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NEHI: Better Rx adherence can reduce hospital readmissions
October 26th, 2012
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A report by health policy institute NEHI shines a light on the link between hospital readmissions and medication issues, according to the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation.
The NACDS Foundation said Thursday that the report, "Thinking Outside the Pillbox: Improving Medication Adherence and Reducing Readmissions," revealed that many hospital readmissions of Medicare patients stem from medication-related adverse events.
What's more, the study showed, a third of adverse drug events resulting in a hospital admission were related to noncompliance to prescriptions.
"Medication management is at the core of advanced discharge planning and transitional care," the report stated. "This reflects three realities: adverse events are a major cause of avoidable hospital readmissions; more post-discharge adverse events are related to drugs than other causes; and lack of adherence to medications prescribed at discharge has been shown to be a driver of post-discharge adverse drug."
A lack of coordination between health care providers also has been a factor, NEHI noted. The study said care models with multidisciplinary health teams — including community pharmacists — improve patient health following discharge from the hospital, which also reins in the cost of repeat hospitalizations to the health care system.
"The NEHI report affirms the role community pharmacy can play in helping patients to avoid hospital readmissions and adverse events post-discharge," NACDS Foundation president Kathleen Jaeger said in a statement. "Community pharmacists collaboratively work with hospitals, physicians, nurses and other health care providers in helping patients understand the importance of taking their medications as prescribed and improving medication adherence, facilitating the transition from hospital to home."
The foundation added that it's conducting research on "primary medication adherence, which will assess the impact of medication management services on patient health outcomes in medical homes or accountable care organization (ACO) delivery models.
"The utilization of care teams is increasingly recognized as an effective strategy to remedy the often fragmented health care delivery system by coordinating treatment to improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs," according to Jaeger. "The NACDS Foundation will continue to work to help patients improve their health through an understanding of medication therapy and the importance of taking medications properly."