The gap in Medicare prescription drug coverage, or the doughnut hole, may be why many seniors with diabetes are not adhering to medications. Researchers from Kaiser Permanente and the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, focused their study on what happens during the gap, or when patients are paying for their medications out of pocket.1
Drug Benefit Trends
Health care spending in the United States slowed to a growth rate of 4.4% in 2008—the slowest in 48 years—as national health spending reached $2.3 trillion ($7681 per person). These results were published in an annual report from the National Health Expenditure Accounts Team.1
A recent study has shown that rates of disability may be rising among noninstitutionalized adults 65 years and older in the United States.1 “People are living longer, but many are also living sicker,” said Amani Nuru-Jeter, PhD, MPH, assistant professor of community health and human development at the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health, and coauthor of the study.
Although policymakers continue to push for greater adoption of electronic medical records (EMRs), physicians already using these systems report difficulty in exchanging data because of program interoperability, according to a new report.1 “We found that many aspects of the EMRs are helpful for coordination of care delivered within the physician’s office,” said Ann S. O’Malley, MD, MPH, lead study author and senior researcher at the Center for Studying Health System Change, in an interview with Drug Benefit Trends. “But there are areas for both office care processes and EMR design to evolve in order for EMRs to better support coordination tasks.”
Specialty formulary management strategies, ePrescribing, and unique formulary benefit designs top the list of critical initiatives at MCOs, according to Cynthia J. Pigg, RPh, MHA, executive director of the Foundation for Managed Care Pharmacy. She discusses results from the Foundation’s 2009 Emerging Trends Survey.
On January 15, 2010, top congressional Democrats reported that they were “close” to an agreement with the White House on cost and coverage issues and that a draft would soon be sent to the Congressional Budget Office, the official authority on the cost and extent of coverage that any new legislation would provide. However, the outcome of the Massachusetts Senate race has created a significant obstacle to passing a health care reform bill for the Democrats in the Senate.
Medication Nonadherence and the Risks of Hospitalization, Emergency Department Visits, and Death Among Medicare Part D Enrollees With Diabetes
The authors are affiliated with the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy, in University, Miss. Dr Yang is assistant professor in the department of pharmacy administration.
The US House of Representatives and the US Senate versions of the health care reform bill have grown further apart. Although a bill containing a public option has passed in the House, Senate Democrats announced that they have agreed on a package of provisions to replace the public option.
My interest in mental health began before I was a psychiatrist—it started in a small Central American country where I arrived as a primary care physician in the early years of the Peace Corps.
The results of a recent study showed that children and adolescents with serious mental illness treated with second-generation antipsychotic medications are likely to experience rapid weight gain.