WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD), in partnership with WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE: WLP), hosted a Capitol Hill briefing today entitled “Partnerships in Health: Private Sector Solutions to Improve Medication Adherence.” Featuring a keynote address from U.S. Senator Mike Crapo and a panel discussion with health care providers and prevention/wellness professionals, the briefing demonstrated how targeted efforts to improve medication adherence within the chronic disease population offer hope for reducing healthcare costs and improving health outcomes.
Currently, preventable and highly manageable chronic diseases consume 75 percent of health care costs, driving spending for government, businesses and individuals. Managing chronic illness depends largely on the affected person not only seeking appropriate medical advice, but following it once obtained. Yet, three out of four Americans report that they don’t always take their medicines as directed. It’s a costly problem with significant impact on Medicare and Medicaid: between 33 and 67 percent of medication-related hospital admissions are linked to poor adherence, which adds up to an estimated $300 billion a year in medical and other costs.
During today’s event, innovators in the private sector highlighted the development of Medication Therapy Management (MTM) programs that engage participants through health coaching, education, and reducing out-of-pocket costs.
“We are pleased that the second event in our Partnerships in Health series provided a great opportunity to collectively show effective programs that improve the health of chronic disease patients and reduce overall costs,” said Dr. Ken Thorpe, Executive Director of PFCD. “I have often said that chronic disease doesn’t need to be a drain on the health care system. Long-term solutions are available, and today’s information shows that these programs not only work to lower costs but also improve health for millions of Americans.”
In addition to keynote speaker Sen. Crapo, the panelists included:
- Kenneth Thorpe, Ph.D., Executive Director, Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease; Robert W. Woodruff Professor and Chair, Department of Health Policy & Management, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University
- Mimi Johnson, MPhil, Director of Health Policy, National Consumers League
- Barry Malinowski, M.D., Medical Director, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Ohio
- Frannie McGowan, PharmD, CDE, Clinical Development Manager, The Kroger Co.
- Elizabeth Jones, MSW, LCSW, Dialysis Patient Citizens Board of Directors
“By coordinating the relationship between our members with hypertension and diabetes and their pharmacist the Pharmacy Coaching Program can make significant health improvements by empowering and educating members about better medication adherence,” said Barry Malinowski, M.D., medical director for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Ohio, a WellPoint affiliated company. “We are proud to collaborate with the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease highlighting the benefits of a program that has shown to improve the health of people with chronic disease.”
“As federal leaders search for opportunities to generate health care savings and better outcomes, improving adherence offers a promising target,” added Thorpe. “We shouldn’t wait to broadly implements programs that not only work for current patients, but also have the potential to stave off chronic disease for millions of Americans.”
For more information on PFCD, its policies and future events, please visit www.fightchronicdisease.org.
About the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease:
The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) is a national coalition of patients, providers, community organizations, business and labor groups, and health policy experts committed to raising awareness of the number one cause of death, disability, and rising health care costs in the U.S.: chronic disease.
About WellPoint, Inc.
WellPoint works to simplify the connection between Health, Care and Value. We help to improve the health of our communities, deliver better care to members, and provide greater value to our customers and shareholders. WellPoint is the nation’s largest health benefits company in terms of medical enrollment, with more than 33 million members in its affiliated health plans, and a total of more than 69 million individuals served through all subsidiaries. As an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, WellPoint serves members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as the Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as the Blue Cross or Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), and Wisconsin. In a majority of these service areas, WellPoint does business as Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, or Empire Blue Cross (in the New York service areas). WellPoint also serves customers throughout the country as UniCare. Additional information about WellPoint is available at www.wellpoint.com.
for Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD)
Allison & Partners
Jennifer Burke, 202-223-9260
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