NACDS: Med adherence should be part of CMS’ rating system

January 24, 2014

Numerous studies have shown that medication adherence, or the lack of it, is a major driver of healthcare costs. As millions of consumers select health plans as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) believes they should have information on the success of individual healthcare plans in improving medication adherence.

Numerous studies have shown that medication adherence, or the lack of it, is a major driver of healthcare costs. As millions of consumers select health plans as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) believes they should have information on the success of individual healthcare plans in improving medication adherence.

In a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), NACDS urged the agency make medication adherence and appropriate medication use part of its Quality Rating System for Qualified Health Plans (QHPs).

NACDS’ letter said such a move would "provide powerful incentives to improve quality of care and patient outcomes, as well as meaningful consumer protections regarding affordable, quality healthcare, and meaningful, reliable and actionable rating information."

NACDS referred to evidence that shows improving medication adherence, including use of medication therapy management (MTM), improves health outcomes and lowers overall costs.

The letter noted that CMS has already used MTM to improve drug therapy outcomes and significantly reduce catastrophic care and emergency room costs in the Medicare Part D program. 

 "Given the beneficial impact of MTM to the Medicare Part D program, we believe MTM should also become the cornerstone of drug coverage in QHPs."

"A lack of alignment on medication management standards undermines consumer education efforts, and diminishes the ability of individuals to have a consistent understanding of the state and federal quality and performance measures with respect to safe, consistent, and appropriate medication use," the letter stated.