Navigation Links
Medicare Coverage Gap May Cause Seniors to Forgo Antidepressants
Date:7/2/2012

MONDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- The Medicare Part D drug plan's gap in coverage -- often referred to as the "donut hole" -- has long been a concern, and a new study links it to cutbacks by seniors in the use of antidepressants and other medications.

An estimated 13 percent of seniors aged 65 and older suffer from depression, experts say. Antidepressants can stop depression from returning, but the Part D benefit -- especially the coverage gap -- "imposes a serious risk for discontinuing maintenance antidepressant pharmacotherapy among senior beneficiaries," the study authors found.

The study, published in the July issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, also found less use of drugs prescribed to treat heart failure and diabetes among seniors who fell into the coverage gap.

While the 2010 Affordable Care Act is shrinking the "donut hole," it won't be fully closed until 2020.

In the study, researchers led by Yuting Zhang of the University of Pittsburgh looked at a random sample of more than 65,000 Medicare recipients aged 65 or older who were enrolled in stand-alone Part D plans in 2007.

During that year, seniors who reached a total of $2,400 in spending on prescription drugs lost further drug coverage until they reached the amount required for catastrophic care coverage ($3,850 in 2007) -- the coverage gap nicknamed the "donut hole."

Those who fell into the gap used fewer antidepressants, heart failure drugs and diabetes medications, the researchers found. Compared to other Medicare recipients who didn't fall into the gap (due to factors such as low-income subsidies), those who didn't have coverage took about 12 percent fewer monthly antidepressant prescriptions, about 13 percent fewer heart failure drugs and 13.4 percent fewer diabetes medications.

Discontinuing medications due to cost concerns could have long-term implications for depressed patients, the researchers noted in a journal news release.

"If patients discontinue their appropriate medication therapy abruptly, they could be placing themselves at risk for medication withdrawal effects and for relapse or recurrence," Zhang and colleagues wrote. "If they do not notice any effects, they might decide not to resume taking antidepressants. Thus, a gap in drug coverage could place older adults in harm's way, as a result of disruptions in appropriate maintenance antidepressant pharmacotherapy."

More information

Find out more about depression at the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

-- Randy Dotinga

SOURCE: Archives of General Psychiatry, news release, July 2, 2012


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Virtual Colonoscopy Safe, Effective for Medicare Patients: Study
2. Study answers Medicare concerns about paying for CT colonography
3. Feinstein Institute to Receive Grant from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to Improve Schizophrenia Treatment
4. Under pressure from Medicare, hospitals hold more seniors for observation
5. Safer kidney cancer surgery under-used for poorer, sicker Medicare, Medicaid patients
6. ACP applauds introduction of bipartisan bill to eliminate Medicare SGR formula
7. AMA committee recommendations on doctor fees set by Medicare are followed 9 times out of 10
8. Americans Support Medicare Reform, But Not on Their Dime: Poll
9. Seniors Stop Taking Heart Drugs In Medicare Donut Hole
10. Study examines medicare use for Mohs micrographic surgery and surgical excision for skin cancer
11. Minorities, Medicare Recipients Less Likely to Get Antidepressants
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Medicare Coverage Gap May Cause Seniors to Forgo Antidepressants
(Date:2/12/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... Lean Leadership Series at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital on April 5-7. The ... new behaviors and create new habits. The workshops cover a broad range of ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Every winter, someone is ... winter the West Penn Burn Center, part of the Allegheny Health Network, ... to bring you the “Space Heaters Need Space” campaign. , “Space Heaters ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... 12, 2016 , ... AssureVest Insurance Group, a locally owned insurance firm with ... will raise funds earmarked to purchase computers and software for Mrs. Harrison’s 2nd and ... is in a low-income area and has more than 60 2nd and 3rd graders ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... ... Vail knee specialist Robert LaPrade, MD, PhD was named one of ... of physicians establishing, leading and partnering with ambulatory surgery centers across the United States. ... also known as an ASC, is a modern health care facility focused on providing ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... , ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... the Pittsburgh metro area, celebrates the beginning of the latest charity campaign in ... social skills through art. Donations to this worthy cause are currently being accepted ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... AUSTIN, Texas , Feb. 12, 2016 ... Institute for Robotic Surgery at St. David,s North Austin ... the da Vinci ® Xi ® Surgical ... ® 7000dV. Thiru Lakshman , M.D., ... performed a total proctocolectomy utilizing Integrated Table Motion technology, ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... , 12 februari 2016 ... een toonaangevende leverancier van productie en ontwikkeling ... industrieën, kondigt vandaag een uitbreiding aan van ... haar locatie in Charleston, SC ... geleid tot meerdere recente investeringen. ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... 2016 The primary goal of this research ... on the usage of liquid biopsy. Key information the ... - Timeframe of liquid biopsy adoption amidst future users ... organization type - Sample inflow to conduct liquid biopsy ... serum, and so on. - Correlation analysis of sample ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: