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The Partnership in the News

Report Offers Democratic Governors Options for Improving Medication Adherence
Inside Health Policy, 6/6/14
A report prepared for the Democratic Governors Association suggests policy options for getting Medicaid beneficiaries to take their medicine that include managing medication, coordinating prescription refills, allowing more time between refills and generally teaching people why they should do what their doctor tells them. The recommendations primary apply to Medicaid, but they could also apply to state employee health plans and exchange insurance, the report states.

The paper states that it’s key to use medication therapy management only on those patients who need it. CMS recently scrapped a proposal to expand MTM in Medicare in part because plans complained that they would lose money if forced to contact enrollees who don’t need the service. The medication-adherence coalition Prescriptions for a Healthy America is now working on a legislative proposal aimed at better targeting people who need MTM.

That coalition- which includes pharmaceutical, chain drug store and pharmaceutical benefit manager members- also contributed to the paper prepared for the Democratic governors. That paper says “super user” programs could offer MTM to the approximately 5 percent of beneficiaries who are in those programs. It points out that an evaluation of 14 super-user programs found that teaching medication adherence is a key feature in all of those programs so it’s a natural step to go further with MTM. There also are 20 states with MTM programs that other states could look to, according to the paper. Click to read more…

Improved Medication Adherence is Major Opportunity for Change in State Healthcare Systems
Press Release,
The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD), along with Prescriptions for a Healthy America and My Campaign Group, has released a white paper on one of the many challenges facing our health care system – medication adherence and how to empower people to more effectively and efficiently manage their chronic conditions. Prepared for the Democratic Governors Association, Bending the Healthcare Cost Curve through Better Medication Adherence for People Suffering from Chronic Disease, provides a series of cost-saving policy options focused on caring for the significant and growing number of Americans coping with chronic conditions by enabling people to achieve better health outcomes at lower costs through medication adherence.

Lack of adherence to recommended medications to treat chronic illness is driving up healthcare costs and hurting the U.S. economy. Lack of adherence to medication is estimated to cause approximately 125,000 deaths and at least 10 percent of hospitalizations. While non-adherence costs the U.S. healthcare system between $100 billion and $289 billion annually, improved adherence to diabetes medications alone could avert 699,000 emergency department visits and 341,000 hospitalizations annually, resulting in savings of approximately $4.7 billion. Click to read more…

Panel: Medication adherence may help control Medicaid costs – Montgomery Advertiser, 3/18/14
A pharmacist by trade, Sen. Billy Beasley, D-Clayton, told a panel gathered in a House committee room of a customer he had that wasn’t taking his medication correctly, despite clear labels.

“Unfortunately, he couldn’t read or write,” Beasley said at a committee meeting Tuesday. “When I discovered that, he said, ‘We’re going to have to fix you up a medicine tray.’ He had no health issues, but he did better.”

Encouraging more consistent use of medication was the focus of the panel, brought together under Prescriptions for a Healthy America and the Script Your Future Campaign, which are trying to encourage better medication adherence.

According to Prescriptions for Healthy America, 125,000 Americans die each year because they fail to take their medication or fail to take it properly. The group estimates that $290 billion a year is spent on health care each year due to complications arising from individuals not taking medication correctly. Click for more…

Alabama officials look at ways to get medication taken properly by patientsAssociated Press, 3/18/14
With many people not taking medications as prescribed, health care experts are turning to everything from financial incentives to text messages to get patients to follow their doctors’ orders.

National health care organizations, state officials and others gathered at the Legislature on Tuesday to share ideas about improving medication adherence and controlling health care costs.

Joel White, executive director of the Council for Affordable Health Coverage, said national surveys have shown that two-thirds of patients don’t take their medications as prescribed, and more than one-fifth of new prescriptions are never filled.

“Pills don’t work unless you take them,” he said. Click for more…

NEHI and Prescriptions for a Healthy America convene on HIT policy best practices discussion – Drug Store News, 2/3/14
HIT policy needs to focus on specific goals for improving patient medication adherence in order to realize the goals of improving patient health and achieving cost savings in the U.S. healthcare system, according to an expert panel convened today by the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation and Prescriptions for a Healthy America. Click for more…

Health Groups Launch Medication Adherence Initiative – Associations Now, 5/8/13
A national survey shows that many patients don’t take their medications as directed. A new consortium of healthcare associations, drugmakers, and consumer groups sees opportunities to address the problem and reduce healthcare costs. Click for more…

Merck, CVS Caremark, PhRMA And Others Band Together To Promote Medication Adherence – Forbes, 5/3/2013
Getting patients to take their medications as prescribed is an intractable problem costing the U.S. $290 billion a year according to a 2009 report by the New England Healthcare Institute. Chronic disease patients, who account for the majority of health care costs, risk complications and hospitalization—one out of three, when they skip their drugs or fail to take them properly. Click for more…

New Initiative to Improve Medication Adherence Unveiled By Health Care, Consumer, Patient and Industry Leaders – Wall Street Journal, 5/2/13
A partnership representing patients, health care providers, pharmacy organizations, consumers and health care industry leaders announced a major new initiative today to help improve medication adherence rates. The group, which was formed to advance solutions that help reduce health care costs and improve patient health across the nation, also released the findings of a new national survey conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and Public Opinion Strategies. Click for more…