NU Online News Service, April 26, 10:26 a.m. – Prescription Solutions, Costa Mesa, Calif., a unit of PacifiCare Health Systems Inc., has started an 18-month pilot program that will try to use statistics, pharmacy data and medical data to identify patients at risk for costly health problems.

The program will start by predicting which patients with osteoarthritis and congestive heart failure will end up facing unusually expensive complications and procedures.

Prescription Solutions is testing the program on a few hundred members of Sun Health MediSun, Sun City West, Ariz., a small Medicare health maintenance organization.

Member participation will be voluntary, Prescription Solutions says.

Prescription Solutions researchers are hoping to find ways to determine which patients could benefit from new treatments, information on lifestyle improvement, or even simple reminders to take their pills.

Only 50% of patients take their prescriptions the way the prescriptions are actually prescribed, Prescription Solutions notes.