Poor Medication Adherence: Serious Concern for Medicare Patients
Monday, October 21, 2013
by: VNAA Policy Team

Section: Public Policy and Advocacy

The National Council on Patient Information and Education,released a new report “AcceleratingProgress in Prescription Medicine Adherence: The Adherence Action Agenda.” According to the council, nearly 100 million Americans are not taking medications as prescribed, leading to unnecessary deaths, hospitalizations and nursing home admissions.

Today, 27 percent of Americans are living with multiple chronic conditions most of whom are over age 65.  Recent data shows that 68 percent of Medicare beneficiaries, or 21.4 million individuals, are in treatment for at least two concurrent chronic illnesses. Among these individuals, the concurrent use of multiple medications to manage coexisting chronic conditions is a common occurrence. Estimates show that 76 percent of Americans aged 60 and over use two or more prescription drugs and 37 percent take five or more. Further, studies document a rise in the incidence of drug reactions from 6 percent in patients taking two medications a day to as high as 50 percent in patients taking five drugs a day.
The report calls for a national mobilization to reduce the adverse health and economic consequences associated with poor medication adherence and documents behavioral, social, economic, medical and policy-related factors that contribute to patients not taking their medicines as prescribed. The report also lays out a ten-step blueprint for action
VNAA plans to reach out to this group discuss the important role of home health and hospice agencies in medication management. 
Read the whole report here: http://www.bemedicinesmart.org/A3_Report.pdf
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