Patients with high-cost chronic illnesses who receive care through a patient-centered medical home (PCMH) have better medication adherence as compared with patients in other practices, according to the results of a study published online Nov. 14 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Researchers used medical claims from Aetna to compare medication adherence for 18,611 patients who received care in PCMHs between 2011 and 2013 versus patients in matched control practices in the same primary care service area. They evaluated adherence 12 months after patients initiated drug therapy for chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia.

The average rates of adherence were 64 percent for the PCMH patients and 59 percent for those at the control practices. 

In addition, when the researchers analyzed 4,660 matched control and medical home practices, they found that adherence was a statistically significant 2.2 percent higher in the PCMHs.

The association between PCMHs and better drug adherence did not differ significantly by disease—the better rates of adherence were 3.0 percent for diabetes, 3.2 percent for hypertension and 1.5 percent for hyperlipidemia.  

CVS provided funding for the study.

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