The impact of Medicare Part D on out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs, medication utilization, health resource utilization, and preference-based health utility.

Global Health Economics, Baxter Healthcare Corporation, One Baxter Parkway, Deerfield, IL 60015, USA.
Health Services Research (Impact Factor: 2.49). 05/2011; 46(4):1104-23. DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-6773.2011.01273.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To quantify the impact of Medicare Part D eligibility on medication utilization, emergency department use, hospitalization, and preference-based health utility among civilian noninstitutionalized Medicare beneficiaries.
Difference-in-differences analyses were used to estimate the effects of Part D eligibility on health outcomes by comparing a 12-month period before and after Part D implementation using the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Models adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics and health status and compared Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 and older with near elderly aged 55-63 years old.
Five hundred and fifty-six elderly and 549 near elderly were included. After adjustment, Part D was associated with a U.S.$179.86 (p=.034) reduction in out-of-pocket costs and an increase of 2.05 prescriptions (p=.081) per patient year. The associations between Part D and emergency department use, hospitalizations, and preference-based health utility did not suggest cost offsets and were not statistically significant.
Although there was a substantial reduction in out-of-pocket costs and a moderate increase in medication utilization among Medicare beneficiaries during the first year after Part D, there was no evidence of improvement in emergency department use, hospitalizations, or preference-based health utility for those eligible for Part D during its first year of implementation.

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