What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects how a body turns food into energy. With diabetes, the body does not make enough insulin (a hormone produced in the pancreas which regulates glucose in the blood) or cannot use it effectively. Preventable complications of uncontrolled diabetes cost the healthcare system $327 billion in 2017. While there is no cure, there are measures that can be taken to keep it under control. These measures include losing weight, eating healthy, being active, and taking medication as prescribed.
One of the most important ways patients with chronic diseases can manage their health is by taking their prescribed medication as directed. Medication nonadherence can lead to unnecessary hospitalizations and emergency department visits, increased costs, and potential harm to the patient. A patient is nonadherent when they take less than 80% of prescribed medications. Nonadherence is common among diabetes patients, with about 50% of patients not taking their medications as prescribed.
Medication Adherence for Diabetes (MAD)
Medication adherence measures are used in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans to help increase the number of patients taking their diabetes medications as prescribed. This measure is triple weighted in quality programs, meaning it contributes more heavily to STAR ratings (the CMS calculation of quality of care and measurements of customer satisfaction) than other quality measures. Adherence is evaluated using the proportion of days covered (PDC). The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) consider patients adherent if their PDC, based on prescription claims processed at the pharmacy under the Part D benefit, is 80% or more at the end of the measurement year.
|Quality Program Affected
|Collection & Reporting Method
|CMS Star Ratings
|Part D Prescription Claims: Pharmacy Data
Medication adherence for Diabetes (MAD) is defined as:
The following classes of diabetes medications are included in this measure:
- DPP-4 Inhibitors
- GLP-1 Receptor Agonists
- SGLT2 Inhibitors
- Members in hospice or using hospice services
- End Stage Renal Disease
- One or more prescription claims for insulin
Improving Medication Adherence
Barriers to adherence include a lack of understanding of the diagnosis or the inability to obtain the medication due to cost, access, scarcity, or time. Patients often feel embarrassed by nonadherence and are reluctant to tell a healthcare professional if they do not take their medication. Providers can increase trust with diabetes patients and drive medication adherence by:
- Considering medication nonadherence as the first reason a patient’s condition is not under control.
- Developing a process for asking patients about medication adherence.
- Creating a shame- and blame-free space to discuss medications with the patient.
- Identifying why the patient is not taking their medication.
- Responding positively and thanking the patient for sharing.
- Tailoring the adherence solution to the patient.
- Involving the patient in their treatment plan.
- Setting the patient up for success.
Reference: 2023 UHC Quality Reference Guide