Scene Health Medication Survey identifies 3 resources Americans with low incomes say would help them take chronic condition medication on time and as directed
Baltimore, MD (July 6, 2023) – A new national survey of 1,000 adults earning less than $25,000 per year revealed that 65.8% are taking medications daily for chronic conditions, but the overwhelming majority (69.5%) of those self-identify as not taking them properly — and they want help.
Medication adherence, taking medication as prescribed, is critical to effectively managing chronic conditions and achieving optimal health outcomes, yet nationally, non-adherence accounts for up to 125,000 potentially preventable deaths, 33%-69% of annual hospitalizations, and $500 billion in avoidable healthcare costs annually in the United States.
Among the low-income medication-taking respondents Scene surveyed — many of whom rely on Medicaid for their care — 57.4% said they had experienced an adverse event due to a medication error, and 20% visited an urgent care or emergency department.
What’s more, 32.4% of medication-taking respondents said they don’t tell their doctors if they made a medication mistake — an indication that inviting those conversations and creating regular touch bases to have them could head off adverse events before they happen.
"Solving the medication adherence problem should start with listening to patients," said Sebastian Seiguer, Scene’s CEO and Co-Founder. "Solutions should go beyond pushing people to fill their prescriptions and get to the root cause of why someone might not be taking their medications as prescribed.”
The primary reasons cited for not taking medication properly were forgetfulness (55.6%), late prescription pick-up (17.9%), and not having enough time (17.1%). Another 15.3% said they don’t take medication properly because they’re avoiding side effects, again suggesting that more regular connection could help address nonadherence, e.g., by flagging these side effects to physicians to explore adjusting dose levels or taking medication with different foods to avoid discomfort.
Importantly, these patients said they would like help in taking their medications. Asked to rank which interventions they would find most helpful, they ranked the following as one of the top two most helpful resources.
- Having a healthcare professional available for questions: 47.2%
- Daily care check-ins: 35.6%
- Medication Review with my doctor: 26%
Only 6.3% considered “having a mobile app to track my progress” the most helpful intervention, further underscoring the importance of human engagement in medication adherence.
To access an analysis of the full Scene Medication Survey results, download the Insights into Medication Challenges in Populations with Low Incomes Report here.
ABOUT SCENE HEALTH
Scene Health’s 360° model of care enhances the gold standard of medication adherence, Directly Observed Therapy through video technology to solve the $500B medication nonadherence problem. Scene currently delivers programs for Medicaid and Medicare MCOs, public health departments, and life science organizations covering multiple chronic and infectious conditions, including diabetes, asthma, cholesterol, opioid use disorder, hepatitis C, tuberculosis, hypertension, solid organ transplants, and sickle cell disease.
Contact: Liz DeForest