Posted on April 19, 2011

CAMBRIDGE, MA (April 19, 2011) – NEHI, a nonprofit national health policy institute, today released new recommendations on reducing wasteful health care spending as part of an ongoing series aimed at private and public policymakers. The latest briefing paper examines improving patient medication adherence with solutions that have the potential to save $100 billion in wasteful spending.  

Approximately 187 million Americans take one or more prescription drugs, but up to half do not take their medications as prescribed. Not taking medications as prescribed costs more than $100 billion each year in excess hospitalizations, representing an opportunity to reduce a significant amount in wasteful spending. The briefing paper provides: 

        -  Specific recommendations to encourage better continuity of care, better understanding of drug regimens, 
            and active involvement of patients in their treatment plans. 

        -  An integrated set of solutions for policymakers, including action steps to improve patient engagement,
           provider interactions, data sharing and payment systems.

"These briefing papers go beyond just identifying where waste exists in health care,” said NEHI President Wendy Everett. “They provide actionable recommendations for public and private policymakers to realize cost-saving benefits and improve patient care.”   

Produced in collaboration with the National Priorities Partnership, which is convened by the National Quality Forum, the recommendations are part of a series of “Compact Action Briefs” that identify specific steps for public and private policymakers on high-profile and costly health care issues.  

The first three briefing papers were released in February, providing solutions to reduce wasteful spending by $84 billion in the areas of emergency department overusemedication errors and unnecessary hospital readmissions. This effort builds on NEHI’s portfolio of waste research that identified $700 billion in health care spending that could be eliminated without reducing quality of care. 

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About NEHI 
NEHI is an independent, nonprofit national network for health innovation that is dedicated to transforming health care for the benefit of patients and their families. In partnership with members from all across the health care system, NEHI conducts evidence-based research and stimulates policy change to improve the quality and the value of health care. Together with this unparalleled network of committed health care leaders, NEHI brings an objective, collaborative and fresh voice to health policy. For more information, visit www.nehi.net.

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