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New Study Shows Lowering Co-payments Can Lead to Lower Total Healthcare Costs, Improved Overall Health
Date:5/12/2008

arlier studies how increasing co-payments negatively affects patient medication adherence. With this study, we've shown that high co-payment levels and low adherence increase the use of other health resources, leading to higher overall health costs," said Michael C. Sokol, MD, MS, medical director for GSK's Health Management Innovations team. "Our goal must be to develop health benefit strategies that improve the health of patients -- which can lead to lower total healthcare costs."

Investing in Health Instead of Paying for Sickness

Today's greatest healthcare threats are chronic conditions which require ongoing, patient-centered management. In fact, $3 of every $4 spent on healthcare in the US[7] goes to treating the 45% of Americans with at least one chronic disease.[8] As well, according to the Milken Institute, the seven most common chronic diseases cost the US economy $1 trillion each year -- including both direct and indirect costs. That figure is expected to reach $6 trillion each year by the middle of the century if unchecked.[9]

While employers have often implemented strategies of shifting costs onto the patient, this is only a short-term economic fix. To lower overall healthcare costs and improve the health of patients, the focus must be on the real problem -- chronic diseases.

"Clearly, adherence is a critical component of chronic disease management, where patients have to play an active role in their own treatment," said Alberto Colombi, MD, Corporate Medical Director, PPG Industries. "One important way to enable active involvement is by providing education and facilitating access to care."

"Additionally, the healthcare delivery system should focus on prevention to keep people healthier, provide patients the right treatments to maintain their health, and design benefit plans that invest in health instead of paying for sickness," Dr. Colombi said.

GSK's Health Management Innovations team is also analyzing the resu
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SOURCE GlaxoSmithKline
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