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Treatment Adherence Emerging as Critical Theme in Improving Quality and Cost of US Healthcare

SUMMIT, N.J., April 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As leaders across business, policy and academia gathered at the recent World Health Care Congress (WHCC) to discuss ways to improve the quality and cost of healthcare, experts in treatment adherence identified a common theme: a patient-centric adherence strategy will be critical to achieving success.

"Healthcare reform is placing greater pressure for cost-efficiencies in the delivery of patient care and, as such, healthcare companies need to integrate treatment adherence strategies at the center of their programs," said Lina Eliasson , Ph.D., lead clinical strategist with Atlantis Healthcare, a sponsor of WHCC.  "Many exciting programs presented by industry leaders assumed a high degree of patient adherence – but in reality, treatment nonadherence is an enormous problem that can undermine the successful outcomes of any plan."

A report from the New England Healthcare Institute estimates that nonadherence to medication contributes $290 billion annually in unnecessary costs – about 13% of the total US healthcare expenditure. The report also notes that adherence rates are lower among patients with chronic conditions (i.e., diabetes, heart disease) than among those with acute conditions.

The most popular topics during the three-day WHCC conference centered on improving cost, quality and access to patient care:

  • Impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
  • Role of integrated care and its effect on bundled care packages
  • Tele-health and implications for providers and payors
  • Employee wellness/assistance programs

While all talks referenced adherence, the topic of medication adherence was not featured as a headline item on the agenda, reinforcing the need for greater visibility.

Dr. Eliasson believes treatment adherence will emerge as an essential component in delivering positive outcomes across these areas and beyond.  "An effective strategy that motivates patients to follow prescribed treatment or a recommended health plan will decrease medication waste and overall healthcare cost, lower readmissions, and improve patient outcomes."

Understanding Intentional Nonadherence 
According to Dr. Eliasson, healthcare companies also need to have a greater awareness of the role of intentional nonadherence within the patient population. Studies show the majority of patients who don't follow their treatments are doing so on purpose – they may not believe the treatments work or that the benefits outweigh the side effects. 

"These patients need more than reminder calls and pillbox alarms," said Dr. Eliasson. "They need specific strategies and education to change their beliefs about their illness – and to motivate them to manage their health for the long term."

For more information on treatment adherence in healthcare, visit

To learn about the World Health Care Congress, visit

About Atlantis Healthcare 
Established in 1993, Atlantis Healthcare creates and executes tailored patient support programs and personalized interventions to address treatment adherence across a wide range of chronic and acute diseases, worldwide.  Led by one of the world's largest health psychology teams, our patient-centric approach is designed to improve health outcomes and deliver optimal value for all healthcare stakeholders.

Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link.  
Lina Eliasson

SOURCE Atlantis Healthcare
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