Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Enrollment Trends in 2013

According to research from Avalere, Medicare beneficiaries are overwhelmingly choosing low-cost Part D prescription drug plans . In 2013, more than 500,000 beneficiaries enrolled in the brand new AARP Saver Plus plan—catapulting it to a position in the top 10 list of plans in its first year. With the addition of Humana/Walmart and First Health Part D Value Plus, nearly 3 million beneficiaries are choosing low-premium plans with preferred […]

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Who gets hurt when Americans buy drugs in Canada?

A few years ago, changing federal laws to lower drug prices was a key political issue. Some proposed allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prices from drug manufacturers and others recommended allowing U.S. citizens to import drugs from lower-priced developed countries such as Canada. These policies would certainly reduce drug prices, however, lower prices could also […]

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Optimal Choices of Medicare Part D Plans

Are elderly Medicare beneficiaries able to choose Part D health plans optimally?  Many researchers may believe the answer is no.  Certain elderly individuals  (e.g., those with Alzheimer’s) may be cognitively impaired.  Inertia is also a problem; switching plans is mentally taxing and involves a spending a significant amount of time researching plan alternatives. Nevertheless, a […]

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Does Prescription Drug Coverage Save Money?

Many experts have claimed that increasing Medicare beneficiary’s access to prescription drugs through Medicare Part D is cost saving.  Even if it does increase cost, by increasing patient adherence to various prescription drugs, Medicare could prevent certain expensive hospitalizations and emergency room visits. The only problem is that it doesn’t. According to Liu et al. […]

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What most reduces adherence: increasing copayments or decreasing prescription lengths?

According to this article, the answer is: “Both policies decreased medication adherence. The days’ supply policy [decreasing the days supply of each prescription from 100 to 34 days] had a much larger effect on adherence than did the copayment increase. Total Medicaid spending declined from the days’ supply policy, but the copayment policy resulted in […]

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