When people don’t take their prescription drugs, it can lead to expensive problems. What if we simply paid people to take their meds?
According to some sources, two out of three people in the U.S. take at least one prescription medication. And nearly half of them do not take them as directed. Lack of adherence results in up to $300 billion in avoidable healthcare costs. A new program has been shown to be effective at increasing compliance, reducing hospital re-admissions, and decreasing preventable medical visits. How do they do this? They pay patients to take their pills. Each patient in the program gets a $30 credit at the start of the month. They use an app to take a photo when they take their meds. If they miss a daily dose, they lose $2. At the end of the month, the remaining credit is transferred to a credit card that the patient can use to pay for typical household expenses. The program also provides reminders, helps the patients set goals, and offers ways to boost earnings through rewards for streaks and games. This program can help insurers, employers, and providers control healthcare costs by improving medication adherence.