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NEJM study addresses impact of Medicare Part D on medical spending
Date:7/5/2009

g spending increased by 74 percent among the no-coverage group; by 27 percent among the poor-coverage group; and by 11 percent among the good-coverage group. The study also found that the use of both lipid-lowering and anti-diabetic medications rose in the groups with limited or no drug coverage.

When it came to spending on other medical care services excluding drugs, the no-coverage group and poor-coverage group decreased their spending by $33 and $46 per month respectively, while the good-coverage group increased their spending by $30 per month.

"The offset in spending by seniors with limited or no prior drug benefits could be due to improved adherence to medication, especially for those with chronic conditions. Improved access to prescription drugs provided by Part D may enable this population to better control symptoms and cut down on visits to the physician's office or emergency room," said Dr. Zhang. On the other hand, the lack of a similar spending offset in the good-coverage group could indicate an overuse of some medications and services by this population, she noted.


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Contact: Clare Collins
CollCX@upmc.edu
412-647-3555
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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