In last week’s blog (The Future of Medication Adherence, Part 1), medication adherence trends affecting the future of medication adherence were examined, including the changing role of pharmacists, emerging technology, and regulations. This week’s blog will continue by rounding out four more trends that will shape patient care in the future.
Incentives for Change
The entire healthcare industry has shifted focus over the years from acute care to chronic disease management. In the process, there is a rising awareness that chronic care management and patient outcomes are deeply related to treatment adherence. Physician payments are being linked to patient outcomes and even patients themselves are offered incentives from health plans and PBMs to remain adherent to treatment.
Healthcare stakeholders are testing out a wide variety of individual adherence programs. The programs from these stakeholders, who include pharma, payers, and providers, run the gamut from tactics based on predictive modeling, gaming, social media, and pharmacy programs all the way to financial incentives. As the most effective of these emerge, the future of patient adherence will be shaped by integrating the best of these tactics into patient programs.
Physicians in New Roles
The demands and expectations on physicians continue to evolve. Many physicians have less direct interaction with patients, as physician assistants and nurse practitioners take on more of this role. Meanwhile, new technologies change the way physicians interact with both patients (such as with virtual visits) and other healthcare players (such as the pharmacy, through e-prescribing).
Changing Healthcare Consumers
Trends in healthcare consumers point to an aging population, growing rates of obesity, and an increase in minority patients, especially Hispanic patients. Aside from these demographic factors, the average healthcare consumer has undergone a radical shift in tech-savviness, with many patients going online to access health information. All of these factors are crucial to consider in plans for patient medication adherence in the future.
The important of culturally relevant health information cannot be underestimated. At BioPlus, all of our patient materials are available in 13 different languages. Many patients, when facing the treatment of a complex condition such as hemophilia, hepatitis C, or cancer, will best understand their treatment plan in their native language. We understand that and have removed this potential medication adherence barrier for our patients.
As you may know by now from reading my blogs, treatment adherence deeply matters to me and my company. I’ll be following these trends to see if they play out in the predicted manner, but in the meantime, BioPlus is continuing to challenge ourselves to raise the bar with patient adherence. Our high-touch patient programs (combined with the latest technological tools) result in a compliance rate at discharge of 91 percent. This statistic is based on a sample of 22,200 patients being treated for various conditions at BioPlus. When you consider that the compliance rate for retail and mail-order pharmacies is generally only 50 percent, I feel that we are definitely on the right track.
Stephen C Vogt, PharmD
President and CEO
McKesson. The Future of Medication Adherence. McKesson Patient Relationship Solutions. 2012.