The Importance of Medical Adherence

The Importance of Medical Adherence

People with chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, and depression require regular medical attention and a consistent medication regimen in order to effectively manage their needs. Medical adherence, or patient compliance, means getting the necessary medical care and taking medication as prescribed.

Why is Medical Adherence Important?

Properly managing chronic conditions can prevent serious problems from arising. Without consistent medical adherence, treatments have a higher chance of failing and conditions can significantly worsen. Inconsistent treatment can also lead to complications or other conditions that could have been avoided. All of these consequences can lead to significantly increased health care costs, so it is in an employer’s best interest to help employees properly handle their chronic conditions in order to avoid unnecessary complications and medical bills.

When is Medical Adherence a Problem?

Many people do not consistently adhere to their medical treatments and medications. There are several possible reasons for this. One may be the out-of-pocket costs that the patient must pay. Medical care and medication for chronic conditions can be incredibly expensive. 

Another reason may be a lack of knowledge on the patient’s part. Any patient that does not fully understand their condition, why treatment or medication is essential, or the consequences of not following through on treatment may be less likely to consistently seek treatment and take medication. In addition, adherence is more likely when a treatment or medication actually produces symptom relief. When that is not the case, the patient may see the treatment as ineffective, unnecessary or unbeneficial. 

What Can Employers Do?

Employers can play a big part in helping their employees adhere to their medical treatment plans and medication regimens. To address the reasons why patients struggle with compliance, keep in mind the following:

  • Offer value-based incentives. One way to do increase adherence is to lower copays for chronic medication. This can help combat the high cost of managing a chronic condition. Employers can also offer lower health care premiums or rebates for consistently seeking necessary treatment for chronic conditions.
  • Add a worksite health clinic or pharmacy. This will not only help employees with chronic conditions reduce their health care costs, but it will also make seeking medical attention more convenient for all employees. Managing a chronic illness is time-consuming and overwhelming, so providing access to care at the workplace makes it much easier for employees to seek treatment. In addition, worksite doctors or nurses can help employees to better understand their condition.
  • Educate employees on their chronic conditions. Provide employees with educational materials so they understand the importance of medication and treatment, along with the possible consequences of inconsistent medical adherence.
  • Offer MedCareComplete Services to their employees. The Medication Management service from MedCareComplete can be used by members and their families who suffer from chronic or polychronic conditions and take more than four maintenance medications per day. Each patient is assigned a Patient Care Coordinator (PCC) who calls the patient at least once a month to confirm the patient is doing well, discuss any challenges they might have with their medication regimen, and to confirm the patient is ready for their prescription refill. At no additional cost, medications can be sorted, labeled, organized, and delivered to the home for added convenience.

Studies constantly show that patients who are more informed and are reminded about the importance of their treatment or medication are more likely to be medically adherent. With the Medication Management service from MedCareComplete, Medical Adherence can be possible for all.

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