Thursday, November 24, 2011

Aetna to Cut Co-Pays for Heart Patients to Increase Drug Use - But Are Out-Of-Pocket Costs The Problem?

Would you be more likely to take medicine for a chronic health condition if you didn't have to pay for it? A recent study conducted by the Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and sponsored by health insurance company Aetna has shown that, for many people with heart disease, the issue isn't as black and white as it may seem.

The research, reported today at the American Heart Association meeting in Orlando, Florida, found dropping co-pays helped 40 to 55 percent of patients take drugs as prescribed, compared with 36 to 49 percent. The move lowered heart attack and stroke risk by 14 percent, according to the study.
“We’re moving in the right direction and pushing up patient adherence to prescriptions,” said [Lonny] Reisman, a cardiologist and study co-author. “The bad news is there are a lot of other things getting in the way of patients taking their medicines and even with no co-pays only about half of people are complying.”
Read the full story here.