Adherence is a hot-button issue in the healthcare industry. Medication adherence is directly tied to patient outcomes. And in the value-based care environment, patient outcomes are tied to reimbursement. While pharmacists are always looking for ways to improve adherence in their patients, their efforts don’t always pay off as well as they would like. That’s where adherence targeting comes in.
Medication synchronization has long been touted as a solution for improving medication adherence. And don’t get us wrong — it absolutely does. A January 2018 study by Health Affairs found that med sync increased medication adherence rates by as much as 6 percent, with the highest increases coming in patients with critically low PDC numbers. And while med sync is effective, it’s nothing compared to targeted med sync.
Medication Adherence Targeting Improves Care and Med Sync ROI
Pharmacists need to be mindful of the patients they enroll in their med sync programs. While all patients can benefit from med sync, there are some groups who benefit more than others:
- Patients with multiple prescriptions (typically four or more)
- Non-adherent patients who have trouble keeping current with their medications
- Patients who have difficulties getting to and from your pharmacy
The interesting thing about these groups? Enrolling them in med sync benefits your pharmacy, too. Here’s how targeted adherence efforts can help your business:
Benefit #1: Less Inventory on the Shelf
When you use a med sync program, it gives your business more predictability. Enrolling patients with multiple prescriptions in that med sync program expands that predictability. Knowing exactly when patients will be coming in to pick up their medications (or when you will be delivering them) can help you keep the right amounts of costly medications in stock. Out-of-control inventory is simply dollars sitting on the shelf.
Benefit #2: Improved Star Ratings
One of the easiest ways to improve your performance metrics? Targeting non-adherent patients and getting them back in compliance with their medication plan. Often, med sync can solve many of the problems that lead to patients slipping into non-adherence. Maybe they have too many prescriptions, and it’s hard to keep track of all the refill dates. Maybe they simply don’t have time to stop by the pharmacy twice a week. Consolidating all their refills to a single date can eliminate those issues.
To give your Star Ratings a boost, target non-adherent patients taking medication for diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol issues. When those PDC numbers rise, so do your ratings.
Benefit #3: More Efficient Deliveries
The popularity of pharmacy delivery programs is increasing, and it’s not hard to see why. For patients, it offers a way for them to still get their prescriptions when they don’t have the time or ability to make it to the store. For pharmacies, it offers a touchpoint for patients they may not see as much, or at all. And medication synchronization can help you make your delivery program as efficient as possible.
Instead of making several deliveries per month to the same patient, your delivery service only needs to make one. This increases the number of patients they can reach in each month, allowing you additional space to include more patients in the program. Delivery programs have also been shown to improve mediation adherence, so increasing their efficiency is a big benefit.
Medication synchronization works. Statistically, it improves adherence in every patient enrolled in the program. But when you use it for adherence targeting, it can improve things for your pharmacy, too — especially if you’re mindful of which patients you enroll first.