DALLAS, Jan. 27, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Nineteen percent of Medicare Advantage beneficiaries said that they forget to take prescribed medications; of those, 24 percent said they forget at least once per week. Fifteen percent of respondents noted that a reminder system would help them with adherence. The survey results are based on a 2018 survey of 781 Medicare Advantage beneficiaries with at least one chronic condition conducted by Health Action as a Service company, HealthMine.

For Medicare Advantage plans, drug adherence is a key factor in Star ratings. Star Ratings have been created to measure the performance of Medicare plans. These ratings include three measures of drug adherence targeting chronic disease: 1) Medication Adherence for Diabetes Medications, 2) Medication Adherence for Hypertension, 3) Medication Adherence for Cholesterol. This is indicated in the CMS, Medicare 2019 Part C & D Star Ratings Technical Notes, updated 11/08/2018, page 100. Those measures are given triple weight among all Star Ratings measures.

According to the National Council on Aging approximately 80 percent of older adults have at least one chronic disease, and 77 percent have at least two.

The results are in line with a 2014 study of 586 Medicare beneficiaries entitled: Medication adherence behaviors of Medicare beneficiaries. It was conducted with the approval of the Institutional Review Board of the University of the Pacific. The study revealed 30 percent were non-adherent. The following reasons were provided: 73 percent, forgetfulness; 11 percent, side effects; 10 percent, the medication was not needed. Lower adherence rates were also associated with difficulty paying for medication, presence of a medication-related problem, and certain symptomatic chronic conditions.

Drug non-adherence is clearly a financial burden on the health care system. A study in 2012 in the Annals of Internal Medicine estimated that non-adherence costs the U.S. health care system more than $100 billion per year, and up to $300 billion per year. Improving adherence is one key factor in value-based care to improves patient outcomes, and save the health care system money.

It should be noted that the HealthMine survey revealed that more than 90 percent of respondents said that they were not confused by medication instructions, so most understood how to self-administer drugs.

According to Bryce Williams, CEO of HealthMine, “This is a great opportunity for Medicare programs to better manage drug adherence. It is a key performance measure as plans target and empower individuals to take actions that improve clinical outcomes while decreasing total cost of care and increasing plan revenue.  Wisely, the targeted CMS medication adherence measures are for the management of chronic disease where there can be an immediate positive impact.”

Specific questions from the survey below:

Q.  Do you ever forget to take your medications?

 • No 82%
 • Yes 18%

Q.  How often do you forget?

At least once per week 24%
Two times per month 19%
Once per month 36%
Less than once per month 21%

Q.  Would a reminder system help in medication compliance?

Yes 15%
Not sure 21%
No 64%

Q.  Do you find that medication adherence instructions are confusing?

Yes 5%
Not sure 4%
No 91%

About the Survey
The HealthMine Medicare Survey queried 781 insured age 65+ consumers with a chronic condition who are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. Survey Sampling International (SSI) in June/July 2018 fielded the survey. Data were collected via an opt-in panel. The margin of error was three percent (3%). Survey Sampling International (SSI) has been the Worldwide Leader in Survey Sampling and Data Collection Solutions, across every mode, for more than forty years.

About HealthMine
HealthMine is the only Health Action as a Service company originally built inside a Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) health plan. HealthMine’s services help health plans target and empower individuals to take actions that improve clinical outcomes while decreasing total cost of care and increasing plan revenue. HealthMine is on the web at www.healthmine.com.

SOURCE HealthMine, Inc.

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