HIT Blogger
Author: HIT Blogger | Date July 7, 2015

Adherence to Care Plans Remains Challenge for Practices

Medication and care plan non-adherence has negative impact on patient safety and economics of healthcare


As the healthcare industry shifts to a value-based care reimbursement model, providers are becoming increasingly aware of the need for cost-effective processes. Treatment adherence is a growing issue for both patients and practices, with around 50% of chronically ill patients not adhering to their care plans. Not only is non-adherence a health concern, it’s also a huge financial burden for health systems due to lost productivity and patient earnings.

Consider these facts:

  • More than 40% of patients sustain significant risks to their health and wellbeing by misunderstanding, forgetting, or ignoring health advice. Adverse consequences include higher healthcare expenditures, increased hospitalization rates, and worse care value.
  • 80% of Americans and 93% of millennials are delaying or dropping out of preventative care.
  • Non-adherence rates for chronic illness regimens and lifestyle changes are 50%.
  • Non-adherence contributes to direct annual costs of $100 billion to the US healthcare system; indirect annual costs of $1.5 billion due to lost patient earnings; and $50 billion annually in lost productivity.

These worrisome statistics point to a critical need for proactive patient engagement to ensure adherence to recommended treatment plans. By taking advantage of new technologies, even the busiest of practices can identify and contact patients who are due for a lab, test, vaccination, etc.

Proactive outreach benefits both patients and providers. For example:

  • At least 50% of patients leave their physician’s office not understanding what they have been told. Proactive patient outreach ensures that patients understand their recommended treatment plan and receive the care they need, when they need it.
  • Proactive scheduling of diagnostic screenings, such as mammograms or cholesterol checks, can detect potentially serious health conditions early and often make the difference between life and death.
  • Staying connected with patients improves adherence and outcomes and minimizes the risk of adverse events. In one study of adolescent and adult liver transplant recipients, lab testing participation rates jumped from 58% to 78% when providers implemented an automated secure text messaging program for patients.
  • By proactively connecting with patients, a provider re-enforces his concern for a patient’s well-being, strengthens the provider-patient bond, and improves patient retention.
  • Practice revenue streams are more predictable when patients return for follow-up care at prescribed intervals.
  • Litigation risks are reduced when providers have documented evidence of proactive outreaches advising patients of non-adherence risks and the need for follow-up care.

Patient non-adherence is a serious but not insurmountable problem. If your practice would like to do more to help your patients stay on track, keep an eye out for new technologies, like Charlie, that are making it easier and more cost effective.


Hear how one health system is closing gaps in care and increasing compliance by optimizing its prescription renewal workflows. Watch this 30-minute on demand webinar!




TOPICS: Technology
HIT Blogger

Written By: HIT Blogger on July 7, 2015