Published in Managed Health Care Connect on September 23, 2016
Thomas Morrow MD
Having officially reached Medicare age, I am amazed that the focus of virtually every conversation with my older friends when we get together is about health, doctor visits, surgical procedures, and medications. It is also interesting how many people talk about their medication as something optional or how they need it only when they think they feel they need it, not how it was prescribed.
In fact, about 3.8 billion prescriptions filled each year in the US are not used correctly. Another fact: about half of all patients taking medications for a chronic condition stop their medication within the first 6 months of starting them. Poor adherence affects all ages, all socioeconomic groups, and all educational levels. For diseases such as heart disease, COPD, asthma, hyperlipidemia, cardiovascular disease, the impact of poor adherence can lead to unnecessary progression, complications, admissions to the hospital, and even death.
These statistics underscore a need for more precise or tailored strategies to motivate patients and support them in the very act of taking their medications. This is something that the handouts given by the retail pharmacies and physicians’ offices do not achieve.
TIP Health, founded by Marilyn Shreve and a small group of private investors located in the San Francisco Bay Area, has built a company dedicated to improving overall treatment and medication adherence in America. In order to tackle non-adherence, they have established a Network of Technology Providers that provide a suite of products that work to automate the adherence conversation. Their adherence solutions can integrate into patient support programs, electronic medical records, and technology platforms. They build technology-driven adherence programs for pharmaceutical companies, PPOs, health insurers PBMs, hospitals, and medical device companies.
Their strategies are designed to activate patients and move them toward a more involved role in managing their treatment regimen, improving their medication-taking behavior, adopting healthy lifestyles, and creating feedback loops between all parties involved. Interactive technology programs are also geared towards improving health outcomes and delivering positive clinical and financial results.
TIP Health does this through a collaborative approach between their technology provider network, health care professionals, marketers, managed care professionals, and government strategists. Their approach involves identifying the patient preferences then working to build self-management skills through use of mobile web-based social technology to communicate directly with patients.
The company has validated patient adherence results, showing that their network programs can convert 40% of non-adherent patients into adherers. In randomized controlled studies, a TIPS cholesterol lowering adherence program resulted in improving medication adherence across diverse health care settings by 21.9 percent and patients achieved positive clinical outcomes.
TIP Health is another of thousands of innovative companies seeking to improve the cost, outcomes, and in this case, adherence!