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VA Geriatric Scholars Program's impact on prescribing potentially inappropriate medications.

Burningham Z, Chen W, Sauer BC, Richter Lagha R, Hansen J, Huynh T, Patel S, Leng J, Halwani A, Kramer BJ. VA Geriatric Scholars Program's impact on prescribing potentially inappropriate medications. The American journal of managed care. 2019 Sep 1; 25(9):425-430.

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OBJECTIVES: The Veterans Affairs (VA) Geriatric Scholars Program (GSP) is a workforce development program to enhance skills and competencies among VA clinicians who provide healthcare for older veterans in VA primary care clinics. An intensive geriatrics didactics (IGD) course is a core element of this professional development program. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of completing the IGD course on providers' rates of prescribing definite potentially inappropriate medications (DPIMs) based on Beers Criteria from 2008 to 2016. STUDY DESIGN: We applied a longitudinal interrupted time series design to examine changes in DPIM prescribing rates for GSP participants before and after completing the IGD course. METHODS: The time series was divided into two 12-month periods, representing the preintervention period (ie, 12 months prior to completing the IGD course) and the postintervention period (ie, 12 months after completing the IGD course), and populated with pharmacy dispensing data from the VA's Corporate Data Warehouse. An adjusted slope impact model was developed to estimate the postintervention change in the proportion of the dispensed medications identified as DPIMs. RESULTS: After adjusting for case mix, we observed a statistically significant reduction in the proportion of DPIMs dispensed post IGD (slope change, 0.994; 95% CI, 0.991-0.997). This change in slope reflects a total decrease of 7971 DPIM dispensings during the postintervention period. This equates to an estimated 24 fewer DPIM dispensings per provider during the postintervention period. CONCLUSIONS: Although the size of the effect was modest, we found that participation in the GSP IGD course reduced prescribing of DPIMs for older veterans.

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