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Evaluating the Use of Medicare Part D in the Veteran Population With Spinal Cord Injury/Disorder.

Hatch MN, Raad J, Suda K, Stroupe KT, Hon AJ, Smith BM. Evaluating the Use of Medicare Part D in the Veteran Population With Spinal Cord Injury/Disorder. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation. 2018 Jun 1; 99(6):1099-1107.

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Abstract:

OBJECTIVE: To examine the different sources of medications, the most common drug classes filled, and the characteristics associated with Medicare Part D pharmacy use in veterans with spinal cord injury/disorder (SCI/D). DESIGN: Retrospective, cross-sectional, observational study. SETTING: Outpatient clinics and pharmacies. PARTICIPANTS: Veterans (N = 13,442) with SCI/D using Medicare or Veteran Affairs pharmacy benefits. INTERVENTIONS: Not applicable. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Characteristics and top 10 most common drug classes were examined in veterans who (1) used VA pharmacies only; (2) used both VA and Medicare Part D pharmacies; or (3) used Part D pharmacies only. Chi-square tests and multinomial logistic regression analyses were used to determine associations between various patient variables and source of medications. Patient level frequencies were used to determine the most common drug classes. RESULTS: A total of 13,442 veterans with SCI/D were analyzed in this study: 11,788 (87.7%) used VA pharmacies only, 1281 (9.5%) used both VA and Part D pharmacies, and 373 (2.8%) used Part D pharmacies only. Veterans older than 50 years were more likely to use Part D pharmacies, whereas those with traumatic injury, or secondary conditions, were less associated with the use of Part D pharmacies. Opioids were the most frequently filled drug class across all groups. Other frequently used drug classes included skeletal muscle relaxants, gastric medications, antidepressants (other category), anticonvulsants, and antilipemics. CONCLUSIONS: Approximately 12% of veterans with SCI/D are receiving medication outside the VA system. Polypharmacy in this population of veterans is relatively high, emphasizing the importance of health information exchange between systems for improved care for this medically complex population.





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