As healthcare costs continue to rise, employers are seeking ways to minimize expenses without sacrificing the quality of care their employees receive. One effective approach is to focus on medication adherence through programs like the Morisky Medication Adherence Scale (MMAS).
Medication non-adherence is a significant problem that can result in increased healthcare utilization, hospitalizations, and healthcare costs. According to a report from the National Council on Patient Information and Education, medication non-adherence costs the US healthcare system between $100 and $300 billion annually.
The MMAS is a tool that assesses medication adherence based on a set of questions that ask patients about their medication-taking behavior. It has been used in various settings, including employer health plans, to identify patients who may need additional support to adhere to their medications.
Employers can implement the MMAS as part of their employee health plan by partnering with a third-party vendor or working with their health plan provider. The program typically involves outreach to employees who have been identified as non-adherent to their medications through the MMAS questionnaire. The outreach may include education about the importance of medication adherence, reminders to take medications, and access to resources such as pharmacy support.
By improving medication adherence, employers can potentially reduce healthcare costs and premiums. A study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that an intervention to improve medication adherence in employees with hypertension resulted in a significant reduction in healthcare costs and an increase in productivity.
Additionally, medication adherence programs can improve employee health outcomes and reduce the need for costly medical interventions. For example, employees with diabetes who adhere to their medications are less likely to require hospitalization or emergency department visits, which can result in significant cost savings.
In conclusion, implementing medication adherence programs like the MMAS can be an effective way for employers to minimize healthcare costs and premiums. By identifying and supporting employees who struggle with medication adherence, employers can improve health outcomes, reduce healthcare utilization, and ultimately save money. Investing in employee health and well-being is a win-win for both employers and employees.
Dr Donald Morisky.