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Medicare Drug Plan 'Doughnut Hole' Could Impact Seniors' Health
Date:2/3/2009

were more likely to reach the doughnut hole, and reach it sooner, than those with hypertension. Seniors with more than one chronic illness were also much more likely than others to reach the doughnut hole -- 34 percent of those with both hypertension and diabetes reached it, as did 61 percent of those with hypertension, high cholesterol, congestive heart failure and diabetes.

The study was published online Tuesday in the journal Health Affairs.

"Our findings raise concerns about whether people with chronic illnesses who lack doughnut hole coverage are able to effectively manage their conditions. Without needed prescriptions, we could potentially see an increase in hospital and physician costs," lead author Yuting Zhang, an assistant professor of health economics, said in a university news release.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services offers tips for reducing costs during the coverage gap.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, news release, Feb. 3, 2009


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