Home health patients enrolled in BrightSpring Health Services’ medication adherence program experienced a hospitalization rate that was 73.1% lower than those outside of the program.
That’s according to a new study that took a closer look at medication intake for the company’s home health patients.
“The magnitude of the reduction in hospitalization rate among patients receiving the Continue CareRx (CCRx) intervention was what stood out most,” William Mills, BrightSpring’s SVP of medical affairs, told Home Health Care News in an email. “It is often difficult to achieve a 10 – 20% decrease in hospitalization rate in complex patients, so to see a 73% decrease was really striking.”
Based in Louisville, Kentucky, BrightSpring is a home- and community-based services provider that serves 350,000 senior and specialty patients daily in all 50 states.
The company’s focus is on high-risk, high-need populations. Its patients have an average of 6 chronic conditions, according to the company. It provides 120 million hours of care per year, 75% of which is done so in the home.
In 2021, BrightSpring created CCRx, a medication therapy and risk management program that aims to keep patients healthier at home.
According to the Journal of American Medical Directors Association, patients do not take their medicine as prescribed about 50% of the time. On top of that, of medication-related hospital admissions in the United States, 33% to 69% are due to poor medication adherence at a cost of about $100 billion to the health care system each year.
In order to offset those hospitalization numbers, the CCRx program offers home health patients adherence packaging along with medication reconciliation, review and education by clinicians.
From May 2021 to March 31, 2023, 113 BrightSpring home health patients were enrolled in CCRx.
The control group — patients outside of the program — included over 21,000 patients.
The study found the control group had a total of 7,015 hospitalizations during the study period and the CCRx group had 21 hospitalizations. That translated into rates of 1,203 hospitalizations per 1,000, per year, for the control group and 324 hospitalizations per 1,000 for the CCRx group.
“The findings from this study are resounding proof of how integrating our company’s dual pharmacy and provider services expertise can uniquely help individuals with complex health care needs stay healthier at home,” Mills said in a statement. “Through CCRx, we are meaningfully improving health care outcomes for the patients we serve and helping them live a better life with innovative and higher-touch patient programs.”
The study authors did report that it is likely that the elements affecting this large reduction in hospitalizations are multifactorial.
The reduction in hospitalizations could be tied to improved medication adherence, fewer medication-related hospitalizations and fewer unnecessary admissions due to CCRx patients using the nurse call center instead of relying on emergency department and hospital-based triage.
“Medication challenges and non-adherence are a leading cause of emergency room visits and hospitalizations in the U.S., for which we have a customized and proven solution with dramatically positive results available to any patient nationwide,” BrightSpring President and CEO Jon Rousseau said in a statement. “The successful CCRx study is another example of the very positive quality results achieved through our services and by combining BrightSpring’s home health care and medication management solutions for a better outcome.”
Because the scale of this issue is so large, Mills told HHCN there is a “tremendous opportunity for the program to help many hundreds of thousands of patients nationwide.”
We hope to be able to assist people across the U.S. with their medication adherence and to decrease their chance of being hospitalized,” Mills said. “The program is seeing tremendous interest from health insurers, ACOs, home health providers and others looking to provide a turnkey medication management program for their members and patients. The program aligns incredibly well with BrightSpring’s mission of helping people live their best lives by providing care and support where and when people need it.”