WE SHOULD CONSIDER EXPANSION OF MEDICARE PART D, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Medicare Part D has earned its chops with a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showing that when people get prescription drug benefits, their other medical costs for inpatient or nursing home care decline by about $1200 per year. Redonda Miller, vice president of medical affairs at Johns Hopkins, says this data suggests expansion of the benefit to those in the famed 'donut hole.'
MILLER: Some of the copays for medications, expensive, branded medications, can be hundreds of dollars a month, and when you're looking at a 20% copay in some cases it can be huge. I would argue that closing this donut hole may make good sense not only for health but for fiscal reasons as well. We may prevent them from visiting our emergency rooms, urgent care centers, and we may help them prevent long term complications of chronic diseases that result in even greater benefits. :32
At Johns Hopkins, I'm Elizabeth Tracey.