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NEHI: Medication Adherence Can Reduce Readmissions

July 27, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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A recent roundtable, hosted by the New England Healthcare Institute (NEHI) at the American College of Cardiology, which discussed the use of medications through medication reconciliation, concluded that better adherence would equal reduced hospital readmissions rates. In addition, the roundtable discussed strategies that would both reduce readmissions and support better use of medicines.

According to NEHI, both non-adherence to medication and hospital readmissions cost $290 billion annually on the medication non-adherence and $25 billion on the latter. “The health care system is fragmented” NEHI executive director Valerie Fleishman said at the roundtable, “and there has to be a change in the way we do things in order to achieve efficiency within the system.”

Panelists at the NEHI roundtable said in order to solve both issues, there needed to be a team-based, coordinated effort, “every step of the way.” This includes better patient tracking and the patient’s medication regimen from hospital discharge to follow-up at home.  

“We focus so much on the patient when we talk about adherence but there are other cohabitants of the ecosystem that can help overcome the barriers that are part of the system. We must shift our focus in order to be truly successful,” Marie Smith of the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy said.

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