Assessment of medication adherence after enrollment in a health system funded medication assistance program for patients with diabetes

Logan Franck, Anthony Donovan, Maria Kellison, Carrie McAdam-Marx

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: High costs for patients’ medications decrease medication access and adherence which contributes to poor clinical outcomes. Numerous medication assistance programs exist, but many patients needing assistance, particularly insured patients, do not receive assistance due to eligibility criteria. Objective: To determine if there is an association between medication adherence to antihyperglycemic therapy and patient access to Nebraska Medicine Charity Care (NMCC). Practice description: NMCC covers up to 100% of medication out-of-pocket costs for patients in financial need who do not qualify for other programs. Practice innovation: There is no published information about a long-term health system-led financial medication assistance program being utilized to improve patient medication adherence and clinical outcomes. Evaluation methods: A retrospective cohort analysis was conducted to assess adherence in patients who initiated NMCC between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2020, with a focus on diabetes for feasibility. Adherence was assessed using a modified medication possession ratio (mMPR) for 6 months after initiating NMCC based on health system dispensing data. Overall population adherence analyses were conducted in all available data, while pre-post analyses were conducted in those with antihyperglycemic medication fills during the prior 6 months. Results: Of 2758 unique patients receiving NMCC support, 656 patients with diabetes medication use were included. Of these, 71% had prescription insurance and 28% had prescription fills in the baseline period. Mean (SD) adherence to noninsulin antihyperglycemic medications in the follow-up period was 0.80 (0.25) with 63% adherent per mMPR ≥0.80. In the prepost analysis, mMPR was significantly higher during the follow-up period at 0.83 (0.23) than during the preindex period at 0.34 (0.17), as was the proportion who were adherent (66% vs. 2%) (P < 0.001). Conclusion: This practice innovation observed an improvement in adherence and A1C outcomes in patients with diabetes who received medication financial assistance through a health system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1222-1229.e3
JournalJournal of the American Pharmacists Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (nursing)
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology


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