CVS Health Research Institute Study Shows Value in Tailoring Medication Adherence Interventions to Specific Patient Populations


A new study from the CVS Health Research Institute has found that interventions to keep patients with common chronic conditions adherent is extraordinarily cost-effective.




Aug. 22, 2016

/PRNewswire/ -- A new study from the CVS Health Research Institute found that interventions to keep patients with common chronic conditions adherent is extraordinarily cost-effective. The study, published today in The American Journal of Managed Care, also found an even greater opportunity for cost-savings if medication adherence resources are focused on patients with three or more chronic co-morbidities, such as hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol. In fact, a preliminary analysis shows that payers could save approximately

$38-$63 million

per 100,000 members by focusing resources on these specific patient populations.

"There is extensive evidence supporting the relationship between better adherence, improved health outcomes and reduced health care costs, but efforts to improve medication adherence, while effective, can be costly," said Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of CVS Health. "We are now trying to better understand how to maximize health care resources to have the greatest impact on adherence and provide the maximum benefit for payers and patients. This research indicates that targeting adherence interventions to patients based upon their adherence history and co-morbidities would result in greater cost-savings and a better use of health care resources."

Researchers reviewed de-identified medical and pharmacy claims data of more than 1.2 million patients with at least one of three chronic diseases, including diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol, over a two year period. The study found that the best strategy was to focus on the patients who are adherent and keep them adherent. For example, a patient with hypertension who was initially adherent, but became non-adherent, spent an additional


on medical care. In addition, the researchers found that the number of co-morbid conditions directly influenced the magnitude of cost savings when adherence behavior improved. In fact, patients with three or more chronic conditions had up to seven times greater savings than patients with one or two conditions.

"Short-term changes in adherence can have a meaningful and immediate impact on health care costs, and this kind of research is important in helping our clients understand the value of medication adherence and where the greatest cost-savings opportunities exist for their member populations when it comes to maintaining medication adherence," said

Jonathan Roberts

, President of CVS Caremark, the pharmacy benefits manager (PBM) of CVS Health. "We have a number of analytic tools that we use with our clients and offer adherence programs tailored for specific member populations to help improve health outcomes and deliver significant value for our clients."

At CVS Health, we leverage our analytic expertise across the enterprise to help PBM clients tailor and implement adherence interventions that have the greatest impact. For example, we use predictive analytics to help understand which patients are likely to be non-adherent and as a result, the most costly. In addition, we work with clients to target certain member populations who can most benefit from our adherence programs. In fact, we recently launched Care 1-on-1 , which connects members with multiple chronic conditions to a dedicated Pharmacy Care Team who is available 24/7 to support individual member needs, coordinate medication delivery and address their adherence challenges.

The CVS Health Research Institute is focused on contributing to the body of scientific knowledge related to pharmacy and health care through research collaborations with external academic institutions, participation in federally-funded research, analysis and sharing of CVS Health data sources and coordination of pilot programs and initiatives. CVS Health Research Institute findings support a continuous quality improvement environment, which encourages product innovation and development to benefit CVS Health patients, clients and their members.

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