Navigation Links
Higher medication spending doesn't indicate better prescribing quality
Date:11/3/2010

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 3 Medicare patients in regions that spend the most on prescription medications are not necessarily getting better quality care, according to a new study of spending practices from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH). The findings, published in the Nov. 3 Online First issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, reveal great variation across the country in both drug spending and the rate of inappropriate prescriptions for the elderly.

Lead investigator Yuting Zhang, Ph.D., assistant professor of health economics at GSPH, said that even after demographic characteristics such as age and sex, individual health status and insurance coverage are taken into account, it's clear that Medicare drug spending varies broadly among hospital-referral regions (HRRs).

"Higher spending can be justified if it's for drugs that are necessary and appropriate and improve patients' health," she said. "But if certain drugs are being incorrectly prescribed to seniors, then that can lead to complications and expensive interventions, such as hospitalization. As we try to reform health care to get costs under control, we need a better understanding of how spending differs regionally to make a positive impact."

Dr. Zhang and her colleagues assessed two measures of prescription quality from the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS). One measure indicates whether a Medicare beneficiary receives at least one high-risk drug, such as some antihistamines and muscle relaxants, that should be avoided in the elderly. The other assesses whether Medicare beneficiaries who have dementia, chronic kidney failure, or a history of pelvic or hip fractures are given prescriptions in the outpatient setting for drugs that shouldn't be given to patients with those conditions.

Using pharmacy event and medical claims data as well as zip code information for more than 500,000 Medicare beneficiaries, the researchers determined that there was broad variation across regions in the quality of prescribing after adjustment for demographic variables and level of health risk. For example, at the top of the scale, 44 percent of elderly beneficiaries in Alexandria, La., used high-risk drugs while only 11 percent in the Bronx, N.Y., did.

Regions where beneficiaries were more likely to be given prescriptions for high-risk or potentially harmful drugs did not necessarily spend more on drugs overall than regions where beneficiaries were less likely to use high-risk or harmful drugs.

In addition, the researchers found that regions where non-drug medical spending was higher also were the places where there was a greater likelihood of high-risk or harmful drugs being prescribed for Medicare beneficiaries.

"That contradicts the idea that high spending leads to better prescription practices," Dr. Zhang noted.


'/>"/>

Contact: Anita Srikameswaran
SrikamAV@upmc.edu
412-578-9193
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Many Higher-Income Parents Forgoing Kids Vaccinations: Report
2. Organic onions, carrots and potatoes do not have higher levels of healthful antioxidants
3. Concussion Rate in Young Hockey Players Higher Than Thought
4. Shift work linked to higher risk of work injury: UBC study
5. Elderly women at higher risk for unnecessary urinary catheterization, study reports
6. Children with ADHD Symptoms at Higher Risk of Obesity
7. Brain Deficits Higher in Seniors Who Survive Blood Poisoning
8. GI Endoscopy Complication Rates Higher Than Suspected: Study
9. Disaster Planners Should Give Higher Priority to Kids: Survey
10. Brains Pleasure Chemical May Explain Mens Higher Alcoholism Rate
11. Chicago racial disparities in breast cancer mortality significantly higher than national average
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... Casa Velas, an adults-only boutique hotel in Puerto Vallarta, ... its new wellness suites . The two 1,350 sq. ft. suites which debuted ... services and insuite amenities, from a custom soap selection and in-suite exercise kit to ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... , ... May 25, 2016 , ... America Walks ... Carol Reichbaum, M.S.L., M.S.P.A., of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public ... will enable Ms. Reichbaum and 24 other advocates from around the country to participate ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... "FCPX LUT Intense allows ... your footage," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , With ... and easily add stylish color grades to their footage. A LUT is a Lookup ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Consumer access to organic foods ... 2016, Kashi®, a maker of whole grain cereals and other plant-based foods, will introduce ... hard red winter wheat processed by Hesco/Dakota Organic Products. , The transitional designation ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... Stern ... firm will be selling the device branded as Stern’s Real Time Monitoring ... to bedbugs to the hotel and motel industry, colleges for use in dormitories, shelters, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)... May 24, 2016 Een app ... zodat zij collectief patiënten kunnen behandelen, hun kennis kunnen ... idee achter de nieuwe en revolutionaire MDLinking App, ontwikkeld ... Nederlandse vaatchirurg dr. Hans Flu en oncologisch chirurg dr. ... inmiddels beschikbaar is, wordt op dinsdag 24 mei officieel ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... FLINT, Mich. , May 23, 2016 Diplomat ... the third annual Fellowship and Internship programs. The hands-on ... 12. The full-time, paid Fellowship ... Flint, Michigan . Fellows and interns are ... downtown Flint at the Riverfront ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... , May 23, 2016 ... Devices, Diagnostics and Monitoring, and Vision Care ... Which areas are going to grow at the fastest ... revenues to 2026, assessing data, trends, opportunities and prospects. ... charts, and graphs. Discover the most lucrative areas in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: