The Impact of Patient Non-Compliance

Current estimates place the annual cost of patient non-compliance with medical instructions to the US healthcare system at between $100 billion and $289 billion per year, along with causing an estimated 125,000 deaths.   Indeed, targeted research shows that adherence to prescribed medication regimens by the nation’s  diabetics alone could save an estimated $8.3 billion in annual healthcare costs,  according to a study in the August 2012 Health Affairs.  The study found that better adherence to drug regimens reduced the odds of  hospitalizations and emergency department visits by 13 percent. When patients  didn’t adhere to their medications, it increased the odds of hospitalization by  15 percent.

But research also shows patient non-compliance is a solvable problem.

In a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers found that short-term compliance with therapeutic regiments improved with provider, patient or policy interventions.  The interventions utilized in the study showed the potential to improve patient outcomes, by centering focus on the patient and addressing his or her individual reasons for noncompliance.  A patient-centered care model has the potential to improve long-term care and the management of chronic conditions, thereby minimizing the devastating consequences associated with repeated hospitalizations.