Patient med adherence cuts hospitalizations, costs

As the industry continues to find ways to improve outcomes and cut costs, a new study published in the American Journal of Cardiology indicates that high cholesterol patients who regularly take their medication have fewer hospitalizations by 9 percent and reduce costs by as much as $944 during an 18-month period.

"It's important for patients to understand that taking statins as prescribed does more than simply lower cholesterol--they help lower the patient's risk of heart attack and stroke," said JoAnne Foody, MD, a coauthor of the study and Medical Director of the Cardiovascular Wellness Program at Brigham and Women's Hospital, in a statement. "And now, as this study suggests, their health costs could be lower, too. As healthcare providers, we must engage our patients about the importance of medication adherence."

Medication adherence could "potentially save the healthcare system billions of dollars annually," added Donald Pittman, PharmD, study lead author and National Practice Leader for the Medco Cardiovascular Therapeutic Resource Center.

With patients oftentimes at the helm for their own healthcare, providers and organizations may consider stressing patient medication adherence even more.

For more:
- read the press release 
- here's the study abstract