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:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... WholeHealth is announcing their participation ... Paziotopoulos, Andrew Petersen and Trish Henrie-Barrus will be present Saturday and Sunday in ... program. , “We know it’s easy to get carried away when you’re ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... ... CTMS, which provides a modern CTMS workflow designed to seamlessly integrate and streamline ... been condensed to a single page, maximizing usability and improving efficiency significantly for ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... ... panel system. , The Tranquility privacy panel system was designed to deliver ... Tranquility panels help reduce noise and provide the visual privacy required to maintain ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... Rountree Brady ... services to communities throughout eastern Georgia, is embarking on a charity effort to ... disease kills more Americans every year than anything else, yet risk factors associated ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... , ... January 19, 2017 , ... Attorney Robert ... fifth consecutive year donated money to the Triumph Over Kid Cancer foundation. Each year, ... one of those children. James saw firsthand the effect of the critical funding gap ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... LONDON , Jan. 19, 2017 ... 2022 Summary GlobalData,s new report, "Germany Cataract ... data on the Germany Cataract Surgery Devices market. The ... (in units) and average prices (USD) within market segements ... The report also provides company shares and distribution shares ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... 2017 The global immunomodulators market is ... according to a new study by Grand View ... predominantly driven by high R&D investments employed by ... of new and therapeutically advanced drugs. This is ... an unprecedented rate into the immunomodulators market hence ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... , Jan. 19, 2017 Report Details ... Market? Which areas are going to grow at the ... to 2026, assessing data, trends, opportunities and prospects. ... Discover the most lucrative areas in the industry and ... assess forecasted sales across the all the major categories ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: