November 17 2016 | 0 Comments | 206 reads Average Rating: 3

CDC Finds Patients Non-Compliant with Meds, Analytics Could Help

by Rena Bielinski in Health Analytics

On September 16, 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report showing that about half of all Medicare beneficiaries who suffer from high blood pressure were not taking their prescribed medications. As a result, these people are at risk for heart disease, stroke, kidney disease – and, yes, death.

"While the Medicare prescription drug program has increased the affordability and accessibility of prescription drugs, more can be done to encourage Medicare beneficiaries to take their medications as directed," Sean Cavanaugh, deputy administrator and director of the Center for Medicare at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said in a press release.1

According to the CDC, provider organizations can take a variety of actions to encourage compliance such as:

  • Simplify blood pressure treatment and prescribe generic medicines.
  • Involve the entire healthcare team at several points of care to ensure patients are taking medicine as directed and to address patient concerns about side effects.
  • Encourage the use of home blood pressure monitors and easy-to-use tools (e.g. blood pressure logs and mobile apps) to track and share blood pressure readings.
  • Address financial barriers.2

Analytics might just be what’s needed to make providers’ efforts even more successful though. In fact, a study published in the American Journal of Managed Care earlier this year, suggested that pharmacy claims data may be particularly helpful with the widespread problem of medication non-adherence. By pairing aggregated pharmacy records with EHR data on newly diagnosed hypertension patients, researchers were able to identify primary non-adherence rates, as well as flag those patients more likely to deviate from their treatment regimens.3

That’s just one example, though. The continued use of analytics could help to:

  • Understand what motivates patients to comply with medication regimens and what barriers need to be removed.
  • Identify exactly which populations and patients are worth targeting with compliance programs – and which are not worth the effort.
  • Fine-tune compliance efforts (i.e. switching to a drug delivery service when data reveals that certain patient personas are not compliant because they do not have access to transportation to pick up their prescriptions).

Can you think of any other ways that data analytics can be used to help encourage medication compliance?


1. CDC Press Release. Poor blood-pressure control puts 5 million older Americans at risk, September 13, 2016.

2. Centers for Disease Control. Blood Pressure.

3. Comer, D., Couto, J., Aguiar, R., Wu, P., Elliott, D. Using Aggregated Pharmacy Claims to Identify Primary Nonadherence. American Journal of Managed Care, January 4, 2016.

Rate this Article:

Average: 3 (2 votes)

Rena Bielinski
SVP, Strategic Accounts

Dr. Bielinski has been with SCIO® for 11 years. She currently serves as a Strategic Account Manager for SCIO’s PBM clients as well as various health plan clients.

Read full profile and other posts |

Log in to post comments



Arun Rangamani
VP, Payment Services Delivery Leader

Ben Steverman
Chief Technology Officer

David Hom
Chief Evangelist

Jodi Siegel, MSHI, BSN, RN (Guest Author)
Director, wellness and care management

John Pagliuca
Vice President, Life Sciences

Lalithya Yerramilli
VP, Healthcare Solutions

Lesli Adams, MPA (Guest Author)
Director of Population Health Strategy, Oracle Corporation

Linda Pantovic (Guest Author)
Director of Compliance & Risk Adjustment, Scripps Health Plan Services

Mark Feeney
Life Sciences Consultant

Monique Pierce
Vice President, Business Optimization

Nayfe Faillace
Chief Compliance & Privacy Officer

Nicole Stec (Guest Author)
Senior Well-Being Manager, Banner Health

Priyanka Rajkumar
VP - SCIOXpert and Solutions, Analytics

Rena Bielinski
SVP, Strategic Accounts

Rodger Smith
SVP, Payment Integrity

Rose Higgins
SVP & GM, Data and Analytics

Subha Vaidyanathan
VP, Technology and Data Management

Taryn Bevilacqua
Compliance Director


Sign up to receive the latest SCIO news & insights, industry updates, event updates and more, right in your inbox.