This retrospective study examines the effect of a medication assistance program (MAP) on HbA1c levels in an uninsured, low-income, type 2 diabetes population. It also examines the degree to which improvement in HbA1c level varied with adherence to medication regimens among those patients using the MAP. The MAP was found to have a mean effect of -0.60% on HbA1c levels. However, MAP users differed in how strictly they adhered to medication regimens, as measured by number of refill opportunities taken. The MAP's effect on HbA1c varied monotonically with adherence level, with greater adherence leading to greater HbA1c improvement. Never refilling the prescription (complete nonadherence) led to no change in HbA1c, while complete adherence led to an estimated -0.88% improvement in HbA1c. Further study is needed to investigate factors related to non-adherence within medication assistance programs and the effect of such programs on other patient outcomes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Disease management has become an important tool for improving population patient outcomes. The Louisiana State University Health Care Services Division (HCSD) has used this tool to provide care to a largely uninsured population for approximately 10 years. Eight programs currently exist within the HCSD focusing on diabetes, asthma, congestive heart failure, HIV, cancer screening, smoking cessation, chronic kidney disease, and diet, exercise, and weight control. These programs operate at hospital and clinic sites located in 8 population centers throughout southern Louisiana. The programs are structured to be managed at the system level with a clinical expert for each area guiding the scope of the program and defining new goals. Care largely adheres to evidence-based guidelines set forth by professional organizations. To monitor quality of care, indicators are defined within each area and benchmarked to achieve the most effective measures in our population. For example, hemoglobin A1c levels have shown improvements with nearly 54% of the population <7.0%. To support these management efforts, HCSD utilizes an electronic data repository that allows physicians to track patient labs and other tests as well as reminders. To ensure appropriate treatment, patients are able to enroll in the Medication Assistance program. This largely improves adherence to medications for those patients unable to afford them otherwise.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Louisiana State University Health Care Services Division system assessed the effectiveness of implementing a multisite disease management program targeting diabetes mellitus in an indigent patient population. A population-based disease management program centered on evidence-based clinical care guidelines was applied from the system level. Specific clinic modifications and models were used, as well as ancillary services such as medication assistance and equipment subsidies. Marked improvement in process goals led to improved clinical outcomes. From 2001 to 2008, the percentage of patients with a hemoglobin A1c < 7.0 increased from 45% to 55% on the system level, with some sites experiencing a more dramatic shift. Results were similar across sites, which included both small provider groups and academic health centers. In order to achieve these results, the clinical environment changed to promote those evidence-based interventions. Even in complex environments such as academic health centers with several provider levels, or those environments with limited care resources, disease management programs can be successfully implemented and achieve statistically significant results.
Population Health Management 12/2010; 13(6):319-24. DOI:10.1089/pop.2009.0078 · 1.51 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The benefits of drug therapy to diabetic patients in terms of glycemic control, microvascular complications, cardiovascular event risk, mortality, and quality of life have been well established by clinical trial data. However, it has been a challenge to quantify the relationship between adherence and outcomes such as glycemic control, disease-related events, hospitalizations, cost, and quality of life.
This article provides a comprehensive summary of empirical studies that examine the associations between adherence and glycemic control, health care utilization, quality of life, and mortality in patients with diabetes. It is intended to provide a framework for researchers interested in conducting studies to improve their understanding of the value of medication adherence for patients with diabetes.
Relevant published articles were identified through searches of the National Center for Biotechnology PubMed database. Medical subject heading (MESH) terms diabetes mellitus, hypoglycemic agents, and insulin, were each combined with the MESH term medication adherence and with the subheadings economics, prevention and control, psychology, statistics and numerical data, therapy, adverse effects, therapeutic use, and administration and dosage, where available. Studies were included if they met the following criteria: (1) analyzed empirical data on some measure of patient adherence to diabetes pharmacotherapy; (2) described methods for measuring patient adherence; (3) evaluated economic, clinical, or humanistic outcomes related to diabetes; and (4) had as a goal of the research to evaluate the link between patient adherence and outcomes (as a primary or secondary objective). The data from the articles meeting these criteria were then abstracted, including mention of the specific interventions being compared, specific methods for measuring adherence, outcomes compared between adherent and nonadherent patients and how these outcomes were measured, and information on variables that were adjusted for in predictive and causal multivariable models.
A total of 37 articles that met all 4 criteria in this review underwent data extraction. Of these studies, 22 (59%) used objective measures to assess adherence, with 1 study using pill counts to assess adherence and 21 using either pharmacy claims or similar refill records to assess refill behavior. The remaining 15 (41%) studies used a wide variety of subjective patient-reported adherence assessments. The majority (13/23 [57%]) of the glycemic control studies reported that improved adherence was associated with better glycemic control. The ability to draw a distinction between adherence and glycemic control tended to occur more frequently [7/9 (78%)] among studies that characterized adherence in terms of prescription refills compared with studies that used various constructs for patient-reported adherence measures.
Based on the literature, better adherence was found to be associated with improved glycemic control and decreased health care resource utilization. There was no consistent association between improved adherence and decreased health care costs. Little data were available on the association between adherence and quality of life.
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