What is Medication Non-adherence? Health and Financial Risks

Medication non-adherence. It’s a big problem. People are not taking the right pill at the right time. The health and financial risks associated with medication non-adherence impacts individuals, families and caregivers. Today, millions of people depend on others for their medications and, for those who manage multiple medications, it can be complicated and confusing. For many people, loved ones can’t always be there to keep track.

The Financial and Health Risks

Nearly 37% of seniors take 5 or more medications and one out of every ten seniors hospitalized are the result of the consumption of ill-timed, mistaken, or missed medication. The cost of medication non-adherence exceeds $300B and more than 125,000* deaths annually in the United States. That’s a high price to pay for both  individuals and the healthcare system more broadly.

In addition to all of this information, it’s important to call attention to the cost of non-adherence at a more personal level, as oftentimes the expense of not taking medications shows up indirectly. The National Council Medical Director Institute published a report in September, 2018 stating that “medication non-adherence accounts for 30-50 percent of treatment failures and 10-25 percent of all hospital and nursing home admissions.” A host of other expenses from the ambulance to the Emergency Room are triggered by non-adherence. These unplanned expenses can be devastating for individuals living on a fixed income, and put additional financial pressure on Medicare and other public programs.  

As it relates to better health, the cost of ill-planned or timed drug interactions means risking outcomes that could be debilitating to the patient in more ways than one. For many chronic conditions, improved health outcomes are difficult without proper adherence. A Network for Excellent in Health Innovation (NEHI) study showed that non-adherence could be tied back to an increased risk of hospitalization, while also providing evidence that mortality rate for heart disease and diabetes was 12.1 percent for non-adherence patients compared to 6.7 for adherent patients.** This is just one example of the implications of non-adherence reported in a specific population.

Reducing the Risks

So what can we do to reduce these risks? Several options are: increase access to or engaging the services of a paid caregiver, add more frequent communication with your provider to monitor your adherence activity, or find a technology-enabled medication assistance solution that your loved one can manage on their own. Since most people are reluctant to admit their shortcomings in taking their meds, it’s often unclear when non-adherence has become a liability.  

Trust in Ōmcare

That’s why Ōmcare was created: to address medication non-adherence and offer remote care solutions through simple, face-to-face interactions and monitored remote pill dispensing that  reduces the risk to financial and personal health outcomes. With Ōmcare you have remote, visual confirmation of adherence and a complete medication history that gives caregivers peace of mind, and provides better information for physicians and nurses to treat and diagnose.  

Stay up to date with the latest from Omcare and the release of the Telemed System by subscribing to our email.

Sources:

*https://www.nacds.org/news/the-cost-of-medication-non-adherence/

**Network for Excellence in Health Innovation. (2016, September). Better Uses of Medicines for Diabetes Patients. Retrieved from https://www.nehi.net/writable/publication_files/file/better_use_of_medicine_for_patients_wieth_diabetes_nehi_9.8.2016.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3934668/


E Pill vs Med Minder vs GMS Med-e-lert (+ Alternatives & Reviews)

Medication non-adherence is a serious problem. In fact, it has been linked to many poor health outcomes, including increased hospitalizations and even death. Medication non-adherence ultimately ends up costing the US healthcare system billions of dollars each year.

If you or a loved one is having trouble remembering to take their medication, or if you’re not sure they are taking them correctly, or at all, there is technology available to combat medication non-adherence. We’re going to breakdown three options for you, as well as an alternative to consider.

E-Pill Medsmart Automatic Pill Dispenser

The E-Pill Medsmart Automatic Pill Dispenser is a reliable option for those who are affected by medication non-adherence. The device is split up into different sections for each set of pills that make a circle, which rotates into place when it is time to take a pill. The dispenser will then emit a loud sound as well as a blinking light. Simply flip the device over and the pills will fall into your hands.

The dispenser is AC powered with a battery backup, and an alarm will sound when the battery is low. When it’s time to take a pill, the E-Pill Medsmart Automatic Pill Dispenser is easy to use, can hold up to 20 aspirin-sized pills at a time per compartment, and can be purchased upfront, with no monthly fees.

“My mom is 89 years old and has a lot of trouble remembering when to take her pills. With the MedSmart pill dispenser that problem has gone away. If the red light is on and the alarm is sounding she knows it is time to take her pills, if not there are no pills in the window and she knows it is not time for her pills. The only regret I have is that I didn't buy this earlier.” - via Amazon Reviews

MedMinder - Jon Pill Dispenser

While at first glance, it might appear that the MedMinder Jon Pill Dispenser is a regular pill calendar dispenser, there is much more behind these device. The dispenser features locking sections, and will only grant users to the correct compartments at correct dosage times, so there is no worry of anyone overdosing.

The Jon Pill Dispenser’s defining feature is that it enables interconnection between the user, their family, and the caregiver. The Jon locking pill dispenser can update MedMinder’s central computer about the patient’s dosage activity, which will then be readily available online for caregivers who can also receive immediate email or text message notifications and weekly reports.

MedMinder Review

“Just want to say how awesome the med minder is! My mother has beginning dementia and AFIB, which messes with her mind and takes 74 pills a day. The MedMinder keeps her on a timely schedule which keeps her med levels more consistent. She is doing better health wise and it gives me peace of mind knowing she doing everything right when I don’t get a text or call.” - via MedMinder website

GMS Med-e-lert

The GMS Med-e-lert is similar to the E-Pill dispenser, but it does feature a clear cover, which helps the user see when they need to refill the device. A couple of  new features for the latest model of the dispenser include the unit retaining program settings when the user needs to change batteries and a six alarms per day maximum, which is the same for the E-Pill. Unlike the E-Pill, the GMS Med-e-lert runs solely on AA batteries.

GMS Med-e-lert Review

“Med-e-lert solved my mother's medicine taking problem. Before Med-e-lert, she was forgetting to take her medicine at the assigned times and would occasionally become confused and double dose since all pills were available on her old pill box. All problems solved with this product. It was easy to program and has not jammed or malfunctioned since purchasing it weeks ago. The alarm feature successfully nags Mom until she takes her medicine. I highly recommend this product.” via Amazon Reviews.

Alternative Pill Dispensers (Ōmcare Telemed System)

Just like with these companies, here at Ōmcare, we too understand the significance of medication non-adherence and the effect it has on millions of people every year. That’s why we created the Ōmcare Telemed System with video chat interface.

This product, which will be hitting the market soon, offers caregivers the ability to see, speak to, and confirm appropriate medication from anywhere. The easy-to-use Ōmcare Telemed System enables remote care and visual confirmation of right pill, right time, right person.  We want your loved one to feel empowered, not monitored - giving you peace of mind, as if you were right there with them.

Features include:

  • 3-way calling capabilities
  • Easy, one-touch call interface for end-users
  • Medication dispensing, consumption assistance and support
  • Remote in-home telehealth care
  • Longitudinal data with medication adherence confirmation
  • EHR integration to support physician directives
  • Ability to dispense multi-dose pouch packaged medication

If you’re interested in making your or a loved one’s life easier by avoiding medication non-adherence, then make sure you keep an eye out for the Omcare Telemed System. Subscribe to our email list to stay up to date on latest updates on the release of this new device!