HIV patients can cut their medication costs through Computer based drug adherence programs and so can youJeremy Whiteley
For a long time there has been a bias toward doctors and clinicians regarding patients who need “medication adherence interventions.” What does that mean to us lay people? It means that if you are directed to take medication for your personal health issue(s), by a doctor, and you don’t remember to take those meds on time, as directed, you need someone to remind you. The more you take your meds as prescribed, the less the medical treatment is likely to cost you at the end of the year.
Doctors, researchers who are typically doctors, hospital personnel, who typically work for doctors and so on, make their money by charging patients or their healthcare institutions for services performed. But these days doctors don’t just perform services; they have staff follow up, submit in triplicate (my own euphemism as it’s more likely to be done on a computer network these days) and bill at an inflated rate so that , by the time the claim is denied 2 or 3 times by a healthcare company and then ultimately paid at a much lower rate, their costs and their then minimal profit can be calculated. In the olden days, when I was a child, if I got a bump on my head, my mom would put a cold wash cloth on the swelling and I’d be fine the next day. Today, that same medical issue is treated in an Emergency room, 3 nurses, 2 administrators, a 30 second doctor visit and sometimes a helicopter ride to the E.R. Oh yeah… and a few billing clerks. And don’t forget the collection calls before you even get the first bill.
The medical profession doesn’t want to be cut out of the process. So when they write about “medication adherence interventions” those professionals are saying that somebody needs to call the patient from time to time and remind them to take their meds as prescribed because the patient will have a much better outcome for having done so.
The study, that was specifically about making HIV meds more effective, was released in early 2013 BMC Medical Infomatics, says that a “computer-delivered intervention…” was effective but depended on the individual patients involved. That means… you can use a computerized service to remind you to take your meds but that you have to follow through with the glass of water, taking the meds and then actually swallow said pills in order for the “medication adherence intervention” to work.