UnitedHealthcare Announces Winners of Third Annual TIP Challenge

February 22, 2016
  • Pharmacies recognized for efforts to help people enrolled in UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare Advantage plans use their medications at the right time and dose
  • Company donates $90,000 to American Diabetes Association on behalf of winners

UnitedHealthcare announced the winners of the third annual UnitedHealthcare Targeted Intervention Program (TIP®) Challenge.

The TIP® Challenge encourages friendly competition among pharmacies as their pharmacists work with UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare Advantage-Part D plan members to help them take their prescription medications appropriately. Each year UnitedHealthcare recognizes the pharmacies that have been most successful at improving medication adherence rates for its members, thereby helping to enhance their health and well-being.

The winning pharmacies in the 2015 TIP Challenge are:

  • Large Retail Pharmacy Chain Category (900+ locations): The Kroger Co. and Target
  • Medium Retail Pharmacy Chain Category (200-899 locations): Giant Eagle and Meijer
  • Regional Retail Pharmacy Category (<200 locations): Community Health Centers, Inc. and Wegmans Food Markets INC.

New for 2015, UnitedHealthcare donated $15,000 to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) on behalf of each winning pharmacy, for a total donation of $90,000. The company selected the ADA to receive this year’s TIP Challenge donation in recognition of the significant number of Medicare-eligible individuals with diabetes and the unique challenges they encounter as they work to manage their condition, including contending with sometimes complex medication regimens. 

Approximately 25 percent of the people enrolled in UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare Advantage plans have been diagnosed with diabetes. For many people with diabetes, the care plan required to manage their condition can be difficult and cumbersome to follow. As a result, more than two-thirds of the gaps in care for UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare Advantage members are linked to diabetic members.

A gap in care exists when an individual hasn’t received a health care service or medication recommended based on his or her health status. For people with diabetes, this could include an annual eye exam, for example, or treatment with insulin to manage their blood glucose levels.

The 2015 UnitedHealthcare TIP Challenge winners helped to close these gaps in care by markedly improving medication adherence among a group of UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage-Part D plan members. The challenge focused on medications used for the treatment of diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, as well as medications deemed high risk for seniors.

UnitedHealthcare identified members who were at risk for medication non-adherence or who were using high-risk medications. It then notified the participating pharmacies of those customers who could benefit from pharmacists’ medication therapy management services. For example, customers with a pattern of not filling prescriptions or picking up refills were flagged for the participating pharmacies.

Pharmacists then worked with these customers through one-on-one consultations to help address their individual barriers to medication adherence, such as cost of their medications, memory issues that cause them to forget to take their medications, or confusion related to the complexity of their medication regimens. In some cases, pharmacists educated customers about the option of receiving a 90-day supply of their medications, which can be especially beneficial for people who have difficulty getting to the pharmacy on a regular basis.

When appropriate, pharmacists also informed their customers’ physicians of opportunities to consider evidence-based therapy protocols that could benefit the customer. For example, pharmacists consulted with physicians when customers were using medications classified as high risk for treatment of seniors to determine if a new prescription for a safer alternative medication would be appropriate.

“We are grateful for the generous support from UnitedHealthcare,” said Kevin L. Hagan, CEO of the American Diabetes Association. “Pharmacists are a critical part of the health care team for people with diabetes, helping them stay on track with medications that help them manage their condition and maintain their quality of life. Initiatives like UnitedHealthcare’s TIP Challenge are an innovative and practical way to encourage medication adherence for older adults with diabetes.”

According to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, nearly 75 percent of adults do not take their medications as prescribed, which limits the drugs’ effectiveness, increases the risk of poor health outcomes and raises the overall cost of care.1 Medication non-adherence is an especially significant issue among seniors, given that approximately 90 percent of adults over 60 take at least one prescription medication, and more than a third take five or more prescription drugs.2

“The retail pharmacies we work with have shown an ongoing commitment to our TIP Challenge, and we’ve seen it make a meaningful difference in our members’ medication adherence rates,” said Steve Nelson, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement. “We applaud the winning pharmacies and are honored to recognize their contributions to helping our members live healthier lives.”

Serving nearly one in five Medicare beneficiaries, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement is the largest business dedicated to meeting the health and well-being needs of seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries.

About UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, military service members, retirees and their families, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with 1 million physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at or follow @myUHC on Twitter.


1 Improving Prescription Medicine Adherence is Key to Better Health Care, PhRMA, January 2011

2 Prescription Drug Use Continues to Increase: U.S. Prescription Drug Data for 2007-2008, National Center for  Health Statistics, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

All other statistics in this release can be attributed to UnitedHealthcare Internal Data, 2015.