Rx for high-risk meds varies widely in medicare advantage

Rx for high-risk meds varies widely in medicare advantage
There is wide variation in the prescription rates of high-risk medications among Medicare Advantage enrollees, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

(HealthDay)—There is wide variation in the prescription rates of high-risk medications (HRM) among Medicare Advantage (MA) enrollees, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Danya M. Qato, Pharm.D., from Brown University in Providence, R.I., and colleagues retrospectively analyzed data from the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) for 6,204,824 seniors enrolled in 415 MA plans in 2009.

The researchers found that about 21 percent of MA enrollees received at least one HRM and 4.8 percent received at least two. Females had a 10.6 higher percentage point rate of receipt than males, in adjusted models. As compared with the reference New England division, residence in any of the Southern U.S. divisions was also associated with a greater than 10 percentage point higher rate. Enrollees with low personal income (6.5 percentage points) and those residing in areas in the lowest quintile of (2.7 points) also had higher rates. Medication was less likely to be received by enrollees 85 years and older as well as by those who were black or belonging to other . Compared to the referral region with the lowest rate (Mason City, Iowa), MA enrollees residing in the hospital referral region of Albany, Ga., received at least one HRM at a four-fold higher rate.

"Persons living in the Southern region of the U.S., whites, women, and persons of low and socioeconomic status are more likely to receive HRMs," the authors write.

More information: Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Related Stories

One in five seniors on risky meds; more in US South

date Apr 10, 2013

More than 1 in 5 seniors with Medicare Advantage plans received a prescription for a potentially harmful "high risk medication" in 2009, according to a newly published analysis by Brown University public ...

Recommended for you

UK doctors unlikely to be able to repay student loans

date 9 hours ago

UK doctors are unlikely to be able to repay their student loans over the course of their working lives, amassing debts of more than £80,000 by the time they graduate, in some cases, finds research published in the online ...

Reducing global tobacco use

date 16 hours ago

Although global efforts to cut tobacco use have had some success, more can be done to reduce the number of deaths from smoking, according to a commentary published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.