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CME and Patient Adherence

November 09, 2011

CME and Patient Adherence

Today we are going to talk about interface CME, as well as patient compliance and adherence to treatment. Compliance has been a big issue for a long time now, and an estimated 50% of patients drop long term therapies or prescription medications within the first year. Recent studies show that the average length that a patient stays on a long term state prescription is just 6 to 8 weeks. A new study from the nonprofit Millennium Research Institute looked at an issue related to compliance and adherence, which was urine drug testing (UDT) with respect to opioid and other pain medications. The study actually weighed costs and benefits of UDT among 260,000 patient IDs and made some interesting conclusions with respect to costs and benefits. The average cost of doing urine drug testing ranges from about $400 to about $2,200 per patient, per year. So, not an insignificant cost by any means. However, the benefits dramatically outweigh those costs when you calculate lower work absenteeism, because folks aren’t missing as much work if they are adhering to their drugs. Healthcare savings, as well as patients, benefit from actually conducting these urine drugs tests. Those benefits range from $1,300 to $3,800 per patient. When you look on the high end the cost side is $2,200, but the benefit side is about $3,800 per patient. UDT is a toll that seems to increase compliance as well as individual health care improvement, and provides over all societal and economic benefits. If you would like to get a copy of that UDT study, you can either contact us here at Global, or go to the Millennium Research Institute

Driving Patient Adherence with CME

How can we use CME to help drive patient adherence and compliance? Here are three quick ideas. First, we can incorporate compliance- things like patient reminders or medication questionnaires in our CME Activities. Secondly, we can teach techniques to physicians to show them how to discuss patient incentives and the personal benefits that come from compliance and adherence. Studies have shown that a 10 to 15 second statement from a physician can impact patient behavior, but very few physicians explain why they are prescribing a certain medication or treatment approach. Lastly, we can set up a patient link alongside an online CME activity and give physicians office posters that provide this link, as well as information to patients that are seeking out more advice or information about patient adherence. As always if you have any questions related to the CME enterprise, or more specifically about patient adherence and how that interfaces with CME, feel free to contact us here