New Study is Latest Proof That Part D Helps Save Money While Improving Health

American Journal of Managed Care Looks at Economic Impact of Part D on Congestive Heart Failure

05.21.13 | By

This past weekend the American Journal of Managed Care released a study titled, “The Economic Impact of Medicare Part D on Congestive Heart Failure.”

Key findings of study include:

-          Improved medication adherence connected with the expansion of drug coverage under Part D led to about a $2.6 billion reduction in medical expenditures annually among beneficiaries diagnosed with CHF and without prior comprehensive drug coverage.

-          Of the $2.6 billion reduction in medical expenditures, $2.3 billion was savings to Medicare.

-          Greater improvements in adherence could potentially save Medicare another $1.9 billion annually and upwards of $22.4 billion in federal savings over 10 years.

This research makes some really important points on why Part D matters for the more than 3.5 million Part D enrollees who were diagnosed with congestive heart failure (CHF) and the Medicare system as a whole.

To put things into a broader perspective, those 3.5 million beneficiaries make up 14 percent of the total Medicare population. This small portion of the population accounts for nearly half of total spending in Medicare Parts A and B. CHF is also the most common reason for hospitalizations among the elderly, which makes up one-fifth of all admissions.

As most of us know, medications play an important role in helping treat and manage diseases like CHF and when they’re not taken as prescribed, it can create serious problems for patients. Patients who are not adherent to their medications often lack insurance, which leads them not to fill prescriptions or skip medications due to cost. Part D helped change that in 2006. Prior to its implementation, approximately 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries lacked creditable drug coverage. And thanks to its unique competitive market-based structure, average monthly premiums have remained steady at about $30 for the last three years.

Similar research has found that patients with CHF who were adherent to medications experienced 5.7 fewer hospital days and $8,881 in reduced medical spending annually compared to those patients who were not adherent to their medications. Another study found that each 10 percent increase in the use of CHF medications was connected with reductions in three year Medicare Parts A and B expenditures by $510 to $923.

Medications play a vital role in helping treat and manage CHF and Part D is an important part of that equation.

For further information on why Part D matters, check out this page.



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