Treatment for chronic conditions can be complex. There are diet, exercise, and lifestyle recommendations, appointments to juggle, and often, multiple medications that need to be taken regularly. Poor adherence to care requirements is rampant and expensive. For example, a report from the World Health Organization shows that direct costs attributable to inadequate treatment control in diabetes patients is roughly three to four times higher than costs for those who adhere to care plans.
The problem for payers whose patients are managing chronic illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease, and asthma, is that much of the costs incurred are a result of medication nonadherence, mostly in the form of avoidable hospitalizations.
According to a National Institutes of Health report, between $100 and $300 billion is spent annually on care costs related to nonadherence, a sum that represents 3-10 percent of total U.S. healthcare spending.
"We see the potential for RPM to enhance medication adherence measures," said Tom Halterman, vice president of medication therapy management at Cardinal Health. "Medication nonadherence is a huge and costly problem, and technology like RPM could give patients the support and accountability they need for better day-to-day health management that can also avoid costly episodes of care."