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Vital Drug Use Drops with Medicare Coverage Gaps

Tue Aug 24, 2004 04:45 PM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - After exceeding their annual drug benefit cap, Medicare beneficiaries often decrease their use of essential medications, apparently to compensate for the coverage gap, according to a new report.
By contrast, stopping medications completely or not starting new medications are relatively unpopular strategies used by this group, Dr. Chien-Wen Tseng, from the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, and colleagues found.

The findings, which appear in the Journal of the American Medical Association, are based on a survey of 665 beneficiaries who had exceeded their benefit cap and 643 who had not. In the former group, coverage gaps ranged from 75 to 180 days.

Article from Reuters Health