Receipt of High Risk Medications among Elderly Enrollees in Medicare Advantage Plans
ABSTRACT Since 2005, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has required all Medicare Advantage (MA) plans to report prescribing rates of high risk medications (HRM). To determine predictors of receipt of HRMs, as defined by the National Committee for Quality Assurance's "Drugs to Avoid in the Elderly" quality indicator, in a national sample of MA enrollees. Retrospective analysis of Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) data for 6,204,824 enrollees, aged 65 years or older, enrolled in 415 MA plans in 2009. To identify predictors of HRM use, we fit generalized linear models and modeled outcomes on the risk-difference scale. Receipt or non-receipt of one or two HRMs. Approximately 21 % of MA enrollees received at least one HRM and 4.8 % received at least two. In fully adjusted models, females had a 10.6 (95 % CI: 10.0-11.2) higher percentage point rate of receipt than males, and residence in any of the Southern United States divisions was associated with a greater than 10 percentage point higher rate, as compared with the reference New England division. Higher rates were also observed among enrollees with low personal income (6.5 percentage points, 95 % CI: 5.5-7.5), relative to those without low income and those residing in areas in the lowest quintile of socioeconomic status (2.7 points, 95 % CI: 1.9-3.4) relative to persons residing in the highest quintile. Enrollees a parts per thousand yen 85 years old, black enrollees, and other minority groups were less likely to receive these medications. Over 38 % of MA enrollees residing in the hospital referral region of Albany, Georgia received at least one HRM, a rate four times higher than the referral region with the lowest rate (Mason City, Iowa). Use of HRMs among MA enrollees varies widely by geographic region. Persons living in the Southern region of the U.S., whites, women, and persons of low personal income and socioeconomic status are more likely to receive HRMs.
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ABSTRACT: Quality prescribing for older adults involves multiple considerations. We evaluated multiple aspects of prescribing quality in older veterans to develop an integrated view of prescribing problems and to understand how the prevalence of these problems varies across clinically important subgroups of older adults. Cross-sectional observational study of veterans age 65 years and older who received medications from Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) pharmacies in 2007. Using VA pharmacy data linked with encounter, laboratory and other data, we assessed five types of prescribing problems. Among 462,405 patients age 65 and older, mean age was 75 years, 98 % were male, and patients were prescribed a median of five medications. Half of patients (50 %) had one or more prescribing problems, including 12 % taking one or more medications at an inappropriately high dose, 30 % with drug-drug interactions, 3 % with drug-disease interactions, and 26 % taking one or more Beers criteria drugs. In addition, 16 % were taking a high-risk drug (warfarin, insulin, and/or digoxin). On multivariable analysis, age was not strongly associated with four of the five types of prescribing issues assessed (relative risk < 1.3 across age groups), and comorbid burden conferred substantially increased risk only for drug-disease interactions and use of high-risk drugs. In contrast, the number of drugs used was consistently the strongest predictor of prescribing problems. Patients in the highest quartile of medication use had 6.6-fold to12.5-fold greater risk of each type of prescribing problem compared to patients in the lowest quartile (P < 0.001 for each). The number of medications used is by far the strongest risk factor for each of five types of prescribing problems. Efforts to improve prescribing should especially target patients taking multiple medications.Journal of General Internal Medicine 07/2014; 29(10). DOI:10.1007/s11606-014-2924-8 · 3.42 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Coadministration of co-trimoxazole with sulfonylureas is reported to increase the risk of hypoglycemia.The Journals of Gerontology Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 05/2014; 70(2). DOI:10.1093/gerona/glu072 · 4.98 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: People with dementia are sensitive to cognitive side effects of anticholinergic drugs. However, little is known about the prevalence of anticholinergic medications and its predictors in a nationally representative sample of community-based elderly dementia patients in the USA. The objectives of the study were to determine the prevalence and predictors of anticholinergic drugs use in elderly dementia patients. The study involved retrospective analysis of the 2005-2009 Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys (MEPS), a nationally representative sample of the non-institutionalized US population. The study evaluated annual prevalence of anticholinergic drug use during the study period and factors associated with the use of anticholinergics among community-dwelling persons aged 65 and older with dementia. The anticholinergic drugs were identified using the Anticholinergic Drug Scale (ADS). Multiple logistic regression within the conceptual framework of the Anderson Behavioral Model was performed to identify predictors associated with clinically significant anticholinergic drug (ADS level 2 or 3) use. According to the MEPS, there were a total of 1.56 [95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.34, 1.73] million elderly dementia patients annually during the study period. Approximately, 23.3 % (95 % CI 19.2, 27.5) of elderly dementia patients used clinically significant anticholinergic agents (ADS level 2 or 3). Among the need factors, elderly dementia patients having mood disorders [odds ratio (OR) 2.19; 95 % CI 1.19, 4.06] and urinary incontinence (OR 6.58; 95 % CI 2.84, 15.29) were more likely to use drugs with clinically significant anticholinergic activities. Of the enabling factors, the odds of receiving higher-level anticholinergic drugs were significantly lower for patients who resided in the West region (OR 0.41; 95 % CI 0.17, 0.95) compared to the reference group, Northeast. Over one in five elderly dementia patients used drugs with clinically significant anticholinergic effects. Mood disorder, urinary incontinence, and region were significantly associated with use of these drugs. Concerted efforts are needed to improve the quality of medication use by focusing on clinically significant anticholinergic agents.Drugs & Aging 07/2013; 30(10). DOI:10.1007/s40266-013-0104-x · 2.50 Impact Factor