Insurance-led Medication Switching Poses Risks for Blood Thinner Patients, New Data Show
A national survey by the American Society for Preventive Cardiology reveals physical and emotional toll of “non-medical switching”
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Sept. 1, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- New data show cardiovascular patients pay the price when health plans switch them off the treatment their doctor prescribed. The findings appear in “Total Fear & Stress: The Impact of Non-Medical Switching on Patients Taking a Blood Thinner,” a new report from the American Society for Preventive Cardiology, featured on www.aspconline.org.
Key findings from a national patient survey and in-depth focus group show that, after being switched off their blood thinner, patients:
- Experienced side effects (28%) and resurfacing symptoms (22%)
- Required additional doctor visits (43%) and lab tests (40%)
- Stopped taking their blood thinner altogether (20%), putting them at risk for heart attack and stroke
- Felt frustrated (65%) and hopeless (52%)
The national survey featured 254 participants whose insurer had switched them off of their blood thinner.
Some survey respondents also participated in a focus group to share more about their experience. Patients expressed frustration with the switch, saying:
- “We get these arbitrary decisions out of nowhere, and you’re stuck with it.”
- “They were the judge and jury. They didn’t care about your doctor’s decisions.”
- “Dealing with the insurance company was worse than the disease.”
- “I didn’t feel conformable switching from something that I know worked well.”
ABOUT NON-MEDICAL SWITCHING
Non-medical switching happens when a health plan switches a patient from a medication that is working for them, to a different medication that may or may not work as well for the patient but will save the health plan money. This practice is done without consulting the patient or their doctor and prioritizes health plans’ profits over patients’ wellbeing.
Learn more by reading, ” Total Fear & Stress: The Impact of Non-Medical Switching on Patients Taking a Blood thinner.”
STATEMENT FROM STACY MANTHOS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR PREVENTIVE CARDIOLOGY
“These data reaffirm the concerns we hear from our members. They’re frustrated that health plans interfere between patients and doctors on an issue as important as their medication.”
STATEMENT FROM SETH BAUM, MD, MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS, AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR PREVENTIVE CARDIOLOGY:
“As cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death worldwide, it is critical that patients can access the treatment they have been prescribed. This is dangerous and disruptive to patients who are otherwise stable on their regimen. It should not be allowed. Treatment decisions belong between patients and their doctors.”
The American Society for Preventive Cardiology represents a multidisciplinary group of clinicians and researchers who share an interest in and passion for preventive cardiology.
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SOURCE The American Society for Preventive Cardiology