Big Data Partners to Fight Medical Non-Adherence

The term “Medical Non-Adherence” may not mean a lot to most of us, but for those in healthcare, it is a serious and significant issue that can lead to compounding health issues and even death. Simply put, medical non-adherence is where patients fail to follow medical advice or prescription directives. There are many reasons for this phenomenon, whether a lack of understanding, the ability to pay or medical conditions affecting cognitive abilities. In some cases, patients just are not willing to comply with physician instructions or prescription guidelines.  No matter what the situation, medical non-adherence has serious consequences.  A recent report by Medcity News and Capgemini Consulting found:

“The U.S. revenue loss from medication non adherence is a whopping $188 billion.The loss is all the more eye popping if extrapolated to the global market: $564 billion. That is simply the loss as it relates to medications for chronic conditions including diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. They found that the U.S. revenue loss just from medication non adherence in diabetes alone is $11.4 billion.”

The amount of money lost on pharmaceutical non-adherence is having a significant impact on healthcare costs in the U.S.  Even more significant is non-adherence related to medical instructions and the disease process. This can lead further to expensive emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and extra tests.
A pharmacy benefits company, Express Scripts, has embraced big data to find solutions to the problem of medical non-adherence. The company uses data analytics that will accurately predict that any individual patient will be non-adherent to therapy. As part of this process, they run predictive models that look at more than 400 variables, many of which reveal actionable information to battle non-adherence. Express scripts commented in a recent article that:

“We process over a billion claims a year, and probably cover the care for 1 of 3 Americans. So the data is flat-out enormous and extracting insights from the data requires a fair degree of sophistication, which is where the folks from the financial services industry really helped us.”

Big data and healthcare have a clear and limitless future together. Business has been energetically embracing and implementing big data strategies in the past few years. With business tools like data cleansing and record linkage, the strategies have greatly improved service, customer relationships and financial performance. For many reasons, healthcare has been slow to embrace big data strategies. However, healthcare is now embracing the concepts of big data management and finding unlimited opportunities to manage care and financial performance.

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