Cost-Related Nonadherence to Medications Among US Adults With Chronic Liver Diseases

Lago-Hernandez, C., Nguyen, N. H., Khera, R., Loomba, R., Asrani, S. K., Singh, S.

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the prevalence, risk factors, and consequences of cost-related medication nonadherence (CRN) in individuals with chronic liver diseases (CLDs) in the United States. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Using the National Health Interview Survey from January 1, 2014, to December 31, 2018, we identified individuals with CLDs. Using complex weighted survey analysis, we obtained national estimates and risk factors for CRN and its association with cost-reducing behaviors and measures of financial toxicity. We evaluated the association of CRN with unplanned health care use, adjusting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, insurance, income, education, and comorbid conditions. RESULTS: Of 3237 respondents (representing 4.6 million) US adults with CLDs, 813 (representing 1.2 million adults, or 25%; 95% CI, 23% to 27%) reported CRN, of whom 68% (n=554/813) reported maladaptive cost-reducing behaviors. Younger age, female sex, low income, and multimorbidity were associated with a higher prevalence of CRN. Compared with patients without CRN, patients experiencing CRN had 5.1 times higher odds of financial hardship from medical bills (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 5.05; 95% CI, 3.73 to 6.83) and 2.9 times higher odds of food insecurity (aOR, 2.85; 95% CI, 2.02 to 4.01). The CRN was also associated with 1.5 times higher odds of emergency department visits (aOR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.11 to 1.94). CONCLUSION: We observed a high prevalence of CRN and associated consequences such as high financial distress, financial hardship from medical bills, food insecurity, engagement in maladaptive cost-reducing strategies, increased health care use, and work absenteeism among patients with CLD. These financial determinants of health have important implications in the context of value-based care.

Topic(s): Economic Burden
Health Condition(s): Liver disease
Year Published: 2021
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