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Published: May 10, 2018

Chattanooga CARES HIV patients achieve record medication adherence levels, 90.5%, with care management support from Curant Health

April 25, 2018 (Atlanta, GA) - “For the first time I am now positive about my future living with HIV.” – Chattanooga CARES patient Charlie

An estimated $300 billion is wasted in U.S. healthcare spending every year due to medication non-adherence. Studies also verify 30 percent of prescriptions never get filled and 50 percent of prescriptions are not taken as directed. Financial concerns notwithstanding, improving medication adherence, particularly for chronically ill patients, has enormous potential to improve population health and longevity.

In July 2017, Curant Health initiated a partnership with Chattanooga CARES (Council on AIDS, Resources, Education and Support) to offer Care Management, a highly coordinated program of clinical services, healthcare provider services, reporting and analytics. The focus population is a select set of Insurance Assistance Program (IAP) HIV patients known to have significant challenges with medication adherence.

Goals include achieving and maintaining viral suppression for enrolled patients, as well as a Continuous Process Improvement (CQI) outcome of >90% adherence in their HIV patient adherence program population, a group that includes patients who are newly diagnosed, those who are reestablishing care and transition of care patients.

Thanks to support from Curant Health’s Care Management program, Chattanooga CARES’ adherence program achieved 90.5% adherence in December 2017, the first time the Clinic has surpassed its goal of >90% adherence as measured by viral load.

“Charlie was an exact fit for our care management program patient profile – he hadn’t been to the clinic or on HIV medication since November 2016,” says Melissa Stuntz, Nurse Practitioner/Director of Clinical Services. “Despite repeated phone calls encouraging him to come into the clinic for a checkup and to pick up his medication refill, we couldn’t reach Charlie or get him through the clinic doors.”

Curant’s clinical pharmacist reached Charlie at last, listened to him describe his struggles with his HIV-positive diagnosis and educated him on the importance of taking his HIV medication. Shortly thereafter, he made his first visit to the Chattanooga CARES clinic in more than 6 months and resumed his medication therapy.

“In early September we checked back with Charlie and learned he’d missed a week of his medication therapy,” says Tomeka Kim, PharmD at Curant Health. “He also needed a prescription refill and had missed his last scheduled appointment at the clinic due to a new, 3rd shift job.”

In addition to reiterating the importance of taking his HIV medications consistently, including avoiding absent days at work due to illness and the possibility of losing his new job, the pharmacist resolved his scheduling issue. Charlie returned to the clinic in October, completed his lab work and picked up his prescription refills.

“Charlie’s viral load went from 35,000 in October to 255 in November, a remarkable result made possible by the power of available medication therapies and a trusting, caring, consistent patient relationship supported by our Care Management Partnership with Curant Health,” says Stuntz. “His Bactrim prescription was discontinued in December because his CD4 count had risen to 419 in November, up from 149 in October; one less medication to take! Of equal importance, Charlie told his doctor he is now positive about his future living with HIV.”

Media Contact:
Kristin Lindsey, Senior Marketing Director, Curant Health -

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