Partner With Patients to Improve Med Adherence

New initiatives will draw on your skills to improve med adherence.

Poor adherence continues to be a BIG issue. Approximately one in 5 new Rxs are never filled. About half of filled Rxs are taken incorrectly.

The stakes keep getting higher. A push to tie payment to quality of care means more focus on adherence. It started with Medicare Star Ratings and adherence to statins, ACEIs or ARBs, and non-insulin diabetes meds.

More payers are following suit. There are new financial rewards and risks...with MTM, pay-for-performance, etc. Your role is critical...which is why you may see adherence tied in to your performance review or bonus.

Streamline your efforts to help patients take their meds properly.

First things first. The real goal is good patient care...adherence to an optimized med regimen can help. Ensure meds are appropriate, safe, and effective during DUR, counseling, or comprehensive med reviews.

Return on investment. Capitalize on opportunities where you can make a big impact...patients targeted by MTM platforms, on multiple meds, using complex or costly specialty meds, at transitions of care, etc.

Consider new Rxs a "golden moment" to start therapy off right.

Encourage your techs to try to find out why patients aren't picking up Rxs for chronic conditions...before returning the meds to stock.

Diagnosis and plan. Try motivational interviewing to identify each patient's unique challenges...and work together to find solutions.

For example, if cost is an issue, suggest therapeutic alternatives or tablet splitting...or to reduce complexity, consider med sync, 90-day Rxs, or combo meds. Suggest reminders...pillboxes, smartphone apps, etc.

Bite-sized chunks. Offer support at each patient visit or phone call...adherence can change over time. For example, ask how patients take their meds...or what concerns they have. Use our Adherence Quick Guide.

All hands on deck. Consider involving prescribers if patients fall too far behind on refills or don't pick up new Rxs. And tell your techs to watch for payer and MTM alerts for late refills. Share our technician tutorial, Med Adherence 101, to make it a team effort.

See our Medication Adherence Strategies toolbox for more ideas.

Key References

  • MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2017;66(45):1248-51
Pharmacist's Letter. Mar 2018, No. 340301

Exclusive Subscriber Content

  • Best in class medication learning
  • Concise recommendations
  • Hundreds of practical resources

Subscribe Now Learn More

Login to access this content.