Reductions in Mortality Among Medicare Beneficiaries Following the Implementation of Medicare Part D

Am J Manag Care, 16 July 2015

Medicare Part D is a prescription drug program that provides seniors and disabled individuals enrolled in Medicare with outpatient drug coverage benefits. Part D has been shown to increase access to medicines and improve medication adherence; however, the effect of Part D on health outcomes has not yet been extensively studied. In this study, we used a published and validated Markov-based microsimulation model to quantify the relationships among medication use, disease incidence and severity, and mortality. Based on the simulation results, we estimate that since the implementation of Part D in 2006, nearly 200,000 Medicare beneficiaries have lived at least 1 year longer. Reductions in mortality have occurred because of fewer deaths associated with medication-sensitive conditions such as diabetes, congestive heart failure, stroke, and myocardial infarction. Improved access to medication through Medicare Part D helps patients improve blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose levels, which in turn can prevent or delay the onset of disease and the incidence of adverse health events, thus reducing mortality. … Read more.