According to the Wall Street Journal article, UnitedHealth To Give Discounts For Adhering To Prescriptions,1 UnitedHealth will offer
$20 discounts off monthly co-pays for members who refill certain prescriptions within about 30 days after the last prescription runs out – essentially rewarding patients for adhering to treatment plans,
The pilot program applies to only certain medications for asthma and depression and cannot be used for the initial prescription.
While the article speculates that program is triggered by “the weak economy has caused consumers to put off filling prescriptions or switch to cheaper generics,” the decrease or elimination of co-pays in return for high adherence made sense long before the current fiscal crisis erupted and is, in fact, a recommendation I have made for years.
Aligning the mutual interests of the patient, the payer, the pharmaceutical companies, and the clinicians is the key to enhanced compliance rates. Using a discount on medication costs as a financial incentive to effect this alignment is a great start.
I’ll be eager to see the results.__________
- Peter Loftus, UnitedHealth To Give Discounts For Adhering To Prescriptions, Wall Street Journal. August 27, 2009↩