Sticker Shock, Scale, and Medication Adherence: DrFirst and athenahealth Expand Partnership to Help Patients Start and Stay on Therapy

March 21, 2023


Sticker Shock, Scale, and Medication Adherence: DrFirst and athenahealth Expand Partnership to Help Patients Start and Stay on Therapy

Getting a prescription does not necessarily mean taking it, a problem that can harm patients and contribute to unnecessary healthcare costs. We are not talking about small numbers here. Patients never pick up one-quarter of new prescriptions, and half of Americans with a chronic condition stop taking their medication before a year has passed. The impact on patients isn’t minor, either. Medication non-adherence contributes to 125,000 preventable deaths each year in the U.S., half of all treatment failures, and one-quarter of hospital readmissions. 

A problem of this scale requires a solution with scale. That’s why athenahealth has implemented DrFirst’s patient-facing medication adherence solution, giving their 155,000 healthcare providers an automated system that encourages patients to pick up their prescriptions and take their medications as prescribed. 

Slice of Healthcare’s Jared S. Taylor explores how athenahealth and DrFirst are expanding their relationship to help improve medication adherence 


What Gets in the Way: Sticker Shock, Uncertainty, and Procrastination 

A lot can get between the patient and the pharmacy counter. Cameron Deemer discusses the typical barriers. 


Scale Opens Doors  

One by one and millions at a time, athenahealth and DrFirst combine their scale and footprints to improve medication adherence. See how they are making it happen. 


Making Adherence Stick at Key Points in the Patient Journey 

Connecting with patients right after a healthcare visit to confirm their prescription was sent to the pharmacy and offering educational information, co-pay assistance, and coupons are proving to boost adherence. Working together, DrFirst and athenahealth are reaching millions of patients each week. 


Improving Adherence Beyond the Exam Room  

Important, sometimes life-saving conversations happen during healthcare visits. Yet vital information can be lost when patients head out the office door. After all, it can be hard to absorb and remember everything, especially when patients are in pain or don’t feel well. This partnership serves as a force multiplier, helping patients after they leave the doctor’s office. 


Matchmaking: A Partnership Built on Shared Focus and Mission 

Collaborating with the right partners can help organizations reach their goals faster and help more patients sooner. Both organizations are driven to solve problems for patients and physicians and teaming up helps achieve these goals. 


DrFirst is redefining medication management to better meet the needs of our healthcare providers, patients, and our partners. 

Explore Partnerships

About DrFirst
author image

Since 2000, DrFirst has pioneered healthcare technology solutions and consulting services that securely connect people at touchpoints of care to improve patient outcomes.