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Medication Adherence Lessons Under VBID

A new study identifies five key features of value-based insurance design (VBID) plans that are associated with the greatest positive impact on medication adherence among patients. The study, which was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, was released in the March issue of Health Affairs. According to the study, researchers evaluated 76 VBID plans involving more than 274,000 patients. According to the research findings, five key features were found to improve medication adherence:

  • More generous VBID plans (e.g., those plans that had no cost-sharing for generic drugs and low monthly co-payments)
  • Plans that targeted high-risk patients
  • Plans that offered wellness programs
  • Plans that did not have disease management programs
  • Plans that made the benefit available by mail-order only, offering 90-day prescriptions

According to the researchers, these results are meaningful because they provide empirical data on VBID plan features that appear to be most effective in stimulating greater medication adherence, and provide insights into plan design and quality improvement efforts.

At a luncheon briefing on Capitol Hill, A. Mark Fendrick, M.D., director of the Center for Value-Based Insurance Design at the University of Michigan, discussed the Health Affairs study as well as ways VBID should be part of the solution to enhance the efficiency of Medicare spending, while at the same time improving the health of seniors.