Navigation Links
Medicare Spending Caps Cause Seniors to Stop Meds

In many cases, patients never take these important medications again, study finds

TUESDAY, Sept. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Some American seniors stop taking medications for chronic health problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes when they exceed spending limits in their Medicare prescription drug plans, new research shows.

The study, by the nonprofit research organization the RAND Corporation, also found that many of those seniors do not resume taking their prescription drugs when their drug benefits kick in again at the start of a new health plan year.

The RAND team analyzed prescription drug use from 2003 to 2005 among 60,000 seniors enrolled in a health plan offered by a large national employer. The seniors were enrolled in one of three drug plans: one with a spending limit of $1,000; one with a spending limit of $2,500; and one with no spending limit. In each of the plans, enrollees had to pay a portion of their drug purchases.

The study looked at the use of drugs to treat high blood pressure, cardiac problems, diabetes, ulcers, depression, and prescription pain medications that have over-the-counter substitutes.

Reporting in the Sept./Oct. issue of the journal Health Affairs, the researchers found that 6 percent to 13 percent of seniors enrolled in drug plans with spending caps reached their spending limit in each of the years of the study. Of those who reached their spending limits, about half went without drug benefits for more than 90 days.

Seniors in capped plans who spent the most on drugs were more likely to discontinue their use of medications than those in plans with no cap.

Discontinuation of drugs varied from 15 percent for anti-cholesterol medications to 28 percent for cardiac drugs, the study found.

"Prescription use falls significantly as patients reach their benefit caps," lead author Geoffrey Joyce, a senior economist at RAND, said in a prepared statement. "Most of the drugs we studied help prevent long-term complications of chronic disease, so there are likely to be adverse health consequences for seniors who hit their caps."

"Drug caps are a cost-saving measure, but our findings raise the issue of whether in the long run they may lead to other medical cost such as increased hospitalizations," senior author Dana Goldman, director of health economics at RAND, said in a prepared statement.

More information

Medicare has more about Plan D drug coverage.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: RAND Corporation, news release, Sept. 11, 2007

Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Medicare Drug Deadline not to be extended
2. House heads for Medicare drug vote
3. New Medicare Plan - Mixed Reaction among Pharmacists.
4. Medicare Data would help in Drug Validation
5. Medicare Queries Expected To Increase Over Time
6. Medicare to cover services provided by rural health care personnels.
7. Cancer test expenses taken up by Medicare
8. Nurse Practitioners Are Not Recognized By Medicare
9. Medicare Drug Plan Is Not Working in The US
10. Blue Cross Signs Up 110,000 Minnesotans For Part D Medicare Plans
11. Rising Medicare costs
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... , ... According to an article published November 15th by ABC ... security in light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, other cities are taking ... attack from reaching U.S. soil. Especially around special events that may be high-profile in ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... PA (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... how filthy the toilets were," said an inventor from Hillside, N.J. "Many people ... improved seat cover so that individuals will always be protected from germs." , ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... MPWH, the No.1 Herpes-only dating community in the world, revealed that over 50% ... More than 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 – or 67% of the ... first global estimates of HSV-1 infection . , "The data shocks us highly!" said ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... The moment you ... for not only fulfilling the needs of advisers and clients but going above ... and providing top-tier customer service. However, there's always room for improvement, which is ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Dr. Thomas Dunlap and ... Dr. Tucker Bierbaum with Emergency Medicine at St., Joseph Health System’s Santa Rosa ... Sepsis conditions present in similar ways and require time-critical intervention to avoid large area ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 ... adds "Global Repaglinide Industry ... Report on China Repaglinide Market, 2010-2019" ... data and information to its online ... . --> ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... "Radioimmunoassay Market by Type (Reagents & ... Academics, Clinical Diagnostic Labs), Application (Research, Clinical ... 2020" report to their offering. ... addition of the "Radioimmunoassay Market by ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015  The total global healthcare industry is expected to ... Latin America has the highest projected growth ... Japan ), is second with growth projected at ... increased healthcare expenditure. In 2013-2014, total government funded healthcare was ... 2008-2009 to 41.2% in 2013-2014. In real terms, out of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: