Noncompliant : What does this mean?

What can happen if a doctor brands you noncompliant? If you get the numbers down can they still do whatever?

If a doctor writes that you are noncompliant in your medical record that comment stays there for everyone who has access to your chart. It can certainly color other providers attitudes towards you and may (I have no idea) effect how your insurance carrier treats you. Noncompliant is often the response of an unhelpful physician to not meeting goals.

If you are following your treatment program and simply not getting the results you want, you might consider challenging your doctor’s characterization or find a more helpful doctor.

I certainly would ask the doctor or other provider to update your chart regarding compliance when your numbers improve,


This is actually a big issue. Like Maurie, I still have a lot of anger issues. During the “cholesterol years,” despite my health clearly failing under statin treatment, my refusal to submit to statin treatment branded me “non-compliant.” And that is what my doctor reported to the insurance company resulting in my loss of life insurance. So yes, I still have some anger issues.

So today, I turn the tables. I tell the doctor that I want them to be “compliant.” When I come in with a health complaint or request, I want them to address that, if they don’t, then they are “non-compliant.” I have no use for non-compliant doctors.

Today, you will hear more health professionals talk about being adherent in contrast to compliant. The difference is between patient and doctor centered care. “Non-adherent” is when you don’t follow the plan the you agreed to. “Non-compliant” is when you don’t follow the plan your doctor wants you to. I am blatantly “non-compliant” but I believe I am quite “adherent.”

Thanks. Three years ago I resisted and was threatened with this. The doctor said he could take away my ability to drive. So… I complied. (I was managing with diet and exercise but I couldn’t get the morning sugars down. ) Since then, the meds increased and increased as did the numbers and side effects. The Dawn Effect was out of control and I started to spike up high during the day. So… two and a half weeks ago I stopped one of the drugs and used suggestions from this group to control the side effects of the other. Suggestions also helped with the morning readings. :slight_smile: I didn’t add the new drug (Januvia). My numbers are way down. As the endocrinologist was quite angry when I tried to question him and this whole noncompliance threat came up again, I am really worried about how he will react at the next appointment. Thanks for listening.

AcidRock coined the phrase for doctors like yours - “endork”

Thanks bsc. I have read many of your posts and they have been really helpful. I understand that you are on insulin alone and doing well. I wasn’t given that option. All the same drugs plus insulin or Januvia. Sorry to hear about the cholesterol problem. Did you ever get your life insurance reinstated?


What happened to you is awful bsc. Three years ago I spoke to other diabetics and they all feared the label but they couldn’t provide any examples. You are the first person to say that it has actually happened to them. :frowning: I plan to take my husband or a friend to my next appointment. Thanks so much for the info.

I am fortunate to have a term life insurance plan through my work. My attempt to increase the coverage with supplemental was denied because of the “non-compliant” report. I am able to get other insurance, but not at the nice rate that would have been available.

The worst part about “non-compliance” with diabetes is that implies that as patients we are deliberately making refusing to take care of ourselves. If we make choices to take care of ourselves in conflict with the provided medical advice (like refusing statins or following a low carb diet), then we are called “non-compliant.” I hate that.

lol, how about instead of an endo…an endon’t =P

I don’t mean to be glib, but I wonder if there is such a thing as an “overly compliant” patient?

In my case, it was the Doc saying “what’s the big deal?” and me insisting I had diabetes, wanting a meter, strips, then the dx…the endo visit and her saying I was just glucose intolerant.

In the end, the meter, when downloaded at the Endo visit, showed multiple casual meter readings over 200 - there would have been many many more…after each meal…had I not instantly begun strictly limiting carbs to lower BG’s.

At a subseqent visit, the Internist had the gall to ask me whether the diagnosis was “STILL diabetes?” – as though my “diabetes” were going to magically go up in smoke and disappear!! JERK!!!

This is the same Internist who also questioned my hypothyroid symptoms…but that’s another story…

The Endo finally had a little talk with her and on Friday she was whistling quite a different tune, saying that I certainly was an “outlier” and “thank heavens we had my Endo” who knew so much (about my odd case)…but, honestly…I’d been telling her what was going on with me…but of course she did not listen.

Why am I still with her? It’s a great practice and she is soon leaving, so I’ll switch to someone in the practice who is truly wonderful…

In any event…I wonder if I could have gotten the equivalent of “non-compliant” in the other direction???


bsc: I’ve been thinking about your situation and I’m not sure I understand. I know that just after I was diagnosed “they” decided to lower all numbers for diabetics. As all my numbers (except sugar) are really low, I haven’t been asked to take anything extra. Did the doctor prescribe the cholesterol drugs just because you were diabetic?