It might be incredibly frustrating for providers to learn that their patients aren’t following physician’s directions about taking medication. However, most aren’t aware that this medication non-compliance is actually costing a fortune. In fact, the Annals of Internal Medicine concluded in a study that the failure to comply with medication instructions costs anywhere from $100 to $289 billion annually. Here are just a few of the issues that we often see with medication non-compliance and how medication reconciliation services through care coordination can help.
Medication Non-Compliance Issues
The numbers of patients who either misuse or don’t take their prescribed medications at all is staggering. One study estimated that 50% of patients either didn’t take medications correctly or failed to take them altogether. A larger percentage of patients don’t even get prescriptions filled. For those who don’t follow directions, the results can be disastrous. It’s been estimated that, compared with those who do follow medication instructions, non-compliant patients have a higher risk of hospitalization and re-hospitalization. In these particular patients, the chance of premature death is 5.4 times higher if they have hypertension and 1.5 times higher if they have heart disease.
Why Patients are Non-Compliant
While it may be easy to write off medication non-compliance as stubbornness on a patient’s part, it’s not always that simple. There are a few willful patients out there, but the majority simply don’t understand the directions given to them or aren’t aware of the importance of adhering to a medication schedule. Medicine is a foreign language to most patients and, per human nature, when we don’t understand something we do our best to avoid it.
Care coordination services can help through the included medication reconciliation benefit.
How Errors Can be Reduced
The most powerful means for reducing medication errors is through effective on-going communication. All medical professionals are busy, and there’s never an assumption that no one cares, but the message to many patients needs to be consistently repeated for it to take hold. A patient in a clinic or hospital setting may feel the stress of unfamiliar surroundings or a new diagnosis and not be as present to pay attention to instructions as the professionals would wish. Also, patients should understand how their lifestyle choices might conflict with prescribed medication, and these warnings could be quickly forgotten once leaving the presence of a doctor or nurse.
Medication Reconciliation Through Care Coordination
As part of ProfitableMD’s dedicated services to each patient, we put medication reconciliation among our top priorities. Our dedicated team of experts will list each medication that your patient is taking, including drug name, dosage, and frequency. This information is then compared with all admission, discharge, and transfer records to ensure that the proper medications are being administered to the patient at all times. When patients have their care coordination services with a ProfitableMD team member, the patient’s needs are discussed as is medication compliance and any possible interactions with food or supplements.
Today’s healthcare coverage, including Medicare Part D, has made prescription drugs accessible to a majority of Americans. By increasing adherence to prescribed medical treatments, we can continue to save both lives and reduce healthcare costs. The medication reconciliation services that are included with care coordination can accomplish this. Contact us with any questions about ProfitableMD’s services or request a free consultation today.