Healthcare News & Insights

Should you pay patients to take their pills?

A controversial idea is gaining ground in medicine: Paying non-compliant patients to take their meds.

A variety of studies and programs have shown it works. And improved compliance can keep patients out of the hospital — saving money in the long run. That’s especially true for vital maintenance drugs for chronic conditions like diabetes, or drugs like blood-thinners that can prevent serious conditions from developing.

But the practice isn’t without its potential drawbacks. For starters, there’s the question of how long and how much patients should be paid. Once they’re on a regular schedule, should payments continue? Or is the benefit of the medication (and the momentum of routine) enough to keep them compliant?

Some health care professionals and ethicists question the fairness of paying people who aren’t compliant to take their meds, while the patients who are more responsible and take the medication on their own aren’t “rewarded.”

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  1. This is ridiculous! Compliant patients will here about this and wonder how they will get paid for taking their medications. Once again, our system is rewarding those that aren’t responsible to do what they are supposed to do & punishing those that are!

  2. Lucille says:

    I disagree with the concept to “pay” patients for taking their medications. What might be a better idea is to find out why those patients do not take them. Adverse side effects that they do not mention at the time of the visit;If they need financial assistance they can be directed to agencies for financial help or directly to the Pharmacuetical company. Or if absolutely necessary,because of financial reasons, then Insurance companies should lower copays or some other form of financial assistance be given. We all have choices in life and either we make the right choice or we don’t.