Coaching improves medication adherence in people with diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol

Health Dialog, a leading provider of integrated population health management solutions for health plans, risk-bearing providers and self-insured employers, will release data showing its telephonic health coaching program helped patients managing diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol achieve a higher rate of adherence than patients without coaching. The study validated the need for a highly personalized approach to improving medication adherence and identified the most common barriers to adherence. Health Dialog will present its findings at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) Nexus conference, which will occur in Orlando on Oct. 22-25.

Poor medication adherence can cost the healthcare industry up to $290 billion a year. Health Dialog's study shows that patients with diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol had a higher rate of medication adherence when they received one-on-one telephonic coaching compared with non-coached patients. Additionally, nearly all coached patients agreed to be transferred to their pharmacy for prescription refills at the end of their coaching session.

Individual reasons for not taking a medication as prescribed vary from person to person. This study identified time management, knowledge, motivation and language as the most prevalent barriers. Coaches specially trained in behavior change methodologies worked with patients to identify their unique barriers and establish a personalized care plan to help patients better manage their chronic disease.

"Using powerful analytics gleaned from two decades worth of data, we are able to identify highly personalized interventions that address each patient's barriers to adherence," said Jill Goodspeed, Health Dialog's vice president of coaching operations. "Once we identify an individual's personal challenges, our coaches work with each individual patient to create a care plan that addresses their unique situation. We see not only an increase in medication adherence, but an overall improvement in patients' abilities to manage their chronic conditions and maximize their health. Getting patients to take their medications as prescribed can be a challenge, and we believe that personalized coaching can play a key role as part of a broader strategy to address patient barriers and drive positive health outcomes."

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