We often talk about the importance of adherence on The Catalyst, but it’s a topic that isn’t widely understood. Consider this: when patients prematurely discontinue their medication, it costs the U.S. economy an estimated $100 billion to $300 billion annually. One of the things that makes the Medicare Part D program so valuable to patients and the broader health care ecosystem is that it encourages adherence by helping individuals get the medicines they need.
This is especially true for patients living with Parkinson’s disease. A recent study found Part D enrollees with higher adherence to treatment for the disease and longer duration of therapy saw decreases in the use of other health care services and expenses. Specifically, compared to patients with low adherence, those with high adherence had significantly lower rates of hospitalization, emergency room visits, skilled nursing facility episodes, home health agency episodes, physician visits and lower total health expenditures of more than $2,000, measured over 19 months.
An estimated 1 million eligible Medicare Part D beneficiaries live with Parkinson’s disease and that number is expected to double by 2030. With approximately one in four of these enrollees exhibiting poor adherence, continued conversations about the importance of adhering to treatment regimens are necessary. Part D continues to help countless patients with Parkinson’s, diabetes, muscular dystrophy, cancer and other debilitating conditions access the medicines they need, and we want to hear your story. How has Medicare Part D helped you treat your Parkinson’s or other conditions? Leave a comment below and we will post some of the stories we receive to our Facebook page.
Allyson Funk Ally is a senior director of public affairs at PhRMA focusing on Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, and other public programs. Her previous experience includes leading health communications for a large membership organization, supporting public affairs clients, and working for the governor of Louisiana. Ally enjoys travel, trying new restaurants and spending time with Buddy, her 9-year-old rescue Pomeranian. In the fall, she and her husband are almost always wearing Saints gear.