Health Dialog Connections

Personalizing Treatment to Overcome Medication Non-Adherence

Taking medication on time and as directed may seem like a simple task. But, non-adherence is more common than you may expect. In fact, it’s becoming a growing epidemic, with people often not realizing the implications. On average, more than 30 percent of prescriptions are never filled, and up to 50 percent of medications are not taken as prescribed.

NEHI reports that more than $290 billion is lost in healthcare spending each year due to poor medication adherence. What’s more, when patients with severe or chronic conditions do not take their medications, the consequences can be extreme. Clinical outcomes are highly affected by non-adherence. For example, those with 80-100 percent adherence rates are significantly less likely to be hospitalized than their counterparts.

While every situation is unique, most cases are often avoidable. Many patients cite the following reasons for not taking their medication: “trying to save money;” “didn’t like taking it;” while others reported forgot or ran out. No matter the reason, health and financial repercussions are inevitable with cases of non-adherence.

A Personalized Solution

In many instances, the “barriers” that lead to non-adherence are created by personal decisions. The good news is that medical teams can manage these barriers through patient engagement and educational intervention programs.

In an effort to reduce costs and create positive patient outcomes, we’ve developed a program to combat deliberate medication non-adherence behavior. Through strategic coaching services, our team of experienced healthcare professionals offer personalized treatment plans to patients. The offerings are designed to identify specific needs, challenges, and preferences; overcome their personal barriers; and reduce overall rates of non-adherence.

Our unique coaching model encompasses the following:

  • One-on-one telephonic coaching sessions
  • Motivational interviewing and barrier identification
  • Establishment of an individualized care plan
  • Referrals to resources
  • Interactive Voice Response calls
  • Distribution of educational materials
  • Prescriber interventions
  • Analytic models

Proven Results

We conducted a case study to determine the impact of our methodology, and the results supported our approach. Findings indicated that the group of patients who participated in a Health Dialog coaching session achieved a total of 80 percent days covered for hypertension medications and diabetes medications at 20 percent and 15 percent higher rates, respectively.

As the healthcare industry undertakes a broader effort to improve quality care and reduce overall costs, medication adherence programs will have a profound effect on the results. Research has shown that poor clinical outcomes can be directly correlated with non-adherence, which in the long run, increases the need for extensive and costly healthcare treatments.

Results prove that together we can reduce that risk. Now is the time to take very manageable steps to help eliminate non-adherence. To learn more, download our whitepaper “Improving Medication Adherence.”

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About the Author

Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Goldbach brings more than 30 years of medical experience to Health Dialog’s management team, including 15 years in medical administration and 17 years maintaining a primary care and pulmonary disease practice. Prior to joining Health Dialog, Dr. Goldbach served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Med-Vantage Inc., a healthcare informatics and engagement company. Earlier in his career, he served as Medical Director for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, where he provided medical direction for the company's "Pay for Performance" and eHealth programs, and held CEO, trustee, and medical staff president positions with two Boston-area community hospitals. Dr. Goldbach received undergraduate and master's degrees from UCLA before earning his medical degree from SUNY Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine. He completed his Internal Medicine internship and residency at George Washington University Hospital, and his Pulmonary Disease fellowship at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center / UCLA School of Medicine.

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