PQS Data Science Team Examines Potential Risk Factors to Medication Adherence in Second Trend Report

The Trend Report is a synthesis of multiple research projects exploring risk factors that influence medication adherence, along with background and implications.

Pharmacy Quality Solutions (PQS) established a data science team to study topics in risk factors to medication adherence in order to better help pharmacists, payers, life-science companies, and pharmacy organizations understand their populations, and the results of their findings can be found in the Trend Report in Pharmacy Quality Part 2: Data Driven Insights & Performance Trends.

Peter Masters, data scientist at PQS, led this project with technical assistance from Ben Urick, PharmD, PhD, who is a research assistant professor in the Center for Medication Optimization at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.

“At PQS, we are in a unique position with our diverse data set, and we wanted to leverage this information through research for social good,” said Peter Masters, PQS data scientist. “The topics in this year’s Trend Report Part 2 were selected from questions we’ve received both internally and externally, and we are hoping to receive even more ideas for next year.”

The Trend Report is a synthesis of multiple research projects exploring risk factors that influence medication adherence, along with background and implications. One example project explored the correlation between adherence to behavioral health medications and other chronic health medications in the Medicaid population. This project involved collecting medication adherence data of patients who took medication for both a behavioral health condition and a chronic health condition.

For each combination, the patients were split into two groups based on their adherence to their behavioral health condition, and then compared their average chronic health population adherence. In five out of the six combinations, patients who were adherent to their behavioral health medication had significantly higher chronic health medication adherence than patients who are not adherent to their behavioral health medications.

This research helps pharmacists provide better care, because if they increase adherence to behavioral health medications, they might also see a windfall effect of increasing chronic health medication adherence. PQS can help pharmacists increase quality of patient care by leveraging these kind of data.

Using data from 2017 and 2018, the report provided analysis on topics including the statin adherence of enrollees with diabetes, adherence rates of people affected by the ARB recall, the adherence of Medicare enrollees who go to multiple pharmacies versus those who go to a single pharmacy, the adherence of enrollees with discontinuous care by age, Medicaid population adherence increase with age, and the likeliness of adherence to other medications of Medicaid enrollees who are adherent to behavioral medication.

Specific results showed:

  • Enrollees with diabetes have significantly higher statin adherence than do enrollees without diabetes, a difference of 0.33% for Medicare and 3.64% for Medicaid.
  • Enrollees affected by the ongoing angiotensin II receptor blocker recall had 0.73% higher year-end adherence than those not affected by the recall.
  • Medicare beneficiaries who go to multiple pharmacies have higher or lower adherence than those who go to a single pharmacy depending on their condition, income, and plan. For enrollees without a low-income subsidy, the effect is positive, while for enrollees with a low-income subsidy, the effect is negative.
  • Medicaid population adherence steadily increases from ages 25 to 60, and Medicare adherence increases from ages 65 to 71 and then decreases onwards across Diabetes/RASA/Cholesterol PDC measures.
  • Medicare beneficiaries who have discontinuous care (newly qualifying, switched payers, or did not have enough claims to qualify for the measure the previous year) have population adherence that is on average 7.6% lower for Diabetes, 5.9% lower for RASA, and 7.4% lower for Cholesterol.
  • Those who are adherent to their antidepressants have 24% higher adherence for diabetes medications, 28% higher adherence for RASA medications, and 29% higher adherence for statins. Similarly, those who are adherent to their antipsychotics have 18% higher adherence for diabetes medications, 26% higher adherence for RASA medications, and 26% higher adherence for statins.

Further details are explained when reading the Trend Report in Pharmacy Quality Part 2: Data Driven Insights & Performance Trends. It provides additional data, visual graphs, charts and notes. This report was first presented during the Pharmacy Quality Alliance 2019 Leadership Summit in Arlington, VA on November 21, 2019. It can be downloaded from the PQS website by clicking here and it includes part one and part two.

Part one of the trend report was published in May of 2019, and it examined trends in perceptions, performance, approaches and considerations as it related to pharmacist-provided services and value-based performance programs across both payers and pharmacy providers. Data for this report was compiled from a series of surveys, and results were charted and graphed and compiled into three sections: “Consumer Perceptions,” “Pharmacy Readiness for Outcomes-Based Measurement,” and “Payer Challenges and Opportunities with Performance Improvement.”

PQS is seeking feedback and contributions for future reports. Please email trendreport@pharmacyquality.com with your ideas.

SOURCE: Pharmacy Quality Solutions