Pushing Back Against Prescription Abandonment

 |  Miranda Gill, MSN, RN

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Helping providers to deliver more efficient and effective patient care through adoption of health care technology is a central focus at the quickly-approaching HIMSS19 conference. Ahead of the conference, we want to start the conversation on current challenges that are frustrating providers and can be addressed through emerging technology. The huge topics at hand are price transparency on behalf of patients, high prescription cost and visibility into pricing and affordability at the point of prescribing.

All providers want their patients on the road to wellness and make judgements on therapies based on what is best for that particular individual, yet many patients are unable to afford these prescriptions due to rising deductibles1 and lack of transparency. This leaves medications on pharmacy shelves, patients in poor health and providers powerless to help those in their care.1 Real-time benefit check (RTBC) is a technology that equips providers with tools to combat prescription abandonment through price transparency and affordability options, allowing them to communicate drug cost right at the point of prescribing. Solutions for RTBC, like RxBenefit Clarity™ from CoverMyMeds, are helping providers and patients make appropriate health care decisions that consider more factors, both medical and financial.

Prescription abandonment is climbing in the U.S with CVS Health® reporting in one study that 3.27 percent of prescriptions filled during a three-month time period were never picked-up.2 For all of 2018, that equates to nearly 140 million prescriptions.2 Such medication non-adherence contributes to nearly $300 billion in avoidable health care costs and 125,000 potentially avoidable deaths.1,3

While many factors may contribute to these harrowing statistics, a primary reason for prescription abandonment is believed to be the out-of-pocket cost of medications. A recent survey of 1,000 patients revealed that 75 percent received a prescription that cost more than expected and half did not pick-up a prescription because it cost too much when they arrived at the pharmacy.1 This problem could have been solved if the provider had access to cost as they were prescribing the medication.

With RTBC, providers are given insight into patient copay and deductible amounts for all payers and any prescription. Beyond benefit information, providers may be presented with the accurate cash price for medications, which can often provide a cheaper alternative for out-of-pocket costs relative to certain insurances.5 Additionally, advanced RTBC solutions can even display the availability of patient assistance programs, copay cards or eVouchers that can be used to help reduce patients’ out-of-pocket cost.

The information surfaced through RTBC can promote productive conversations between providers and patients on the price of medications at the point-of-prescribing – to help limit the sticker shock patients experience at the pharmacy that can lead to prescription abandonment. For more information on RTBC, checkout the 2018 Real-Time Benefit Check National Adoption Scorecard.

If you plan to attend HIMSS 2019, stop by booth 3278 and engage with an expert from CoverMyMeds to learn more about RTBC and our RxBenefit Clarity™ solution.

Sources

  1. 2018 Real-Time Benefit Check National Adoption Scorecard
  2. Understanding Prescription Abandonment, CVS Health
  3. Total Number of Retail Prescriptions - The Statistics Portal, 2018
  4. Adherence Statistics, Pillsy
  5. Overpaying for Prescription Drugs, 2018
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