Effects of a prior-authorization policy for celecoxib on medical service and prescription drug use in a managed care Medicaid population.
ABSTRACT Prior authorization (PA) is a poorly studied but commonly employed policy used by health care payers to manage the rising costs of pharmacy benefits.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the intended and unintended effects of a PA policy for celecoxib on pharmacy and medical-service utilization in a Medicaid managed-care organization.
This was a retrospective, interrupted time-series analysis of 22 monthly health-related utilization rates from January 1, 1999, to October 31, 2000. All Medicaid claims for CareOregon (a managed-care organization) and a fee-for-service program were reviewed. A model was constructed to evaluate changes in utilization of therapeutically related drug classes (eg, conventional nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDs], gastrointestinal agents), office and emergency-department encounters, and hospitalizations before and after the PA policy was implemented on November 16, 1999. A secondary analysis evaluated these changes among a sample of prior NSAID users.
After the PA policy was implemented, use of celecoxib was immediately reduced from 1.07 to 0.53 days' supply per person-year (58.9%; 95% CI, 50.0%-67.9%). The monthly rate of increase was also reduced (P < 0.001). Utilization changes were not observed in other drug classes. Similar changes were observed in the secondary analysis. An 18% (95% CI, 2.2%-33.9%) nonsignificant increase in emergency-department visits was observed in the entire sample after the PA policy was implemented. However, a similar change was not observed in the secondary analysis of prior NSAID users. No other changes in medical service encounters were noted after the PA policy was activated.
This observational study found that celecoxib use was substantially reduced after the implementation of a PA policy. No important changes in use of other drug classes were detected. The overall increase in emergency-department visits--although not observed among previous NSAID users--should be explored on the individual level.
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ABSTRACT: Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of an automated prior authorization (PA) system (SmartPA) in reducing use of and expen- ditures for cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors. Study Design: Before and after with control group. Methods: After implementation of SmartPA in Missouri, changes in use of and expenditures for COX-2 inhibitors, COX-2 substitutes (traditional nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and other products for pain), and gastrointestinal (GI) protective agents were compared between the Medicaid program of Missouri and that of a state with no PA program for COX-2 inhibitors. Subjects were continuously enrolled for the 24-month study period and had a claim for a COX-2 inhibitor in the 12- month baseline period. Analyses included comparison of means and linear regression. Regressions controlled for age, sex, risk for GI complications, severity of illness, and the interaction between state and risk. Results: Changes in expenditures for COX-2 inhibitors, NSAIDs, other pain drugs, and GI-protective drugs were $256 higher, $56 lower, $21 higher, and $198 higher, respectively, in the control state among low-risk patients. Changes in expenditures were $102 higher, $12 lower, $21 lower, and $185 higher, respectively, in the control state among high-risk patients. Results were similar for drug utilization. Conclusion: Implementation of SmartPA resulted in reduced use of and expenditures for COX-2 inhibitors and reduced net expen- ditures for all pain and GI-protective medications. These effects were greatest for patients at low risk for GI complications. (Am J Manag Care. 2006;12:501-508)Value in Health 06/2005; 8(3):405-405. DOI:10.1016/S1098-3015(10)63102-6
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ABSTRACT: Public policy makers and benefit plan managers need to restrain rising pharmaceutical drug costs while preserving access and optimizing health benefits. To determine the effects of a pharmaceutical policy restricting the reimbursement of selected medications on drug use, health care utilization, health outcomes and costs (expenditures). We searched the 14 major bibliographic databases and websites (to January 2009). Included were studies of pharmaceutical policies that restrict coverage and reimbursement of selected drugs or drug classes, often using additional patient specific information related to health status or need. We included randomised controlled trials, non-randomised controlled trials, interrupted time series (ITS) analyses, repeated measures studies and controlled before-after studies set in large care systems or jurisdictions. Two authors independently extracted data and assessed study limitations. Quantitative re-analysis of time series data was undertaken for studies with sufficient data. We included 29 ITS analyses (12 were controlled) investigating policies targeting 11 drug classes for restriction. Participants were most often senior citizens or low income adult populations, or both, in publically subsidized or administered pharmaceutical benefit plans. Impact of policies varied by drug class and whether restrictions were implemented or relaxed. When policies targeted gastric-acid suppressant and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug classes, decreased drug use and substantial savings on drugs occurred immediately and for up to two years afterwards, with no increase in the use of other health services (6 studies). Targeting second generation antipsychotic drugs increased treatment discontinuity and the use of other health services without reducing overall drug expenditures (2 studies). Relaxing restrictions for reimbursement of antihypertensives and statins increased appropriate use and decreased overall drug expenditures. Two studies which measured health outcomes directly were inconclusive. Implementing restrictions to coverage and reimbursement of selected medications can decrease third-party drug spending without increasing the use of other health services (6 studies). Relaxing reimbursement rules for drugs used for secondary prevention can also remove barriers to access. Policy design, however, needs to be based on research quantifying the harm and benefit profiles of target and alternative drugs to avoid unwanted health system and health effects. Health impact evaluation should be conducted where drugs are not interchangeable. Impacts on health equity, relating to the fair and just distribution of health benefits in society (sustainable access to publically financed drug benefits for seniors and low income populations, for example), also require explicit measurement.Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) 01/2010; DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD008654
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ABSTRACT: This study examines the evolutionary impact of valsartan initiation on medical costs. A retrospective time series study design was used with a large, US national commercial claims database for the period of 2004-2008. Hypertensive patients who initiated valsartan between the ages of 18 and 63, and had continuous enrollment for 24-month pre-initiation period and 24-month post-initiation period were selected. Patients' monthly medical costs were calculated based on individual claims. A novel time series model was devised with monthly medical costs as its dependent variables, autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) as its stochastic components, and four indicative variables as its decomposed interventional components. The number of post-initiation months before a cost-offset point was also assessed. Patients (n = 18,269) had mean age of 53 at the initiation date, and 53% of them were female. The most common co-morbid conditions were dyslipidemia (52%), diabetes (24%), and hypertensive complications (17%). The time series model suggests that medical costs were increasing by approximately $10 per month (p < 0.01) before the initiation, and decreasing by approximately $6 per month (p < 0.01) after the initiation. After the 4th post-initiation month, medical costs for patients with the initiation were statistically significantly lower (p < 0.01) than forecasted medical costs for the same patients without the initiation. The study has its limitations in data representativeness, ability to collect unrecorded clinical conditions, treatments, and costs, as well as its generalizability to patients with different characteristics. Commercially insured hypertensive patients experienced monthly medical cost increase before valsartan initiation. Based on our model, the evolutionary impact of the initiation on medical costs included a temporary cost surge, a gradual, consistent, and statistically significant cost decrease, and a cost-offset point around the 4th post-initiation month.Journal of Medical Economics 02/2012; 15(1):8-18. DOI:10.3111/13696998.2011.626097