims to help fill that gap. “It’s a huge market,” Bowder says.