DENVER, Dec. 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Cordant Health Solutions™, a leading provider of innovative tools for monitoring and managing behavioral health and chronic pain patients through its unique pharmacy and drug testing programs, now offers saliva testing that detects medications prescribed for mental health diagnoses as well as a simple cross-check for illicit or unprescribed medications that may cross-react or lead to harmful situations.
According to the National Council for Behavioral Health, approximately 54.3 million adults in the U.S., or one in six, are prescribed a psychiatric drug to treat mental illness. Yet research shows that less than half of those patients do not take their medications as prescribed. This non-adherence to a treatment plan limits the effectiveness of treatment and adds to the burden of illness for patients, families, and employers nationwide.
"Laboratory testing is an important therapeutic tool that, in conjunction with an individualized treatment plan, helps to determine adherence to prescribed medications and programs for chronic conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, ADHD, anxiety, and depression, as well as look for illicit or unprescribed medications," said Susan Sommer, president and CEO of Cordant. "Cordant currently tests for 62 mental health medications. Of these, 55 can be tested for using saliva."
According to a study published in 2013, when given a choice, patients opted for saliva over urine testing 85 percent to 15 percent. Also, recent literature on observed testing patterns in medication monitoring programs has shown fewer false negatives for substances of abuse using saliva versus urine when the specimen collection is unobserved.
"Quick and accurate identification of prescribed and unprescribed medication is an enormously valuable tool in treatment and fosters honest and open dialogue between clinicians and patients," said Sommer. "This kind of individualized care closes treatment gaps and empowers both patients and providers to make decisions that lower risks and improve outcomes."
Research has shown that drug testing is an important diagnostic procedure in the assessment of psychiatric conditions, helping to ascertain if aberrant behavior or thought processes can be attributed to a primary psychiatric condition or to the effects of a psychoactive substance.
"No matter the condition, medication monitoring is an important tool to strengthen the provider-patient therapeutic alliance and that is why Cordant has developed an industry-leading mental health monitoring program," said Sommer. "Patients may not adhere to their treatment program for a variety of reasons, including difficulty following a prescribed regimen, denial of illness, fear, adverse side effects or perceived stigma. The National Council for Behavioral Health cited strengthening the patient-provider relationship and ensuring patient-centered care as two of its five recommended solutions for improving medication adherence."