Group says better medication adherence could save $300B/year

Everyone knows that when patients take their meds, it can ultimately save the system money, as patients who comply with their medication regimen are more likely to avoid needless treatments, tests and hospitalizations. The question is, how can providers help patients stick to their med schedule?

This week, a collection of healthcare trade groups, consumer organizations and companies has come out with five recommendations on how to promote better med adherence, steps which they say could save as much as $300 billion per year. Backers include GlaxoSmithKline, the American College of Cardiology and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

The five recommendations are as follows:

* National quality improvement strategies should directly address medication adherence.

* Care coordination projects should acknowledge and address the role of medication management.

* Providers should put health IT systems in place that track and flag gaps in medication use.

* Efforts to improve med compliance must engage patients as well as educate them, and providers should be supported in getting this message across.

* More research is needed to address methods for improving medication adherence, as well as the reasons for and consequences of poor adherence

The group based its savings number from research on a 2005 study published in the journal Medical Care, which contended that costs from non-adherence to med recommendations could be as high as $300 billion annually.

To learn more about these guidelines:
- read this Healthcare Finance News piece

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