Pharmacies, hospitals, and health plans have implemented various interventions and care improvements to increase medication adherence rates. Due to complex social, financial and behavioral issues, one intervention may work for a subset of patients yet prove ineffective for another. With 58 percent of non-adherent percent of patients reporting that they would be more likely to take their medication as prescribed if they were more informed about the potential negative health consequences of non-adherence, it is clear there is an opportunity to drive meaningful change.
The partnership believes an integral part of any solution is the use of incentives to improve medication adherence. In particular, new care delivery and payment models should create a structural framework to reward a broad range of healthcare providers (e.g., physicians, nurses, pharmacists) and health plans that improve outcomes and lower costs.
What is the partnership’s role in finding a solution?
We will work closely with elected officials and other key stakeholders to develop policies that help health plans, patients, employers, doctors, pharmacies and other health care practitioners support patients’ medication adherence as a critical part of any treatment plan. We believe there are five key public policy issues that should be addressed by Congress and the administration.
Members of the partnership will seek legislation and programs that improve medication adherence in the following ways:
- Care Coordination and Comprehensive Medication Management
Efforts to improve care coordination should recognize the important role that medications play in treating and managing illnesses and the need for care teams to include a broad range of clinicians (e.g., physicians, nurses, pharmacists) and health plans to engage the patient and other caregivers in developing and executing the care plan.
- Quality Measurement and Performance Improvement
National quality improvement strategies should explicitly recognize that medication adherence and effective use of medicines are critical to improving health care quality and clinical outcomes across a broad range of therapy areas.
- Health Information Technology
Health information technology and related standards must improve the flow of timely and complete information among providers and between patients and providers, facilitate patient engagement in their care, and enable clinicians and payers to identify and address gaps in patients’ medication use.
- Patient/Provider Education and Engagement
Strategies to improve medication adherence must fully engage patients and incorporate their treatment goals and preferences. Strategies should also help patients better understand their conditions and treatments. Critical to the success of medication adherence strategies is encouraging clinicians to: implement best practices for medication adherence; effectively communicate to their patients the importance of following treatment plans; and provide medication support services to patients and family caregivers.
- Research Efforts
There is a need for additional research on medication adherence, including a focus on: the effectiveness of interventions to improve adherence; improved research methods and uniform metrics for assessing the impact of various adherence interventions; and the evaluation of transferability of successful interventions to broader patient populations and settings.