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Am J Geriatr Cardiol. 2005 Nov-Dec;14(6):291-7.

Helping Medicare patients benefit from the new Medicare drug benefit: an overview with practice tips.

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Department of Health Policy & Management, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA.


The new Medicare drug benefit (Part D) will expand drug coverage to the millions of Medicare beneficiaries who currently lack insurance protection against the costs of prescription drugs. This dramatic expansion of benefits could increase medication treatment for many chronic health conditions, but the impact of Part D on the affordability of prescription drugs depends on a series of choices beneficiaries must make including whether to sign up for the voluntary benefit and which of several drug plans to choose. Private prescription drug plans administering the benefit will vary in terms of the cost sharing, premiums, and formulary design. Providers can play an important role in providing patients with the resources necessary to make good choices regarding drug coverage. Medicare will also provide reimbursement for medication therapy management. The transition of Medicare beneficiaries to Part D drug plans provides an important opportunity for providers to review and possibly make changes to their elderly patients' drug regimens to maximize effectiveness while minimizing costs to patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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