Multichannel Communication for Prescription Adherence

Multichannel Communication for Prescription Adherence

Medication non-adherence costs $100 – $289 billion a year and is linked to 125,000 deaths yearly in the United States. More concerning is that many healthcare stakeholders anticipate these numbers will only increase in the future, which necessitates considerations of new methodologies to lower non-adherence levels, which should achieve better health outcomes for patients, especially those with chronic diseases.

While there are a number of factors that contribute to medication adherence, one of the most commonly noted factors is not using various communication channels for engaging patients’ medication reminders. Although single stream communications are typical approaches for health plans, physicians, and PBMs, the promise for better outcomes will only be fulfilled when they begin incorporating a multi-channel approach to patient communications.

Text Messaging Compliance Reminders:

Compliance text messaging reminders to patients to take their medications for chronic conditions have shown outstanding results for improved medication adherence. A University of Chicago Medicine pilot program using text message reminders for diabetes patients has shown success for enhancing patient support and self-care for chronic conditions. The program showed diabetic patients had an average decrease of HbA1c levels from 7.9 percent to 7.2 percent, and patients who had the most poorly controlled HbA1c levels, experienced levels dropping from 10.3 percent to 8.5 percent in only six months. Prescription Adherence RxEOB

The University of Chicago School of Medicine text messaging program showed a “significant decrease in health care costs compared to the pre-test period. The total cost of care declined $812 per participant, reflecting a savings of $1,332 in inpatient, outpatient and emergency department visits, offset by a $520 increase in drug costs. 73 percent of participants said they were satisfied with the program, with 88 percent pointing to interaction with a health professional as an important factor in their engagement.”

In addition to this program, a recent randomized clinical trial evaluating mobile telephone text message intervention to promote medication adherence in adults with chronic disease was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and revealed these key findings:

Understanding Communication Preferences and Frequency

Delivering a more personalized member communication begins with understanding that patient’s have communication preferences that range from getting text reminders, to receiving both secure and web portal email messages, as well as getting personalized phone calls.  If health plans, physicians, and PBMs are truly interested   in finding ways to lower the total cost of care for patients through better prescription adherence, they should explore how to solicit and maintain communication channel preference information for their covered members.

There is a  wealth of information that members are willing to share with their physicians if they believe better  health care outcomes are possible through personalized communications that clearly encourage the patients “what’s in it for them” if they can be reached on a timely and not invasive basis.  Consider these benefits for engaging patients on their communication preference terms:

The use of multi-channel communications will lead to more positive outcomes for both medication adherence, improved patient satisfaction and reduced overall cost of care.

As the industry attempts to minimize the medical cost impact of medication non-compliance, developing and implementing multi-channel communication programs offer the best approach for better patient outcomes in relation to prescription adherence. To assist in growing patient compliance for patients, health care providers and PBMs, RxEOB offers a suite of multi-channel communication products that can create better engagement for our clients and more positive outcomes for patients. To find out how RxEOB can assist you, please contact us at 888-648-0989 ext. 226, or email us at info@rxeob.com.