Monday, June 14, 2010

Paying People to Take Their Medicine

A new trend would pay patients to remember to take their medicine and otherwise comply with treatment regimens. Does it really take "bribery" to convince people to take their medicine? I understand that we may have to provide financial assistance to people who can't afford their medicine, but isn't feeling better and staying out of the hospital enough of an incentive for most people to follow doctor's orders? Perhaps not, according to this recent trend.

I don't get it. Being in the hospital is awful. Being sick is awful. I don't need to be convinced to take care of myself. I don't want to believe that it takes paying people to get them to care for themselves.

Am I wrong? Jennifer


  1. Sounds like people need money to live in most cases. The one guy who walked to get his medicine because he was broke. They said he immediately used his gift card for necessities.

    These same companies who put off approving you (Unum) for six months at a time, then approve you so you can go to the doctor only to be told it's spread and you are non-compliant again should be ashamed. If you can't afford the meds and the bloodwork required, I don't know if there is a cash incentive unless they pay the bloodwork for you to stay on the meds. It gets iffy depending on the situation.

    If it's like playing a tiny lottery to some guy in the suburbs and it's warfarin--then I guess he needs that tiny bit of excitement to remind him. Had to take that too--and I never forgot. Not fun having 2 PE's and being in ICU, getting bloodwork drawn weekly or every two weeks for months and months. The pills make you lightheaded and dizzy but it's better than the alternative (death).

    So if I had the medicine, I wouldn't need the incentive. OTOH, if someone actually made sure I had what I needed and added some cash if in dire straits, I'd take it. (It's early, hope that made sense and why do you read the NYTimes after they treated you that way?)

    Happy Birthday, glad it was a great one!

    On the depressed friend--that seems to be the new thing to say--she's borderline, he's borderline. I've heard that several times in the last two years about other people and I've been called that. Asked to define it--the person who called me that didn't even know what it meant so I assume it's the latest insult--if that makes you feel any better.

    Do the grandfather clause include pre-existing on the larger than 100 companies? ;-)

  2. Hi, Rabbit. I agree -- I have no problem providing financial assistance to people who don't fill prescriptions because they can't afford them. That's different from essentially bribing people to follow doctor's orders when money isn't the obstacle.

    The grandfathered plans can't prohibit pre-existing conditions, but these are large group plans anyway, so they already don't prohibit them. The rule that will eliminate pre-existing condition exclusions really affects individual insurance for the most part.

    Thanks for the birthday wish! J