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Published: August 13, 2015

Five ways to improve patient medication adherence

August 13, 2015 - Curant Health COO, Marc O'Connor, in Managed Healthcare Executive - Out of $213 billion in avoidable annual healthcare costs, $105 billion is due to medication nonadherence, according to a recent IMS Health Informatics study. In addition to the potential cost savings associated with improved adherence, it could also lead to better health outcomes, such as reduced readmissions and reduced viral loads among patients with infectious diseases like HIV.

Simply put, as the healthcare system moves away from fee-for-service to value-based pay, improving patients’ adherence to medication therapies moves both the numerator (outcomes) and the denominator (costs) of the healthcare value equation in the right direction.

The big question is how?

Here are five ways healthcare organizations of all types, including managed care organizations, can improve patient adherence to prescribed medication therapies.

Five ways to improve patient adherence

  1. Tap the knowledge and accessibility of the pharmacist

On average, physician interaction with a patient lasts eight minutes, about 12% of his or her time on the job, according to a study published in The Journal of General Internal Medicine. A separate study, appearing in Patient Education and Counseling, indicated that physicians spend less than 60 seconds discussing prescription medications with patients.

Internal research conducted by Vickie Andros, PharmD, director of clinical services for Curant Health, revealed that Curant Health clinical pharmacists spend 21 minutes with patients per interaction. This is more than double the average time physicians spend with their patients.

Clinical pharmacists have the time and expertise to help fill in the gaps when physicians lack the necessary time to discuss medications with patients.

To read Marc's full article, visit Managed Healthcare Executive.

To learn more about Curant Health, contact Kristin Lindsey, Marketing Director, at


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