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:4/30/2016)... ... April 30, 2016 , ... Orlando-based Maximized Living has ... go for gold in Rio. Under the care of Maximized Living doctors at ... In an unprecedented showing, Maximized Living is sending the largest contingent of elite chiropractors ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 30, 2016 , ... Mercy College is expanding ... The following programs will be expanding due to high demand: Master of Business Administration ... will begin this summer. , School of Business Graduate Program Chair Dr. ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... Two Ten Footwear Foundation, the national charitable foundation serving the footwear industry, has ... 8,000 volunteers representing more than 130 companies across 23 states during the months ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... announces the addition Onnit brand Alpha BRAIN and New Mood Daily-Stress Formula for ... and mood optimization products to the store is just one more way Shamangelic ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... On Tuesday, April 26, 2016 members ... celebrated the signature of Gov. Nathan Deal on SB 258, the “Rural Health Care ... Cumming), offers a 70% tax credit to individuals and corporations which donate directly to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 ... George Phillips und Stephen ...    ArisGlobal®, ein führender Anbieter ... gab heute bekannt, dass neue Führungskräfte zum ... gestoßen sind, die vielfältige Erfahrungen mitbringen.  Dies ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... -- Treato , the single largest ... that it has been named a Cool Vendor by ... Sciences, 2016, Stephen Davies , Michael ... life-science- oriented analytics, algorithms and smart machine technology in ... medication ingestion, and analyze unstructured information.   ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 Dr. ... and Ste phen ... ArisGlobal®, a leading provider of cloud-based software solutions for life ... Pharmacovigilance team to bring a wealth of insight to a growing ... pharmacovigilance knowledge. George Phillips joined ArisGlobal in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: